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Development Account Projects

Strengthening capacities of African policy-makers to mainstream natural disaster risk reduction into national and regional development policies and strategies in Africa


Most countries in Africa are affected by natural disasters, which are increasing in number, frequency and severity. Indeed Africa has experienced the fastest rate of increase in the incidence of natural disasters over the last three decades, with a threefold increase in such disasters occurring in the last decade alone. Most of these disasters are as result of climatological and hydrological hazards such as drought and floods. Climate change effects to which Africa is most vulnerable is projected to worsen the incidence of natural disasters associated with these hazards. Other hazards include landslides, forest fires, sand or dust storms, strong winds and extreme temperatures.

Steps have also been taken at subregional level by the RECs to create an enabling environment to address risks posed by natural disasters. For instance the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has developed a subregional strategy for disaster reduction. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has revised its sub-regional strategy, factoring in DRR. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in early 2007 approved a sub-regional Common Policy and mechanisms for DRR. In addition, ECOWAS has developed a plan of action for the implementation of its Policy on DDR. Key among the objectives and strategies of this plan is to promote integration of DRR into ECOWAS member States national development policies, plans and programmes.

This project is therefore timely and will contribute to the effective implementation and attainment of the goals of the above mentioned regional and sub-regional DRR strategies, plans and initiatives.

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), working closely with regional and sub-regional partners and the UN Inter-Agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), has been promoting DRR within the broader goals of sustainable development, with emphasis on the region's vulnerabilities to specific natural hazards such as droughts and floods. This project will build on this work, as well as those that have been undertaken by ECA to build analytical capacity to promote the attainment of food security and sustainable development in the region. Additionally, the project will complement activities of the ECA based-African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), which aims at among other things, to support African countries to enable them adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. Furthermore, the project will support ECA's on-going activities on support to member States to develop and implement PRSPs, and other strategies and plans geared towards meeting the MDGs in the region.

Through this project, in-depth reviews and analyses will be carried out on the on-going priority regional and subregional strategies and programmes, United Nations Common Country Assistance and Development Assistance Framework (CCA-UNDAF), and national development plans, including Poverty Reduction Strategies of selected RECs and member States. DRR related programmes and initiatives of other development partners at these levels will also be reviewed. In addition consultations will be held with relevant policy makers and DRR practitioners. These will facilitate identification of best practices and key parameters for data collection, analytical methods and indicators, and information dissemination methods necessary to improve and scale up disaster risk and vulnerability analysis and mainstreaming into regional, subregional and national development policies, strategies and plans, including poverty reduction strategies and CCA-UNDAFs. Relevant information package and guidelines targeted at policy and decision makers to effectively mainstream DRR into development strategies, plans and programmes will be developed and disseminated. Capacity building workshops to disseminate the guidelines and show case their use in practice will be undertaken.

The project will build on the above-mentioned review and will contribute to cooperation and information sharing among regional and sub-regional partners and national coordination bodies on DRR issues. Special attention will be given to strengthening cooperation with the AUC and RECs which are at different levels in developing their capacity for DRR. Overall, the project will make an important contribution to the implementation of the Programme of Action (POA) for the Implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (2006-2015).


The objective of the project is to strengthen the capacities of relevant regional, sub-regional and national entities to mainstream disaster risk reduction (DRR) into regional, sub-regional and national development strategies to contribute to meeting the MDGs and the attainment of sustainable development goals in Africa.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Data collection and analytical capacities of the DRR coordinating bodies of the selected RECs and member States to effectively link DRR to poverty reduction and sustainable development policies, strategies, plans and programmes enhanced
  • Increased capacity of targeted African policy makers to mainstream DRR into regional, sub-regional and national development strategies in line with the AU-led DRR policy frameworks.
  • Increased awareness and strengthened collaboration among the AUC, NPCA, RECs, ECA, UNISDR and other UN agencies in integrating DRR into regional, sub-regional and national development policies, strategies and programmes in Africa.

Implementation status: