What Does it Take to Mainstream Disaster Risk Management in Key Sectors?

Amy Kirbyshire, Aditya Bahadur, Dina Khan, Mihir Bhatt
Created: 6/05/2014 -


This new CDKN Guide draws on the experience of CDKN’s programmes on climate-related disaster risk management (DRM) within the context of climate compatible development. It explores why mainstreaming DRM into development policy has had widely varying results between countries. In doing so, it attempts to delve beneath the surface of mainstreaming and identify the ways forward for integrating short- and long-term considerations for disaster risk reduction in important development sectors.

Climate-related disasters are becoming more frequent and negatively impacting development progress across the world.  People are already experiencing the impacts of climate change through slow onset changes, for example sea level rise and greater variability in the seasonality of rainfall, and through extreme weather events, particularly extremes of heat, rainfall and coastal storm surges. As the latest reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change tell us, greenhouse gases that have already been emitted mean that the world will experience several decades of climate change, regardless of current efforts to reduce emissions.

Actions towards development must be compatible with a changing climate. This requires each country to have a plan to avoid the losses and damages associated with extreme weather and to make disaster resilience central to economic and social policies. Mainstreaming disaster risk management within the policies and programmes of different sectors ensures that the effects of disasters are minimised. At the same time, it enables governments to ensure that these policies and programmes do not put people at risk.

The report demonstrates that effective mainstreaming requires a supportive policy environment, leadership, knowledge of the relevant risks, risk management techniques that are appropriate to each context, consistent financing and innovation. It draws on empirical examples and relevant literature to suggest how to achieve these elements and presents a clear way forward for governments seeking to mainstream disaster risk across different sectors.

Published On


Adaptation Phase
Sector Addressed
Disaster Risk Management
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Storms or extreme weather events
Sociopolitical Setting