The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

National Preparedness Month Blog: Disaster Risk Reduction - Reduce Risk, Save Lives

The Feinstein International Center has released a report called "Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Livelihoods". This report is the result of a three-country study in which the Feinstein International Center sought to "Improve the overall knowledge of the relationship between disaster risk and livelihood strategies; Improve the understanding and gaps in knowledge, practice, and policy; and Improve the impact of donor-funded DRR programs carried out by implementing agencies."

The study utilized three case studies with a variety of disasters in different geographical areas in order to address a wide range of disaster possibilities, from environmental disasters to social, political, and economic disasters. The study looked at Haiti, Nepal, and Kenya, using disasters in these regions as a framework for predicting possible future disaster scenarios.

The Feinstein Center has found it difficult to draw overarching conclusions on DRR; however, it does provide a simplistic look at DRR and opens the door for future studies which will examine socio-economic issues related to disasters, conflict, and a wider variety of environmental factors.

The focus on livelihoods is an important one, as it better allows DRR plans to understand the impact of disasters on human life and health. Livelihoods allow "households to access the funds and cash flows necessary for recovery. In both Nepal and Haiti, the study found that supporting livelihoods was not simply important for accumulating wealth, but was integral for reducing household risk to a disaster."