Community Disaster Resilience Fund (CDRF)

INTRODUCTION
The idea of creating a mechanism to channel funds directly to at risk communities for innovative solutions on DRR was crafted at the First Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction held in 2007 at a workshop on implementing the HFA. The promoters -GROOTS International, Huairou Commission and ProVention Consortium decided to pilot the idea of a Community Resilience Fund. In India, the Community Disaster Resilience Fund (CDRF) initiative was formally endorsed by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) at the Second Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR at New Delhi in November 2007. The recently held Global Platform 2009, noted
the increasing gap between local and national/global initiatives. Policies and programs seem to fade out at the community/local level. Among the recommendations were that mechanisms /processes need to be established so that policy mainstream is informed by insights and initiatives at the grassroots, where communities at-risk are located and live on a day-to-day basis. The aim of the CDRF pilot is to demonstrate that vulnerable communities can self identify risks, plan and manage earmarked funds to enhance community resilience by forging effective community and local government partnerships. The CDRF is currently being coordinated by National Alliance for Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (NAADRR), a network of over 170 NGOs.

The NAADRR has set up a Project Advisory Committee that is chaired by the NDMA of India and includes other institutional partners. The Committee is viewed as a mechanism for feeding lessons and recommendations emerging from local CDRF experiences into state and national level programs with support of the NDMA. The fund is managed by the local CDRF committees, which transfer funds, plan and oversee DRR initiation across 10 -15 communities. Facilitating organizations provide training and advocate for resources with district level administration and PRI.

CDRF supports communities to:

  • Experiment with solutions to address locally identified risks and vulnerabilities.
  • Create local stakeholder platforms that bring grassroots women’s priorities and practices to the national disaster reduction agenda, as well as development programs.
  • Leverage resources for community based organizations from development, DRR and poverty reduction programs.

RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Recognize community and women’s groups as key actors in DRR, rather than as beneficiaries, by investing in and leveraging their experience in disaster preparedness and resilience building.
2. Align DRR programs with poverty reduction and development. Addressing access to basic services (drinking water, health, sanitation) and sustainable livelihoods is critical to vulnerability reduction in poor communities.
3. Provide resources in the hands of community and women’s groups for disaster preparedness and resilience strategies. Community funds, micro credit and social insurance are strategies that create safety net leading to reduction of vulnerability.
4. Recognize and support community and women’s groups as stakeholders and support local partnership and platform for engagement for DRR and development.

These platforms and learning network allow community experience and lessons to inform development plans in a way that addresses local risks and vulnerabilities.

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