Why is community action needed for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation?
Residents in cities in high-income nations do not need to organize to build the roads, drains, good quality buildings and other infrastructure that protect them from storms or most other disaster risks. But hundreds of millions of urban dwellers in low- and middle-income nations lack this protection and often live on floodplains or slopes at risk of landslides. In the last decade, there has been a much greater appreciation of the importance of community organization for these people in reducing the risks of disasters and in post-disaster responses. Community organizations can be effective in their own right, but can also enhance the effectiveness of local government action when they work together; and external funding is only as effective as the local institutions through which it is channelled. This Brief shows how support for community organizations, including those formed by disaster survivors, can achieve far more effective post-disaster responses and, in the longer term, more effective responses to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.