1.1.1. Sustainable Development
The International Institute for Sustainable Development refers to the 'Brundtland Report' whom define the term sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This means that a unit (household / group / community) is relieved of poverty to the point where it can cope with stresses and shocks while maintaining or even enhancing its capabilities and assets both in present and in future without negative impact or undermining the natural resource base. Definitions of sustainable development requires that the world is seen as a system that interlinks space and time. Therefore damage that is caused in one place will affect sustainable livelihood someplace else on the globe because space is shared. The time factor is relevant because decisions our grandparents made affect us today and decisions our generation make today will affect the future generations. The priority of sustainable development is to find an effective way to eliminate poverty and improving the quality of human life within the carrying capacity of supporting eco systems. Sustainable development can be described as a balance that is found between economic vitality, ecological integrity and social equity. Thus it means the interconnection between social, economic and environmental goals is recognized as well as making the best use thereof to alleviate poverty and to reduce significant hazard risks.
SBS Study Guide - Disaster Risk Reduction II. 2013: 90 - 92.
1.1.2. Early Warning Systems
Early Warning Systems (EWS) can be seen as effective or accurate information given timely in order to give those at risk of disaster the opportunity to take action to reduce the risk and prepare for effective response or even to avoid the risk altogether. The objective is to empower those threatened by hazards to move timeously to appropriate action to reduce the possibility of personal injury, loss of life and damage to property or environment. Three elements make a EWS:
- Forecasting and prediction of events
- Processing of information and dissemination of warnings to authorities and population
- Initiate appropriate action to warnings
EWS are further often generalized in time span warnings. It is important to note that the time in relation to the warning is subjective and can be interpreted different by different parties.
- Long-term warnings: warnings that is issued months ' a year in advance. Considered to be predictions of a hazard but not accurate with regard to the exact time and place of the hazard.
- Intermediate-term warnings: Can be issued weeks ' a few months in advance. Mainly indicate that an hazardous event is likely to occur in the near future and is generally more specific with details that provide those at risk with clearer information and some time to work on their safety.
- Short-term Warnings: issued from minutes ' hours ' days in advance. This gives a much shorter lead-time and communities need to be much better prepared to ensure safety.
SBS Study Guide - Disaster Risk Reduction II. 2013: 132 - 133.
1.2. Principals of sustainability
- Strive to maintain and enhance quality of live
- Enhance economic vitality
- Ensure social and intergenerational equity
- Maintain and enhance environmental quality
- Incorporate disaster resilience as well as mitigation into actions and decisions; while
- Using a consensus-building, participatory process when making decisions.
SBS Study Guide - Disaster Risk Reduction II. 2013: 91.
1.3. Challenges of Sustainable Development in South Africa
There are many challenges of sustainable development in S.A. and amongst them is:
- Race based inequality
- Persistently increasing poverty
- Community health based challenges such as HIV / AIDS
- Increasing environmental degradation
- Disasters and Hazards such as fires, flood, drought, erosion, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity.
SBS Study Guide - Disaster Risk Reduction II. 2013: 93.
Participatory Research as a tool to analyse Sustainable Livelihoods
Brynard and Hanekom defined the term 'research' as a procedure where an entity (or person / s) endeavour to get answers to questions as well as to solve identified problems in a systematic manner with the support of verifiable facts. When researching Sustainable Livelihoods (SL) it is important to not over-invest time and other resources at gathering information at the expense of the actual analysis and actions. On the other side, misguided activity occur when outsiders assume to know the objective of the particular group of people or what their primary livelihood strategies are. For example, participatory poverty analysis have shown that people's concerns stretch well beyond income.
Participatory research is distinguished by two main characteristics namely, the relationship between the people involved in the research and the fact that research is used as a tool for action and building knowledge. Further participatory research encourage active participation of the people that is researched and whom the project is going to assist. In this way it empowers the people to be involved in all aspects of the project including planning and implementation of the research as well as the solutions that emerge. The techniques focus on specific problems experienced by the community and then the research is used to bring about social change in order to improve the participating communities' quality of life. This can only be achieved through democratic collaboration of social researcher, community members and various other parties. Participants, as equal partners can investigate the problem and underlying causes or factors involved and take collective action to make long-term solutions. Participatory social research value opinions and thoughts of all people, therefore focus groups, depth interviews and participant observation tend to be more popular than structured interviews, questionnaires or simple observation. Participatory research cannot be limited to one correct way. The tools used for participatory assessment are also used in risk, vulnerability, capacity and livelihoods analysis. These tools include time line, community mapping, seasonal diagrams, activity clocks, children's drawings, transect walks, time trend, and the needs matrix.
However, Bless and Higson-Smith is of the opinion that a type of participatory research called 'action research' is growing in popularity which suggest the complementary relationship between action and research. Bless and Higson-Smith further explains that action research is always participatory and demands that the social scientists and the community are equal partners in the planning and implementation of the project and that each brings valuable resources. Robson states that research is critical to the community development process but research raises the issue of power vs. responsibility. If research is going to be relevant to the community development processes, local people must be in control and should be done by community development practitioners in partnership with the community. Action research will allow space to get an understanding of how the community perceives their reality as well as understanding the needs of the community. IT will put the researcher in the position to do things with the community instead of doing things for the community, thereby empowering the community to take responsibility for their own development.
The Research Methodology.
Primary and secondary data: When the researched gather their own data it is termed 'primary data' and when the researcher use data collected by other researchers it is called 'secondary data'. The data itself is based on facts that can be placed into two categories: quantitative data that produces values and particular quantities as the result and the second type is qualitative data which descriptive with regards to the quality of the data object.
Quantitative data: is when things can be counted or measured and is associated with analytical research. The researcher assigns numbers to the observations and by counting or measuring the objects, the data is produced. Methods such as experiments and surveys to be able to describe or explain phenomena. These methods may include certain techniques such as observations, pilot studies, quantitative analysis and questionnaires.
Qualitative data: Rather explains the quality of things or situations instead of the quantity thereof. Qualitative research produces descriptive data such as peoples own words and generally there is no numbers or measurements are linked to observations. The condition for qualitative research is the commitment to see the point of view of the participant objectively and this is then why close involvement is recommended. There is always the possibility of discovering novel or unanticipated findings and then research plans must be altered in response. The main focus is real-life experiences of people. Methods include case studies, in-depth interviewing of key informants, observation of participants, questionnaires and scrutiny of personal documents.
De Satge et al defined appreciative inquiry as the focus on building existing strengths and assets and not focusing on weaknesses and shortcomings. Terms and concepts must be communicated across barriers such as language which requires adaptation and that meanings are localized. The appreciative enquiry assumes:
- That something is working in every community, organization or group
- The focus becomes reality and if the focus is based solely on the negative it can ensnare us. Instead rather focus on strengths and things that the group takes pride in and that can become the foundation to build from.
- The past doesn't automatically dictate the future and reality is created in the moment and at any given time there are multiple realities or paths to follow.
- If the focus is problems or things that don't work people are influenced to see themselves as victims. The act of asking questions can lead or influence the group in some way.
- People tend to have more confidence to plan for the unknown when they learn or carry forward the best parts of the past.
- Value differences because diversity can then create strength rather than division.
Methods of Participatory Research
Data gathering at community level is very important and can be used for risk and vulnerability assessment, capacity assessment and livelihoods analysis.
Sustainable livelihoods cover a wide agenda and issues may be uncovered that cannot be addressed for whatever reason and in this may unduly raise expectations. Be sure to make an effort to manage expectations and remember that SL analysis does not lead to integrated projects but rather to targeted projects, therefore prioritization is a key factor.
Secondary data review: This type of data review consist of visiting libraries, government offices, universities or research centres, maps and newspaper extractions. The purpose of this is to get an overview of the context and situation, also to save time and learn from other experiences. It can be done by a team or individual researchers and community members can validate information. To review secondary data it must be collected first and this can be done
- Background on the community in the form of census, reports or research findings.
- Potential threats to the community
- Scientific information about the potential hazards or threats
- Case studies of hazards / threats in other communities
- Relevant legislation and government policies regarding human-made hazards.
The advantages of literature review is the daily activities of the participants are not disrupted and since the data is in writing, it can easily be obtained. The disadvantage is that data remains only second-hand and the review of numerous sources is very time-consuming.
Direct Observation: Is systematically observing objects, people, events, relationships, participation and then recording these observations. The goals are to get a better picture of the disaster situation, particularly when things are difficult to verbalize and to cross-check verbal information. Observations can be analysed afterwards.
The person doing the observation have to start with analysing the purpose for which the organization engages with this specific community and will from there identify indicators that can be assessed through direct observation.
The advantages of observation is that real-life behaviour can be perceived, studied and verified. Misunderstandings can also be cleared immediately. The disadvantage is that the target group may become uncomfortable because an outsider is interrupting their work or way of life, and in that case the results will not be a true picture of their real-life behaviour.
Semi-structured Interviews: are informal and conversational discussions that uses at most a checklist of possible questions as a guide instead of a formal questionnaire. The types of semi-structured interviews with their specific purpose are:
- Group interview: get community level information, access to a large body of information, not useful for sensitive issues
- Focus group discussion: discuss specific topics in detail with a smaller group of people who are particularly knowledgeable or interested in the topic. This is helpful as a capacity assessment tool with regard to knowledge and capacity in skills and attitude. Grouping can be according to gender, age, resource owners, etc.
- Individual interview: to get personal or representative information. This may reveal the conflict or differences within the community.
- Key-informant interview: to gain special knowledge about a particular topic, this is usually a specialist or well experienced person in a particular field.
Semi-structured interviews can be conducted by a team of 2 ' 4 people that follows the below listed steps.
1. Prepare the key issues in advance, for example a checklist of questions
2. Select a person to lead the interview
3. Ask open ended questions
4. Ask for concrete information and examples
5. Involve different people
6. Pay attention to group dynamics
7. Use answers given to ask new lines of questions
8. Make notes discreetly.
Historical Profile: is the result of information gathering about past experiences. As a capacity assessment tool, a historical profile and time lines should give information on what people did previously to survive and cope with adverse events and how their coping mechanisms changed since. The historical profiling is done to:
- Get insight in the hazards from the past, how they changed in nature, intensity and behaviour
- Make a causal link between hazards and vulnerabilities by understanding the present situation in the community
- Make people aware of changes
The best time to do this is during the initial phases of engaging with a community, the following guideline can be followed.
- Plan a group discussion with key-informants present (older people, leaders, teachers, etc.). Invite as many other people as possible to hear the history of the community.
- Ask if people can recall major events in the community such as:
' Major hazards and their effects
' Changes in how the land is used (crops / forest / degradation)
' Changes in land tenure
' Changes in food security and nutrition
' Changes and administration and organisation
' Major political events
- The facilitator can write the stories on a blackboard or craft paper in chronological order
- Life histories is when individual informants give a detailed account of their life regarding a specific issue from a historic perspective
- History taking can be started with current experiences and then going back in time. The idea is to find reasons or causes that contributed to the occurrence of a certain experience.
Time line and Time trend: can be used to notate a history of key events that shaped the life of the community. When making a time line and showing events as they occurred over time to the present, it can be used to identify and analyse trends over time. By understanding the dominant trends it can contribute vital information to the assessment on particularly how does the environment influences vulnerability. The time line can be made as an open-ended way of recording and organising information in time. Time lines can also be used to track the impacts of different policy or programme initiatives.
Mapping: Participatory mapping is simply getting community members to draw an area that shows key features and landmarks as perceived by the participants. This makes a spatial overview of the area's main features. The value of the map lies in the fact that it facilitates communication and stimulate discussions on important issues in the community. It is best to apply this activity in an early phase when a community is first engaged during a community risk assessment. It is useful to create maps for both the area and the community levels in order to compare and illustrate how the area map show patterns of risks and capacities (which is useful in the planning policy or large-scale initiatives) and the community map gives more specific and detailed information needed to target those elements most at risk. The next step could be to then do risk and capacity mapping at household level. Information on a household's access to water, land and livestock can be combined with information on fuel source, health status, income and dependent members to get a clear picture on the vulnerability of that household. The mapping should be done by the community members, use the following steps:
1. Decide which kind of map should be drawn and which features must be shown ' physical or geographical features, households with special needs or community resources.
2. Find community members that know the area and who are willing to share their experiences.
3. Inform the community members that you would like to learn about the community and in particular about the aspects that you have chosen.
4. Let the community identify a suitable place and medium for the mapping activity.
5. Explain to those present what the purpose of the activity is
6. Assist them to get started but let them draw the map by themselves. Von Kotze & Holloway suggest that the facilitator must not interfere but rather relax, be patient and observe what happens.
7. Ensure the map is copied as a permanent record with the names of the main participants who facilitated and managed the process.
Asses mapping and social mapping are closely connected and in some cases the data will overlap.
o Resource and Asset mapping: involves making a map showing local resources and capacities as well as gender differences with regard to access to and control over the resources. The goal is to identify the local capacities available and the resources that people rely on in times of disasters; to identify which resources are easily affected by disasters and to identify the resources that is accessible and owned by the individuals or the community. Community mapping should provide information on safe areas and evacuation routes and sites and water sources that never dry up. This map can be compiled by a team and use a focus group of selected households from all the different income groups. Compiling this map involves the following activities:
- Let people draw a map of their household and resources / capacities on which they depend for survival (material/physical, social/organizational, motivational/attitudinal capacities).
- Ask the household how they contribute (support) to other households, to the community and to the larger economic (social) environment
- Let them use arrows to indicate the use of resources to and from households
- Let them clarify who uses and controls these resources with regard to gender, class, ethnicity, religion or age.
- Questions should be asked to encourage the map making and answers must be put on the map.
Asset maps highlight key materials and resources that is used by the local people and can include
- Water resources ' springs, streams, rivers, dams, windmills, tanks and taps
- Land uses ' arable land, grazing areas, settlement areas, forest and woodland areas, eroded or degraded areas.
- Land covers ' detailing what is actually on the land, for example grassland types, planted pastures, types of crops, indigenous forest, exotic plantations, etc.
- Natural resources with economic and food value ' medicinal herbs, mushrooms, fruit trees, game, fish, marine resources, bees, clay, sand, building materials, thatching grass, waving grass, wood for carving, etc.
Maps can be made on different scales and can identify assets used by a group of households or they can identify the asset base of a community or district. Land uses and covers will vary according to seasons and therefore asset maps can be done and linked to seasonal calendars or historical timelines that highlight important trends and changing patterns of land use or cover.
o Institutional and social network mapping: reveals the formal and informal organisations that influence people's lives and it captures the perceptions of their importance and relationship to one another. It uses the concept of Venn Diagramming and works with different stakeholders or focus groups to identify different organisations and the ways in which they affect the focus group (and the community at large). The activity brings information to analyse of the structures and processes that might need transformation. It indicates how the local people view the role and effectiveness of the different institutional players, but further it also identify ways in which these players can change their policies (or practice) to be able to better support the people they serve. The aim is to identify organisations, their role or importance, perceptions that people have of them and to identify the individuals, groups and organisations that play a role in disaster response and that can support a community. To analyse, a diagram need to be made that shows key organisations, groups and individuals in a community, the relationship between them and their levels of importance.
The social mapping tool (diagram) can be made by a team working with the community in the following way:
- Use focus groups to make a list of organisations they consider to be important to the community. The facilitator must be familiar in advance with the names or the organisations in the community.
- Let the people determine the criteria for the importance of an organisation and to rank them according to these criteria (can be ranked into three or four categories)
- Make cards with different sized circle on them and let the focus group write the names of each chosen organisation in the circles. Larger circles for higher importance. (or draw the circles to represent each organisation or group ' size indicate importance)
- Ask the group to what extent these organisations are linked together. The group must organise the labelled circles on a sheet of paper to map the institutional relationships.
- Continue the focus group discussion on the history of organisations; the activities undertaken in the community; how well they do their function; how good is their coordination; which organisations, groups or individuals are important in a time of disasters.
Different groups often have different views on the importance of the different institutions, these perspectives can be explored in further discussions.
