Community-based disaster risk management in Pakistan


Please provide an overview of the literature on Community-Based Disaster Risk Management in Pakistan. Identify successes and failures (including with regard to inclusion), and key factors of success and failure. Where possible, consider variation among provinces, engagement with local and district government, and the types and methodologies of interventions supported, including links with environmental management.


Disaster risk management (DRM), including disaster risk reduction (DRR), has received increased attention – particularly community-based DRM (CBDRM). Despite limited implementation and very limited evidence, some findings emerge:

  • Factors of success have included:
    – Work that is multi-sectoral, integrated and multi-hazard.
    – Good programming, with high-quality analysis, implementation and knowledge management.
    – Meaningful engagement with communities, over longer times and culturally attuned.
    – Ownership and leadership on part of communities and key actors.
    – Cooperation and trust among DRM institutions.
    – Strong DRM capacities, and effective capacity-building.
    – Creating social inclusion and space for equality within local settings, especially regarding gender.
    – Context, depending on locations and past experiences with disasters.
  • Factors of failure have included:
    – Little room for DRR in development, and the lack of sustained, integrated and systematic approaches to CBDRM.
    – Top-down, technocratic, reactive practices, and a focus on immediate issues.
    – A lack of capacities, resources or will among DRM actors.
    – Political economy dynamics (including in local government), along with institutional confusion and rivalries.
    – A lack of community ownership and the failure to truly engage with communities.
    – Inequalities and exclusions adversely affect groups such as women and girls or minorities.
    – Poor quality in some programmes.
    – The hurdles of urban settings, such as lack of space and complex multi-sector endeavours.
  • Learning from and enabling communities’ informal DRM and broader changes:
    – There is untapped potential in enabling communities’ informal DRM, working with their local knowledge and practices related to hazards, risks, vulnerabilities and risk management.
    – Broad social changes, such as improved telecommunications and roads, have had positive effects.