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Assessing the Work of Regional Organizations in Disaster Risk Management Chapter 2 of The Year of Recurring Disasters: A Review of Natural Disasters in 2012

Elizabeth Ferris, Daniel Petz, and Chareen Stark

This chapter looks at one group of important but little-studied actors in disaster risk management (DRM): regional organizations. Although regional mechanisms are playing increasingly important roles in disasters, there has been remarkably little research on their role in disaster risk management. In fact, there are few published studies about the relative strengths and weaknesses of regional bodies, much less comparisons of their range of activities or effectiveness in DRM. A recent study carried out by the

Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement sought to address this gap by providing some basic information about the work of more than 30 regional organizations involved in disaster risk management and by drawing some comparisons and generalizations about the work of thirteen of these organizations through the use of 17 indicators of effectiveness. This chapter provides a summary of some of that research.

It is difficult to compare the work of regional organizations in DRM given the great variety of regional organizations in terms of history, purpose, size, capacity and other characteristics.

In order to facilitate comparisons between diverse organizations, a set of seventeen indicators was developed to serve as a baseline for comparison.

These indicators are:

Does the regional organization have:

1. Regular intergovernmental meetings on DRM

2. A regional DRR framework/convention



Chareen Stark

Senior Research Assistant, Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement

3. A regional DM framework/convention

4. A specific organization for DRM

5. A regional/sub-regional disaster management center

6. A regional disaster relief fund

7. A regional disaster insurance scheme

8. A way of providing regional funding for DRR projects

9. A means to provide humanitarian assistance

10. A regional rapid response mechanism

11. Regional technical cooperation (warning systems)

12. Joint disaster management exercises/simulations

13. Regional capacity building for NDMA staff/technical training on DRM issues

14. Research on DRM issues

15. Regional military protocols for disaster assistance

16. A regional web portal on DRM

17. A regional IDRL treaty/guidelines

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