Transect walk: is an investigative tool where the research team and about six to ten key community informants walk the predetermined routes across the area under study. This group then explores spatial differences, land use zones by asking, observing, listening and then producing a transect diagram. The team must map the land and notes changing land use and availability of resources. Routes must traverse settlement areas, fields, rivers, woodlands and grazing. The purpose of the walk is:
- Visualise the interactions of physical environment and human activities over space and time
- Identify danger zones, evacuation sites, local resources that can be used during emergency periods, land use zones, etc.
- Seek problems and opportunities.
Transect walks are useful as part of the initial engagement with the community and during community risk assessment. A set of guiding questions (or focus areas) that are can be shaped in accordance to the purpose of the activity. The transect can be walked with different groups of resource users (e.g. gender, religious believes, cultures) to indicate conflicting resource priorities. The transect can be photographed for the purpose of record keeping but also to use later and enable others (that might not have walked with) to discuss what was encountered.
Seasonal Calendar: shows different events, experiences, activities and conditions throughout a year and the reason for such a calendar is to:
- Identify periods of stress, hazards, diseases, hunger, debt and vulnerability
- Identify activities that people engage in at certain times of the year, how they diversify sources of livelihood, when they have savings, when they have time for community activities as well as coping strategies
- Identify gender specific work division, in times of disaster and in normal daily life.
A seasonal calendar is a form of a time line that focus on how the livelihood activities and access to assets change during seasonal cycles. A gender specific calendar would provide insight into gender-roles and divisions of labour. The seasonal calendar contribute to a more detailed understanding of the vulnerability. People use a calendar and record the beginning and end of certain activities that make up their portfolio of livelihood activities such as crop-growing or annual livestock cycle. Therefore the calendar have useful information of activities that record resource flows into, between and out of households in other words they can highlight exchange or trade agreements.
The methodology for constructing a seasonal calendar includes the following:
- A large writing surface (black / white board) and mark the months of the year on the horizontal axis. People can then list sources of livelihood, events and conditions on the vertical axis.
- The people can then list the work they do against each of the sources of income (livelihood) by marking the months and duration, age and gender can also be added. E.g. availability of seasonal job opportunities.
- Facilitate analysis by linking the various aspects of the calendar: effects of disasters on sources of livelihood, when workload is heaviest, seasonal food intake, period of food shortage, out-migration or other related factors.
- Have a discussion on coping strategies, change in gender roles and responsibilities during times of disasters, or any other relevant issues
- Produce a paper copy of the exercise for permanent record.
Livelihood / Coping strategies: This analysis tool is a combination of individual household interviews and making diagrams to present different income or food sources. It helps to understand livelihood strategies, behaviour, decisions and perceptions of risk, capabilities and vulnerabilities of households from various socio-economic backgrounds. Small teams can implement this by conducting individual household interviews simultaneously in the following way:
- Review hazard map, seasonal calendar and resource map and then determine criteria to select households from different socio-economic groups, the selection should not be at random.
- Decide on how many households and which ones in particular you will interview.
- Conduct the interview within 1 hour and start by introducing yourself and stating the purpose of the interview.
- Get to know the household members, composition, age, gender, then ask questions about livelihood and coping strategies.
- Draw diagrams to facilitate discussion on livelihood sources
- Continue discussion on how the household copes in times of stress
o Problem-tree: is a flow diagram that shows the relationship between different aspects. This can be used to identify local major problems or vulnerabilities as well as the root causes and effects. This tool can be used by a team that is involved in facilitating a community members meeting during the latter part of a situational analysis or a community risk assessment. The problem-tree tool can be used in the following manner:
' Concerns and problems are identified from other tools and interviews
' Let every person write / draw one major problem on a card and pin these to a wall
' Ask a few volunteers to group these cards to similarity or interrelationship
' Now make a tree form: the truck is the problems; the roots are the causes of the problems; the leaves are the effects
' Ask 'WHY'? After every explanation in order to reach the root causes.
' To get to the effects of the problems, ask for the consequences of each problem.
o Participative problem solving and decision-making: Rational decision-making is limited by the availability of the information and by the decision-maker's ability to use the information and therefore they often settle for a satisfactory decision instead of the ideal decision. Participatory decision-making can be done in a group situation in the following manner: An open ended question is written down on a piece of paper and placed on the wall. Group members then write down their answers, which the facilitator shuffles and place on the wall around the question. Answers that is similar can be grouped together. The group can then interpret what is being meant by the answers. Since it is anonymous no one would have to defend their answer or opinion. Voting can be done by the group members sticking voting dots to the answers they deem most important. The facilitator can then summarise the clusters of answers to a final list which can then be seen as the group's opinion and decision to the posed question.
Children enjoy drawing and will spontaneously draw what is important to them. They are usually not far from where the adults gather and may be a good time to initiate drawing. Tell them you would like to learn more about their lives. Identify a suitable place with a smooth hard surface and provide them with large sheets of paper and pencils or crayons. Don't interfere with the process. Encourage both genders and all age groups to participate as this will give you a broader perspective.
Assessing the Capacity of Community Organisations: is a tool for organisational analysis and can be used to determine which kind of organisational support does a local community need in order to address their problems, risks and to gradually build-up their capacity. Non-governmental, community'based, faith-based and non-profit organisations can be included in this category. The organisation can be supported to do a SWOT-analysis to identify weakness and threats while using strengths and opportunities. A team that facilitates discussion with community members and leaders can use this tool and this involves conducting semi-structured interviews with certain guide questions:
- What is the history of the organisation? When was it formed? What is the purpose of the organisation
- How many members are there? Active? Passive?
- How are decisions made?
- Does the organisation have a community development plan?
- What did the organisation contribute to the community so far?
