In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, local communities are facing increasing pressures and critical disruptions in how they function. The imminence of this and other threats, such as climate change, make it urgent to build resilience by addressing the vulnerabilities that make communities and institutions susceptible to the damaging effects of any type of risk or threat. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is the set of systematic efforts aimed at the analysis and management of the causal factors of disasters, including reducing the degree of exposure to hazards, reducing the vulnerability of people and property, adequate soil and environmental management and better preparedness for adverse events. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction has reaffirmed the urgency of fully engaging authorities at the local level with DRR, as well as articulating responsibilities across public and private stakeholders, strengthening partnerships to build resilience and promote local development. The fact that many countries in the South face similar conditions of vulnerability provides a great opportunity to share knowledge, capacity and learn from each other. South-South and triangular cooperation can thus be a tool for peer-learning and mutual support in building resilient communities and societies.
Towards a Solution
The objective of the Training Programme on Promoting Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Local Developmentis to contribute to strengthening the capacities of local actors to integrate disaster risk reduction into local development processes. The training programme is aimed at technicians, managers and heads of public and private institutions involved in local development processes and disaster risk reduction as an integral part of local development processes. It proposes the study of theoretical concepts and the development of practical tools in prevention, preparedness, reconstruction, climate change and strategic planning for local development.
The specific objectives of the training programme are to:
- Share and develop theoretical knowledge and practical tools to incorporate disaster risk reduction as an integral part of local development processes.
- Carry out risk analyses that take into account all components: territory, hazards and vulnerabilities, and capacities.
- Develop disaster response preparedness plans that have as a main objective to safeguard human life, protect infrastructure and the environment with a medium and long-term vision.
- Understand the recovery and reconstruction processes as an opportunity to build back better in order to avoid or reduce the risk of future disasters
- Understand relationships and synergies between the disaster risk reduction approach and climate change adaptation.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) Partnerships and Field Support Department (PARDEV) and the ILO International Training Centre (ITC-ILO) work jointly to facilitate the participation of institutions from the Global South (with scholarships provided for participants) and enhancing the South-South and Triangular Cooperation mechanisms and procedures among these institutions. The purpose of this collaboration is to promote the potentialities of South-South and Triangular Cooperation between institutions on the design and implementing strategies of disaster risk reduction as a vehicle for decent work, economic growth and sustainable development. Thirty-six DRR practitioners participated in the training programme, including professionals from national and local governments, private sector, academia, trade unions, international organizations, NGOs, public institutions, and local governments' associations from Colombia, Mozambique, Angola, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, Guinea-Bissau, Uruguay, Ecuador, Argentina and Costa Rica.
The training programme on Promoting Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Local Development through SSTC was based on a peer-learning methodology, with continuous exchanges between students, through an applied and participatory approach, giving prominence to concrete experiences based on the vision of disaster risk reduction. Due to the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the course was first launched virtually, with online learning modules, a discussion forum and regular webinars to share experiences among participants.
The course included a module on South-South and Triangular Cooperation, focusing on existing and potential contributions of SSTC to disaster risk reduction, how participants can engage with SSTC and exchanging knowledge and good practices. Participants engaged in exchanges through the ILO’s SSTC platform South-South Meeting Point, in the platform’s thematic subspace for disaster risk reduction and fragile-to-fragile cooperation, and the course included a SSTC webinar. Finally, during the course all the participants were requested to present good practices of South-South and Triangular Cooperation for decent work and disaster risk reduction, highlighting successful practices that are already in place in their institutions and countries and/or potential for future SSTC exchanges. The good practices shared by participants were collected for publication (forthcoming).