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Activity Report

IRP Engagement at the Third World Reconstruction Conference (WRC3)

IRP Engagement at the Third World Reconstruction Conference (WRC3)
Brussels, Belgium (June 6-8, 2017)

WS000002.JPGThe International Recovery Platform (IRP) had actively participated in the third edition of the World Reconstruction Conference (WRC3), 6-8 June 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. IRP extended support in organizing and documenting a number of independent sessions, including: (i) An Update from 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction; (ii) Livelihood Recovery and Social Protection; (iii) Private Sector as a Key Partner in Preparedness, Response and Recovery; (iv) Preparing and Planning for Recovery - Strengthening Institutions and Capacities; and (v) Policies and Institutional Arrangements for Recovery.

The discussions at the sessions demonstrated how the concept of "build back better", which is highlighted in Priority Four of the Sendai Framework, can be implemented in transformative manner that reduces risks and builds resilience - and mindful that the next disaster may be of different nature from the previous one. Based on a number of experiences shared at the sessions, it was explicitly shown that build back better is not only about upgrading infrastructure with disaster resilient construction technologies but also about stronger governance systems, improved basic services, diversified livelihoods for people, and better social protection mechanisms for the poor and vulnerable families. To build back better, it is critical to understand the underlying causes of failures and to take the opportunity in recovery phase to address those failures such as through risk-informed land use planning and improved build standards and enforcement. There are many factors that can contribute to a successful build back better effort by governments, including enhancing the:

WS000003.JPG• Ability to develop specific institutional, policy, and legal frameworks for recovery process
• Capacity to support recovery interventions efficiently and effectively so that these sustainable
• Ability to coordinate multiple stakeholders that support and bring financial and technical resources to implement recovery programs

It was affirmed in the plenaries and sessions that one of the contributory factors to achieve "resilient recovery" (the overarching theme of WRC3) is the degree of preparation for recovery. Put simply, "preparedness for recovery" - as promoted in countries like India, Japan, USA, and New Zealand that have developed a well-planned and a well-resourced institutional and financial system - means putting in place the following instruments prior to disaster:

• Institutions, policies, and laws on recovery
• Financial mechanisms for recovery
• Dedicated personnel and resources for recovery

WS000004.JPGAt the final day of the WRC3, this question was debated: What can we do to make recovery resilient? Obviously a generic solution is not possible because recovery is a complex and integrated process. As already known based on past experiences, various factors need to be considered to make recovery resilient such as: (i) preparedness and readiness to recover; (ii) context and capacity; (iii) systems and institutions; (iv) localization; and (v) inclusiveness or "all of us". The complexity of recovery process may call for context-specific strategies and actions for resilience. For instance the World Bank, in the context of urban resilience, suggested the following actions to make recovery resilient for cities and urban communities:

• Prepare the community, e.g. raising awareness and drills
• Build institutions, e.g. recovery agency/department
• Create a financing system, e.g. financing facility for recovery
• Invest in recovery, e.g. mitigation efforts
• Social protection, e.g. inclusion of vulnerable groups in the whole process

As way forward, the participants at the WRC3 may take the cue from message of the European Union Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis who recommended three key action points:

• Strengthen Resilience
• Understand Risk
• Work with Private Sector

(2017/06/14 14:40)

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