Participatory Assessment Methods
The information generated by conventional ways of assessment like surveys and questionnaire based interview, administered by aid agencies will reflect the bias of the surveyors instead of the perspective of affected community members. Participatory Rural Assessment (PRA) and other participative assessments methods are designed to overcome these constraints. It is a process in which the community members themselves gather and analyse the information used to make planning decisions. Methods of participatory assessment need a shift in attitudes and behaviour towards listening, standing back, being respectful towards the target group / individual and asking to be taught by the target and be open to learning. With an aim at action, data is generated and analysed in order to understand it and then can be used effectively as the basis for development planning and ultimately a program that would reduce the vulnerability of the community just by reducing the impact of specific hazards as well as building capacity for dealing with the hazard. This process acknowledge that even poor people can be creative and capable to be active partners in development. The lesson was learned from dissatisfaction with aid and development interventions that were based on the perception of outsiders instead of the vulnerable community themselves. Participation of the community also decrease the occurrence of creating dependence rather than developing existing capacities. Communities at risk of recurrent disasters are mainly those that is involved but they are not necessarily organised yet. The content of the assessment can be explained during the disaster risk reduction training in the community but the actual assessment is a separate activity. The community can be briefed on the nature, the content and the purpose of the assessment. The assessment may need to be conducted in a staggered way in order to accommodate the people's daily or seasonal livelihood activities. Initially the local service provider / facilitator can explain the assessment and its features but later the community leaders will take over the facilitating role. As many as possible community members should be involved in the assessment, in particular those most at risk. A participatory assessment can consist of three components that can be combined but can also stand on its own as a participatory assessment. They are: Hazard assessment, Vulnerability assessment and Capacity assessment.
Heijmans & Victoria suggest the below matrix as a guideline to conduct a hazards assessment through a group discussion with community members and to continue with a discussion on the intensity and extent. This allows the discussion to automatically progress to vulnerability assessment and then to capacity assessment.
CDRN Hazard, Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment Matrix
Hazard Assessment: the goal is to specify the nature and behaviour of the potential hazards and threats that people in the community might face. The features of the hazard must be considered in order to select effective preparedness measures. Some points to keep in mind while doing a hazard assessment is: Some hazards create secondary hazards and Hazard assessment is based on past hazards but don't forget to consider possible disaster threats that is new to the community. The Hazard assessment as in the above assessment matrix is:
- Hazard type: Community members can indicate the kinds of hazards that have or could affect their community.
- Warning Signs: Scientific and indigenous indicators that a hazard is likely to happen. This can be in the form of announcements through radio, hours of continuous rain, behaviour of animals, etc.
- Forewarning: The time between warning and impact. This depends on the hazard type.
- Speed of Onset: How fast it arrives and the impact of arrival. (Earthquake vs. storm system vs. drought).
- When: Particular time of the year that can be more hazard prone, e.g. wet or dry season.
- Duration: How long is the impact of the hazard felt?
Vulnerability Assessment: The results of vulnerability analysis and risks for a community is the basis of risk reduction and education programmes. Vulnerability analysis are done in two main elements which are then brought together: hazard assessment and mapping; analysis of effects and the causes of vulnerability. The goal for a vulnerability assessment is to identify the elements at risk and the reasons why this is so. In most cases the assessment matrix is a guideline to identify vulnerabilities through group discussions with community members and a hazard map can be used to visualize the elements at risk and the location of the most vulnerable people. In order to develop appropriate and effective preparedness and mitigation measures the following points of the assessment matrix should be considered:
- Extent: Can be used to show the extent of hazard affects in surface area (km / hectares). The community may find it difficult to express in exact measurements.
- Elements at risk and why: Elements that might be at risk include people, animals, crops, houses, tools, infrastructure, social networks, communication mechanisms, attitudes and anything else that is negatively affected by the hazard.
- People at risk: The particular groups of people that will be at risk are identified and how they will be affected.
- Location of people at risk: Where on the hazard map is the people living or working that is most at risk.
However if a more thorough vulnerability assessment is required, the Philippine Citizen's Disaster Response Network (CDRN) also developed a checklist of vulnerability indicators to assess, particularly with regard to food insecurity and malnutrition since disasters affect people's livelihood strategies. The checklist in itself is not complete but should be considered as an additional guideline to help analysing people's vulnerability. Vulnerability is a characteristic of people who inhabit a certain natural, social or economic space within which they are classified according to their position of more or of lesser sensitivity towards the risks that they might have to face. Differences in socio-economic factors result in different degrees of impact and different coping abilities. Secondary factors such as age or poorer communities may produce a higher impacts and a lesser coping ability. Vulnerability is further described as the characteristics that limit an individual, a household, a community, a city, a country or even an ecosystem's capacity to anticipate, resist, manage or recover from the impact of a threat, whether natural or otherwise.
Capacity Assessment: The purpose of doing a capacity assessment is to understand a group's previous experiences with hazards that caused them to develop certain coping strategies and to identify any available resources that the community uses to prepare for and to mitigate the impact of a disaster. The capacities and the resources that the community have becomes that foundation of their counter disaster plan that may include preparedness and mitigation measures that is often integrated within the development plan. Vulnerability is increased if capacities are ignored instead of supported.
o The process of Capacity Assessment ' works well in a focus group discussion but ensure that the terms are defined and clarified. In a workshop based session, the community members can brainstorm lists of the resources and capacities they can think of as individuals or community members. The capacities are grouped according to: physical / material; social / organisational and motivational / attitudinal. Once everyone agrees on the list, the group can discuss the following:
' Divide resources into personal owned and community owned
' List capacities that is specific to certain individuals or groups (leadership / skills / knowledge)
' Who controls access to the resources
' Why is access limited to certain people / groups & how can access be arranged in a time of disaster.
