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Building Resilience: A Guide to Facilitating Community-Managed Disaster Risk Reduction in the Horn of Africa


This manual describes how to help communities implement disaster risk reduction activities. It was written for development workers and community-based organizations in the Horn of Africa, but practitioners can use it to implement activities around the world.

Download the PDF (7.9 MB)

You might also be interested in The Road to Resilience, six case studies from the Horn of Africa.



In recent years, the direction of global development has shifted from poverty reduction to disaster risk reduction. By viewing sustainable development through a lens of disaster risk reduction, communities worldwide can adopt a more proactive approach that supports long-term development planning as well as emergency interventions when needed.

This shift in focus is particularly relevant in the greater Horn of Africa. In this region, climate change and a growing number of natural and man-made disasters have led to an extensive loss of lives, livelihoods and property. Compounding problems, a majority of communities in the Horn of Africa lack sufficient coping mechanisms, making them highly vulnerable to hazards.

Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is a development approach that moves communities from reactive response to proactive action by helping residents to undertake preventive measures to better weather disasters. To support the adoption of DRR at the community level, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) trained field practioners from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda to be facilitators of Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CM-DRR). This field work served as the basis for developing this guide.

This manual instructs development workers on how to implement CM-DRR activities in their communities. The guide equips you to be a CM-DRR field practitioner by providing you with the basic facilitation skills needed to help communities reduce disaster risk through a participatory and people-centered process.

As part of the facilitation process, you will work with community members to apply the four CM-DRR minimum requirements:

  • Complete a disaster risk analysis
  • Implement disaster risk reduction measures
  • Set up a functional community organization
  • Institutionalize a Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (PME&L) process

This manual is customized for use in the Horn of Africa, but development practitioners can use it to implement CM-DRR activities globally. By undertaking disaster risk reduction activities, communities can significantly reduce their vulnerability to disasters and better achieve sustainable development.



Acknowledgements iv
Abbreviations vi
Module 1: Basics of Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CM-DRR) 3
1.1 Hyogo Framework 4
1.2 Disaster Risk Reduction 4
1.3 CM-DRR Principles 6
1.4 "Four Minimums" of CM-DRR 7
1.5 Impact of Climate Change
Module 2: Facilitating CM-DRR at the Community Level 9
2.1 Selecting Target Communities 9
2.2 Community Entry and Immersion 10
2.3 Selecting CM-DRR Community Representatives 12
2.4 Building Rapport
Module 3: Participatory Disaster Risk Assessment and Analysis (PDRA&A) 16
3.1 Encouraging Community Participation 16
3.2 Hazard Assessment 18
3.3 Vulnerability Assessment 24
3.4 Capacity Assessment 28
3.5 Disaster Risk Analysis
Module 4: Disaster Risk Reduction Measures 35
4.1 Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy 35
4.2 Disaster Risk Reduction Planning Process
Module 5: Strengthening Community Organization
Module 6: Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (PME&L) 44
6.1 Conventional M&E vs. Participatory M&E 44
6.2 PME&L Methodology
References 49

Publication details

Authors: R. Delve, G. Guyo, H. Hulufo, S. Lembara
Publisher: Catholic Relief Services (May 2013)
Manual: 55 pages
Language: English
Dimensions: 6.93 x 9.84 inches

Posted on May 13, 2013

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