Asia and Pacific UNISDR Informs/Indicators of Progress
This Publication has been developed by United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Asia & Pacific.
About UNISDR Regional Office for Asia & Pacific
With over 50% of the total world disasters, the Asia and Pacific Islands region represents the widest and most disaster prone continent in the world, beyond Africa, with a regular and increased frequency of typhoons, tsunamis, floods, droughts, fires and other natural hazards. Despite the wealth of expertise, knowledge and know-how in disaster risk reduction, the increasing population growth, widespread poverty, environmental degradation, rising pollution and wild human settlements keep increasing the vulnerabilities of most communities in Asia and the Pacific Islands, thereby creating a favorable terrain to allow the above natural hazards to transform invariably into devastating disasters wiping out all human lives and economic lifelines on their way, and setting back years of continued development efforts.
In December 2004, the tragic tsunami in the Indian Ocean has heightened the level of awareness of the communities in Asia and the Pacific about the importance of integrating disaster risk reduction into national development planning and reminded them of the need to work together in a coordinated manner to respond to the threat of disasters.
In that spirit, as a direct follow-up to the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (January 2005, Kobe, Japan) and at the request of the 168 UN Member States grouped together on the occasion, the UNISDR established a regional presence to cover the whole Asia and Pacific Islands region. The UNISDR regional Unit for Asia and the Pacific was set up in June 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand, hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
The core mandate of the UNISDR Asia & Pacific includes awareness-raising activities in disaster risk reduction, including the promotion of the World Disaster Reduction Campaign and the annual UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction, advocacy through policy formulation, the dissemination of guidelines to assist in the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), promote the establishment of national platforms for disaster risk reduction, enhance networking and partnership-building to contribute to an effective culture of safety and protection of all communities in the Asia and Pacific Islands region.
Three specific areas of focus have been identified to guide the work of the UNISDR Asia and the Pacific. They include:
(i) The promotion of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) throughout the whole Asia and Pacific Islands region and the forging of partnerships at the regional level to facilitate its implementation, with the effective operational support and expertise of members of the UNISDR Asian Partnership on Disaster Reduction (IAP) and other relevant players.
(ii) The follow-up and strengthening of the projects carried out under the United Nations Flash Appeal for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Early Warning System (IOTWS), including an increased cooperation and coordination with relevant technical partners and the donor community. (iii) The development of an effective information management system with comprehensive databases, the maintenance of a regional website, the production of a bi-annual publication “Disaster Reduction in Asia and the Pacific - UNISDR Informs”, the dissemination of regional highlights promoting regional partners’ initiatives and relevant events among other.
The UNISDR Asia and Pacific Islands works through a growing network of national platforms to mobilize governmental actions in disaster risk reduction as well as directly with the governments in the region, as mandated though the HFA, to assist them in identifying their priorities and in formulating their national action plan on disaster risk reduction towards its integration in national development plans. It also makes an effective use of regional partners’ networks at the national level, in particular the UN Country Team members, to facilitate the effective implementation of DRR strategies.
Introduction to the Publication
In January 2005, at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, in Kobe Hyogo, Japan, 168 States adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters, with the overriding goal of achieving a substantial reduction in global disaster risk. The Hyogo Framework provides comprehensive action-oriented policy guidance based on a comprehensive understanding of disaster risks, which arise from human vulnerability to natural hazards.
In the preparatory negotiations on the Framework, States stressed the need for specific means, including indicators, to measure progress toward the reduction of disaster risks. In particular, it was requested in paragraph 33c that the ISDR system, supported by the ISDR secretariat, coordinates the development of “generic, realistic and measurable indicators” for disaster risk reduction. It encouraged States to thereafter develop and refine such indicators for national use.
Indicators, benchmarks and targets are commonly accepted tools to focus and guide development investments, the Millennium Development Goals being an important example.
Indicators of Progress: Guidance on Measuring the Reduction of Disaster Risks and the Implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action is an important step towards addressing this request. It is intended to assist not only national authorities but also civil society and community organisations, regional inter-governmental institutions and technical bodies, international and donor communities in setting priorities for policies, plans and programmes for disaster risk reduction, while regularly monitoring and reviewing achievements against the chosen indicators.
Drawing on an online consultation held in 2005 as well as various consultative drafts, discussions and expert inputs prepared over 2006, it offers a set of ‘recommended’ indicators for implementing each of the Hyogo Framework’s five priorities for action, three strategic goals and one overall outcome. These build on the indicators for the Hyogo Framework’s priorities for action have been included in the recent ISDR publication Words into Action: A Guide for Implementing the Hyogo Framework.
National, regional and international organisations are encouraged to actively explore the refinement and application of these indicators in their mandated areas. This will require concerted and collaborative effort by academics, practitioners and policymakers, with a strong focus on achieving practicality and effectiveness in particular national settings. The ISDR secretariat will seek to foster follow-up supporting activities, including workshops, to advance the development and use of indicators as a tool for both work programming and progress reporting, along with associated practices such as benchmarking. The ISDR secretariat will welcome any feedback, which will be incorporated in subsequent versions of the document.
-Sálvano Briceño Director, Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, United Nations
- Context and Principles
- Technical Guidance on Indicators And Benchmarks
- Indicators for the Hyogo Framework’s Main Elements
- First Steps Toward Developing and Using Indicators
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