' Is there access to resources that is not used in an emergency scenario and how could they be utilized.
' What coping strategies do people have that would enable them to cope with crisis or effects of disaster. How do they manage resources?
' How can coping mechanisms be enhanced to reduce vulnerabilities.
o If a community-based organisation (CBO), its organisational capacity is an important part of the capacity assessment. The goal is to identify what kind of organisational support would be needed to build the CBO's management capability in order to address the community's vulnerabilities. The following questions can be good indicators:
' History, reason for formation
' Membership, attendance and regularity of meetings
' Community development plan
' Committee functioning
' Contribution so far
' SWOT analysis
Once the three components of the Hazard, Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment are done, all the data is placed in the matrix for each of the possible hazards that might have an impact on the said community. The matrix as a summary can be reviewed by the community members in order to identify the elements at risk and how they think it should be prioritize the elements in the counter disaster plan.
Vulnerability Capacity and Analysis
Capacity building can be define anyway from helping others to help themselves to assist or encourage democratisation and accountable government. Various methods to build capacity of an affected society can include leadership workshops, technical training, literacy campaigns and rotating loans. However capacity building involves more than only transfer of knowledge. Resources brought by external organisations disappear once the project is over. True capacity building involves the creation of a fertile environment within which the group can continue to grow knowledge and experience. Therefore capacity building is not only about undertaking specific tasks but the wider impacts of aid interventions must be considered in the process. Those impacts can involve cost escalations as soon as international agencies rush into a crisis, this can seriously undermine the capacity of local organisations. Further impacts to consider is the fact that the presence of international aid agencies may discourage locals from taking responsibility by investing their own resources into recovery. Interventions by international agencies are often based on what can be supplied instead of what the affected locals need. Victims often have some sort of a system on how to organise supplies and the international aid community need to respect this and not rush in to the situation with pre-determined delivery goals that may undermine the local capacities and traditions. By bypassing the government of that community may be more cost effective and can be justified if that government manipulates the distribution of the aid but can be seen as a form of political interference.
With regard to the community, it is important to remember the following: If an individual is aware of and understands the risks, the individual can choose to adapt behaviour in order to avoid or even reduce the risk or to prepare for the hazards. Thus the resilience of a community can be improved by understanding the risks. However public education and awareness campaigns can fail if there is a lack in understanding of the community dynamics because communities function as an entity involving different intricate systems. Systems such as political, institutional, economic, environmental, social and developmental all can be functioning within the community to benefit the whole. Remember that public awareness and education campaigns can only be successful if the right way of communicating to them is selected. Use the accepted and recognised system of communication that is accepted by most members of the community.
Categories of vulnerabilities and capacities: As the basis for discussions on the resilience of a group or community, the vulnerabilities and capacities can be classified into categories.
- Physical or Material: Called 'livelihood resilience'. Involves factors such as climate, environment, sources of livelihood, skills and productivity, land, water capital, infrastructure and services. Includes the degree of resilience of the livelihood system of a particular group or individual as well as the capacity to resist the impact of the hazard. This reflects the economic resilience and the capacity to recover.
- Social or Organisational: The way society is organised, internal dynamics and how it manages the family structures, leadership qualities and structures, patterns of decision-making, participation levels, social division and conflicts, community organisations, relationships to government as well as to the government policies and legislation.
- Motivational or Attitudinal: How the society view themselves and their ability to affect their environment with regard to attitude towards change, perceived ability to affect the environment and get things done, religious belief, ideology, fatalism, dependence / self-reliance, unity / solidarity and cooperation.
- Health: This includes the robustness of the society and the functioning of various social measures (preventative medicine)
- Preparedness: The degree of preparedness of the group. This is determined by the willingness / ability of people to act on their own behalf as well as on various social factors.
Community Capacity and Vulnerability analysis: During a disaster, the vulnerability of a community is more pronounced than the capacities. To recognise the vulnerabilities and capacities of an affected population is essential for creating and implementing the most effective disaster response. To analyse these vulnerabilities and capacities a Capacity and Vulnerability matrix (CVA) can be completed with regard to three major aspects of information:
- Physical Factors: the available productive resources, skills and hazards. E.g. land, environment, health, skills and labour force, infrastructure, food, housing, capital and technologies.
- Social Organisation: what are the organisation and relationship among communities? Examples of this category includes: What are the formal political structures and the informal systems such as decision making, establishing leadership or organising a variety of socio-economic activities. It is important to remember that when prejudice and conflict is present in a community, there will be social and organisational vulnerabilities.
- Attitudes: What is the view of the community on its ability to adapt to changes? Their strengths and weaknesses can make a significant difference to the ability to rebuild and improve their material base and social institutions. The psychological vulnerability of the community increase if they feel victimised, fatalistic and dependent.
SBS Study Guide - Disaster Risk Reduction II. 2013: 36 - 68.
- Transport disasters
The transportation used by humans brought along a newer forms of disasters that is different from the original natural disasters. Transport systems in developing countries are technologically different to those form the developed world, however the following are general transport systems that is widely used. Transportation disasters carry great risk of injury or loss of life for people as well as damage or loss of property in various ways.
' Road Accidents: Are the most common and is usually dealt with by the local emergency services (Ambulance, traffic & police departments) and hospitals, however these resources are extremely scarce in the rural setting and is widely spread. In Africa most other forms of transport is inefficient, which affects the amount of road transportation used. Therefore hazardous materials are more often transported by road which increase the incidence of road accidents involving spillage of toxic materials.
