UNDP-IIHS Joint Programme

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Building Resilience through Integrated Development Practice

18-23 November 2013 | 9 – 14 December 2013

In recent times, climate change and disaster risk have become formidable challenges facing India. If the floods in Mumbai, the quake in Bhuj, the Uttarakhand cloudburst and other natural disasters in recent memory have lessons to offer, it is that ‘Business-As-Usual’ is no longer tenable. The likelihood of increased weather extremes in future suggests that the number or scale of weather-related disasters will also increase. They damage built infrastructure and natural assets, disrupt critical public services and economic activity, exposing livelihoods and human health to a range of discontinuous and longer-term impacts. Disasters undermine very quickly, developmental gains made on several fronts over extended periods of time, including poverty reduction, and improved education and health.

When disasters occur, their impact is deeper on communities and households with low human development, impacting their ability or rate of recovery, or exacerbating their susceptibility to risk. Current planning approaches to development, climate change and disaster management often overlook the magnitude of damage certain populations face because of their continuing vulnerability. Development plans often focus on large, infrastructure-led projects, and tend to exclude vulnerable groups from decision-making processes. Climate change concerns are a recent addition to the planning portfolio of state governments in India, and are yet to be mainstreamed.  The emphasis of disaster risk reduction has been on large, relatively low frequency catastrophic events. Furthermore, small, everyday risks are often as significant as larger, more intense events, since they play a key role in the persistence of vulnerability.

A human development approach enables resilience against disaster risk. Equitable, participatory and sustainable responses to climate change and disaster risk are required. Since the scale and nature of such risks is seldom predictable and often unforeseen, it is important to focus on building resilience to risk among communities, assets and businesses. The building of resilience should have at its heart a concern for human development and a holistic understanding of what it would take to reduce vulnerability. It is therefore imperative that disaster risk reduction (DRR) plans incorporate the need to reduce people’s vulnerability to climate hazards through appropriate development measures and early warning systems. Similarly, climate change adaptation (CCA) should include exposure and vulnerability reduction approaches, alongside development that strengthens the capacity of communities and households to recover from economic and health shocks.

This course aims to equip urban practitioners to build resilience through the integration of CCA and DRR practice with a human development focus. The objective is to design and implement CCA, DRR and development plans, policies and programmes across different sectors and scales such that they reduce the vulnerability of people, assets (natural and built) and businesses to climate and disaster risks.

Learner Comments

Learner comments from the first iteration of the course, held from 18-23 November 2013.

“On the whole, a very good programme. I appreciate the sincerity of the faculty members and organizers in how they delivered the course”D. Esther, CMDA

“The sessions were very enriching and rooted in practical situations”Meenakshi Kumari, BMRDA

“Painstakingly put together and effectively delivered.”Sugato Dutt, State Planning Commission, Tamil Nadu

Learner comments from the Second iteration of the course, held from 9-14 December 2013.

“Enriching course. The interactions were lively and stimulating. It provided an interdisciplinary platform to analyze the issues of resilience.”

“The studio exercise was very relevant and helped understand difficult concepts in an applied manner.”

“The course enhanced our way of thinking, particularly with regard to resilience in our field. “ 

Session Details

Day 1

SESSION 1: Context-Setting
FACULTY: Aromar Revi

Through an informal discussion with the participants on their perspectives of various examples of disasters and climate  risks, the session aims to frame the need for an integrated framework with a human development focus.

SESSION 2: An Introduction to Human Development
FACULTY: Seeta Prabhu

This session introduces the approach and key principles of human development. It will take the participants through a brief  history of the approach and how it has evolved over the years, and also the current debates within the discourse. The session  aims to establish how human development is central to the effort of reducing risk and vulnerability.

Day 2

SESSION 3: Context-Setting
FACULTY: Sumetee Pahwa Gajjar, Rohit Jigyasu

The session introduces the key tenets, paradigms and vocabularies of climate change and disaster risk reduction. The session explores a range of topics such as the impacts of climate change in India, climate change and urbanization, and the changing notion of disasters. International discourses on climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as disaster preparedness and how they are converging towards an integrated framework will be discussed.

SESSION 4: Studio Exercise: Facilitated Case Study of Shimla City
FACULTY:Garima Jain, Charis Idicheria, Seeta Prabhu

The integrated framework for resilience building will be introduced, following which there will be a studio exercise based on the same.

Day 3

SESSION 5: Introduction to Tools and Techniques
FACULTY: Rohit Jigyasu, Teja Malladi, Seeta Prabhu

Following the presentation of the results of the previous day’s exercise, the participants will be familiarized with the tools and techniques required to assess risk, capacity and vulnerability of communities and assets. Assessment tools originate predominantly from DRR. Their linkages with CCA and human development will be explored.

SESSION 6: Site-Visit
FACULTY:Garima Jain

The participants will visit a relevant site in Bangalore and will be required to apply their learning of concepts, tools and the integrated framework. Their experience and reflections will be discussed and evaluated, and the challenges for integrated planning will be highlighted.

Day 4

SESSION 7a: Institutional and Policy Frameworks for Climate Change
FACULTY: Sumetee Pahwa Gajjar

SESSION 7b: Institutional and Policy Frameworks for Disaster Management
FACULTY: Rohit Jigyasu

SESSION 7c: Institutional and Policy Frameworks for Development Planning
FACULTY: Gautam Bhan

These sessions will draw upon international initiatives, frameworks and indicators which establish the high level conceptions and paradigms in climate change, disaster risk and human development covered in Sessions 2 and 3. The participants will be familiarized with the landmark policies and plans for development, CC and DM in India. They will be encouraged to reflect upon gaps in integration and implementation.

SESSION 8: Presentation of Selected SAPCC and Disaster Management Plans

FACULTY:Sumetee Pahwa GajjarGarima Jain

The participants will be asked to critique their state’s CC or disaster management plan from the perspective of what they have learned thus far. The presentations will be followed by discussions on how such plans can be improved with a human development focus.

Day 5

SESSION 9: Mechanisms for Financial Budgeting
FACULTY: Amir Bazaz

Since a key component of any plan is its sustainable budgeting, the participants will be introduced to the mechanisms for financing an integrated climate change or disaster management plan. The participants will have to apply their grasp of this to the funded resilience plan they develop on Day 5.

SESSION 10: International and Local Case Studies
FACULTY:Rohit Jigyasu, Neha SamiSumetee Pahwa Gajjar

The focus of this session is to broaden the participants’ understanding of CCA and DRR through an exploration of how such processes have been undertaken in other countries and also within India in ACCCRN project sites such as Surat, Gorakhpur and Indore.

SESSION 11: Studio Exercise on Developing a Funded Resilience Plan
The participants will work together in groups to frame a funded resilience plan at city, district or state level, bearing in mind the human development focus and their experience from the site visit and case studies.

Day 6

SESSION 12: Presentation of Group Work

The results of the exercise will be presented to the class, followed by feedback and discussion on how the learning from this course can be applied to participant’s own working context.


United Nations Development Programme

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been partnering with people since 1966 at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of live for everyone. UNDP works in four main areas: poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); democratic governance; crisis prevention and recovery; environment and sustainable development. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, UNDP offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

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