' Aviation Disasters: are more relevant for developing countries. Communities living and working close airports or an air travel route are more at risk for this type of disasters. Since the attacks by terrorist in America in 2001, the safety and security at airports have become a growing concern globally. Civil Aviation Authorities of a country are also enforcing strict rules with regards to use and standards of aircraft in order to reduce aircraft accidents because the general dynamics of this mode of transport cause that there are little to no survivors in the case of an accident.
' Rail Accidents: The rail system of a country generally transport people and / or goods. Therefore this sort of accidents can produce a variety of situations from injury or loss of life to loss of load or spillage of hazardous materials.
' Shipping Disasters: The shipping industry have unique possibilities for disasters. Harbour and coastal communities can be at risk of disasters various ways. E.g. oil spills that affects the environment and human life in general; loss of life and the vessel in an actual accident as well as loss of the vessel; fires aboard ship or in a harbour and poor traffic control in the harbour have been the causes previously of collisions between ships.
- Pollution related disasters
Enforcing pollution laws remains a very difficult task even if developing countries have legislation in place. Pollution affect many communities that is subjected to severe forms of pollution.
' Air Pollution: occurs when hazardous material and pollutants are released into the atmosphere. Mining communities have been proven to be at a higher risk to the dangers of air pollution. Such pollution have been closely linked to certain illnesses that mainly affect the health of the surrounding communities. Often a large number of people in these communities are employed by the polluting factories, mines or organizations. Air pollution is noted to be denser in industrial areas that is generally concentrated in cities.
' Water Pollution: Fresh and sea water contain a lot of dissolved minerals. Water pollution occur when other substances are added by people and their activities. All life forms ate reliant on clean fresh water for survival but some sources place an area / community / environment at risk of consuming contaminated water. Substances that can contaminate a water source include sewerage, insecticides, cooling and cleaning of heavy machinery. The combination of different substances that is released into the air can result in acid rain which can be harmful. Communities depend on water sources for survival or employment and therefore water pollution is an important consideration when communities are developed. Poison pollution is a large problem in rural Africa because certain poisons from industrial waste pesticides or insecticides remain in the food source (animal body or plant matter) before being eaten in such a way it remains in the food chain.
' Soil Pollution: Rural communities often depend on the land for food. Incorrect planting and irrigation methods that are followed may prevent the soil from rehabilitating itself. Desertification is the inability of soil to foster or maintain human life.
All of the above mentioned pollution prevent long term sustainable development.
Many African communities can list poverty among their attributes. Poverty is as a direct result of human actions and there are many reasons for the magnitude and extent of poverty in developing countries but a prominent factor that contribute to large-scale poverty is food shortage. Absolute poverty is the situation where a household / person cannot afford the bare minimum to survive. Relative poverty is where a country, community or person's income is compared with another country, community or person and if the difference is marked, then it is said that relative poverty prevails in the group that has the least.
Contemporary human-made hazards:
- Social Crises: refers to any form of civil unrest that may harm the environment or human life.
- Post-Traumatic Stress: the condition of shock that is experienced by a person after exposure to a traumatic event.
- Fires in Informal Settlements: As the migration of people from rural places continue to the urban regions, urban planners experience problems. Areas subject to rapid urbanisation are most at risk of fires. These disasters are difficult to control due to the disorganized nature of socio-economic life in these informal settlements. The fires spread rapidly and lives are often lost along with property.
SBS Study Guide - Disaster Risk Reduction II. 2013: 124 - 127.
Question 4 (a)
Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction Intervention
Step 1: Identification of major disaster risk issues as well as hazard and community analysis.
The decision needs to be made which aspect will be considered first, hazard or community. If the hazard is analysed first, one will find out which communities is affected by the hazard. Compared to the community first method, one will identify what type of risks will affect this particular community. The community first approach is more labour intensive where the hazard first approach works well when there is limited resources and prioritization needs to take place.
i. Community analysis ' work with the other agencies, the non-governmental organisations and citizen groups from the community to complete the analysis. Identify three high-priority safety issues and based on the analysis, choose one to work on.
- Entry Strategy: De Satge et al is of the opinion that the entry strategy determines who to talk to and how to ensure that the voices of poor or marginal households are not silenced by more powerful and vocal interests. The hazard and the community are linked and therefore when one consider high-risk times, it has to be evaluated from a community and a hazard perspective. This must be pre-determined in the entry strategy. Also consider partnerships with the private sector. On par with the principles that underlie sustainable livelihood approaches, public-private partnerships are encouraged as well as the need to mobilise all resources to combat poverty.
- Identify high-risk behaviour: To identify high-risk behaviour, one must determine which acts or omissions cause adverse incidents and disasters. Then to establish how those behaviours can be changed and actively teaching people exactly what to do and not to do.
- Community Profile: To gain an understanding of what is being dealt with, it is essential to ensure effective service delivery and communication in the community. A community profile provides information that will enable one to enter the community with a contextual understanding of what is needed. Successful analysis and profile will provide you with an understanding of what the communities expectations are with regard to the organisation doing the analysis. Community analysis and profiling is similar to the 'target market analysis' done by marketing professionals to determine the best way of communicating product information to the community. In this context, the community behaviours that reduce risk can be seen as the product to be sold to the target market. A community analysis and profile should include the following:
' Identifying particulars of the individual / organisation that is planning to get involved in the community in order to influence risk reduction behaviour. Consider the characteristics and then use the information to identify the best intervention for the problem
' Information of the community such as: name; boundaries and historical back ground.
' Demographics of the particular population: total population; race / culture / nationality; age; gender; language; religion.
' Indicators of standard of living and quality of life in the community: Employment; unemployment; number of children born in a year; number of teenage pregnancies; infant mortality; life expectancy; average monthly income per individual / household; family structure; level of literacy and educational level.
' The community's physical geography: Geographical area; position in terms of other surrounding communities; access to the community; sections such as business / residential (formal and informal) / industrial; infrastructure available in the community; natural habitat including climate, rainfall and temperature
' Systems within the community: political; institutional; economical; environmental; social and developmental
' Problems and needs of the community: confronting hazards; risk exposure and resilience of the community.
- Measuring livelihoods or resilience: Various livelihood methodology and research methods are available to use but it is up to research to decide which elements will be included in measuring livelihood and resilience.
ii. Hazard analysis ' Involve a number of steps to follow. Different hazard analysis methods can be used, some provide quantitative data and others qualitative data.
- Identify Hazards: by finding records that show causes of incidents and disasters / adverse events and identifying local patterns of loss events
- Identify High-risk Locations: by locating building occupancy types or neighbourhoods with high-risks and discovering what causes the risk to be above average. Then programs and personnel can be concentrated in the identified higher-risk locations.
- Identify High-risk Times: Can be time of day / week / year with higher incidence of events as well as the types of incidents occurring at certain times. Safety messages can be concentrated in these times.
- Identify high-risk Victims: are those groups with high death / injury / property loss rates. Determine the reasons for higher loss rate and provide safety education amongst this group.
Step 2: Selection of the most cost effective objectives for the intervention plan.
The goal is to choose the most cost-effective of achievable objectives for the intervention programme. Knowledge of the available resources is key to being realistic about what the intervention program can accomplish. At this step legislation and environment changes may become separated from the efforts to change behaviour or to reduce risk. When legislative and environment changes aren't possible, risk can still be addressed by influencing behaviour in at-risk communities. In situations where legislative and environmental changes are possible, behavioural change must occur as well. In this step the decision need to be made about limits on interventions or if interventions are to be more elaborate with aims at environmental changes, infrastructure changes, systems and processes. The reality of budget constraints will impact on risk reduction efforts. Long-term sustainability of a community will be negatively impacts by uninhibited spending of public / private funds.
i. Specify target audience: who will be targeted with intervention. The decision can be based on the community members most at risk, who has influence over this community and then selecting the target group on which the intervening party would have the biggest potential impact.
ii. Inventory community resources: Identify influential people in the community, list all local media and civic organisations and make personal contact with key people and groups. This is the inventory of community resources.
iii. Inventory of material resources: list of all the materials that can be used. Local businesses and organisations can list what materials, equipment or skills they can donate to the program or intervention. Establish the cost of materials and review current programmes to determine the advantages of purchasing material or making your own.
iv. Estimate costs and benefits: resources are always limited, therefore establish the maximum output with the minimum input. List alternative programme objectives, estimate the cost of each alternative program objective, and estimate the loss-reduction of each programme objective. Then choose the most effective approach within the limitations of available resources as well as selecting the programme objectives and establish the baseline data for the objectives. At the end of this step a crucial decision can be made about the specific objectives of the intervention. The objectives must be clear, measurable and attainable.
Step 3: Design of the programme itself.
This is the bridge between planning a risk reduction intervention and implementing it in practise. The goal is to design and develop effective materials that is needed for the program like training material such as information booklets or posters.
i. Determine the message content: the information content should be directed towards specific hazards, it should be positive in attitude and it should clearly identify the context of the hazard along with the desired behaviour.
ii. Determine the message format: match the format to the message, the audience and the available resources.
iii. Determine the message time and place: Consider when the target audience will be most receptive to the message and then schedule the messages for maximum effect.
Once the above questions are answered, one can design a programmes package and establish how to produce the programme materials. It is wise to present the materials to a sample audience in order to make corrections if needed. The determined programme budget should be based on the needs of the intervention programme and must address development and implementation of the programme for the first year. The budget should include the financial needs as well as the resources and should be based on the local guidelines and policies in an acceptable format. This is followed by a budget presentation which should include all the pertinent information from the analysis and benefits to the target audience as well as the organisation.
Step 4: Implementation of the programme plan
Where the day-to-day efforts of the community workers happens and includes the following tasks or questions:
i. Produce and distribute materials: to succeed, assign production responsibilities; produce or purchase materials and distribute the materials to the target audiences
ii. Train and schedule workers and volunteers: Coordinate own employees and outside volunteers. Match community contacts with the right target audience and train people for specific actions within the intervention.
iii. Obtain audience participation and cooperation: involve the target groups in the implementation. Inform them what to expect and reinforce messages with endorsements by opinion leaders.
iv. Monitor and modify programme: observe day-to-day programme operation. Monitor and make continuous refinements to the programme as needed during the implementation step.
Step 5: Evaluation of the programme to determine impact.
Success is determined by evaluation. Powell suggested that through evaluation one should compare new data with the baseline data and evaluate the overall impact of the programme.
SBS Study Guide - Disaster Risk Reduction II. 2013: 71 - 77.
LIST OF REFERENCES
1. SBS Study Guide. 2010. Disaster Risk Reduction II ' DRR200. Revised 2013. Southern Business School.
2. What is Sustainable Development?. 2014. What is Sustainable Development?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.iisd.org/sd/. [Accessed 01 March 2014].
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