Capacity Development for Hazard Risk Reduction and
A core activity of CATaLySTis the convening of stakeholders including researchers and practitioners in a think tank allowing virtual and face-to-face exchange on areas of concern such as methodological limitations and data gaps, as well as best practices. This coordinating action will also establish and maintain during the project's duration, an information archive (as part of the project website) that is easily accessible to the research community for finding out more about existing NH/DRR resources and research work. The archive will be transferred together with the website to an existing organisation or SME concerned with NH/DRR to ensure that it is maintained and enhanced."
FONDAZIONE ENI ENRICO MATTEI
Corso Magenta 63
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
€ 155 471
Riccardo Tarquini (Mr.)
Sort by EU Contribution
€ 130 347,40
HELMHOLTZ-ZENTRUM FUR UMWELTFORSCHUNG GMBH - UFZ
€ 114 607
THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD
€ 126 217,20
STICHTING WAGENINGEN RESEARCH
€ 72 391,68
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
€ 165 984,80
UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY
€ 78 912,50
Grant agreement ID: 283177
1 October 2011
30 September 2013
€ 992 800,25
€ 843 931,57
FONDAZIONE ENI ENRICO MATTEI
Time to manage natural disasters
Grant agreement ID: 283177
1 October 2011
30 September 2013
€ 992 800,25
€ 843 931,57
FONDAZIONE ENI ENRICO MATTEI
Final Report Summary - CATALYST (Capacity Development for Hazard Risk Reduction and Adaptation)
The IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation sends the clear message that “we know enough to make good decisions about managing the risks ... Sometimes we take advantage of this knowledge, but many times we do not”. The CATALYST project was set up to improve the exchange and dissemination of this knowledge for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. CATALYST is intended to strengthen capacity development for stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). The project has sought, with the support of regional experts in the field, to compile and analyse the best of existing knowledge worldwide, in order to develop knowledge products useful to practitioners and policy makers from diverse sectors. The ultimate goal has been to share and bring knowledge of risk management to bear on other societal planning activities such as economic development, water resources management, and land use planning issues, and to make DRR and CCA critical components of the sustainability agenda. The project has sought to achieve this goal with a focus on four regions: Central America and Caribbean, East and West Africa, the European Mediterranean, and South and South East Asia.
The added value of the CATALYST project has been its Think Tank, including more than 120 regional experts (practitioners, business people, policy advisers and academics) from the four CATALYST regions. These think tank members have worked together with CATALYST project partners, during 18 formal online and face-to-face meetings, and many informal discussions, in a collective effort to develop key knowledge products and, by doing so, ensure that the project’s knowledge products are useful to their own work, and that of others in these regions. The regional experts have defined the needs and best practices of their own region – a process for the regions, by the regions. The Think Tank has also sought to catalyse inter-regional exchange of knowledge and ideas from all regions.
Through the think tank process, the project has derived lessons learned and best practices in DRR and CCA, contributing to a strengthening of the science-policy interface. It has deepened and added value to the body of integrated knowledge in these fields, and also identified the key gaps in current knowledge and research.
Among the many results the highlights are the knowledge products:
A Report on Issues, Gaps and Opportunities in the Regions,
A Report on Capacity Development for Disaster Risk Reduction
A Special Report on Stakeholder Advice to Policy Makers
A Synthesis Report on Best Practices, Networks, Research Gaps, and Recommendations for Fostering Capacity Development
Training Module: Fundamentals of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
Four Regional Best Practice Papers – Before Disaster Strikes: Transformations in Practice and Policy
Best Practices Policy Notebook
In addition, an enduring output of the CATALYST project is the network of professionals that has been created; professionals who want the CATALYST Think Tank to continue, and many of whom wish to contribute to it. Project partners are in collaboration with Think Tank members seeking to create the CATALYST-Local Community of Practice (CoP), open also to other interested DRR/CCA practitioners. Members are seeking the implementation of DRR/CCA capacity development activities at the local level, through CATALYST-Local projects, and, in doing so, hope to gain a better understanding of how to effectively tailor the plethora of knowledge products available at the regional and global levels (CATALYST being just one source of many) to local needs.
Project Context and Objectives:
Natural disasters have always swept the Earth, prompting people to learn to live with some degree of risk. Today, this risk posed by natural disasters is often being reinforced by systemic and human-induced climate change that alters both the frequency and the magnitude of extreme events. According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED, www.cred.be) at the Université Catholique de Louvain, natural disasters increased by 233% from 2000 to 2009 compared with the period 1980 to 1989, and by 67% com-pared with the period 1990 to 1999. As the International Panel on Climate Change (2012) have reported, the expected frequency and intensity of extreme climate events is likely to worsen the scale of disasters, with multiple side effects affecting human security.
The IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (IPCC, 2012) sends the clear message according to the report's co-author, Chris Field, that “we know enough to make good decisions about managing the risks ... Sometimes we take advantage of this knowledge, but many times we do not”. There is therefore a need to increase the likelihood that that knowledge is fully taken advantage of in the ever-expanding community of professionals who need to know about both Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), for their work. It is to address this need that the CATALYST project was set up. CATALYST follows on from earlier EU-coordination actions on natural hazard risk reduction, e.g. CapHazNet (see Kuhlicke et al., 2011) and is intended to strengthen capacity development for stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and adaptation, in the context of natural hazards. Since many of these hazards are driven by current and future climate variability, it also addresses climate change adaptation (CCA). The project has sought, with the support of regional experts in the field, to compile and analyse the best of existing knowledge worldwide, in order to develop knowledge products useful to practitioners from diverse sectors. The ultimate goal has been to share and bring knowledge of risk management to bear on other societal planning activities such as economic development, water resources management, and land use planning issues, and to make DRR and CCA critical components of the sustainability agenda.
CATALYST has dealt with both hydro-meteorological hazards (cyclones, droughts, heat waves, wildfires, storm surges, and floods) often aggravated by climate change, and geological hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides). The project has focused on four regions: Central America and Caribbean, East and West Africa, the European Mediterranean, and South and South East Asia (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: The CATALYST regions
The added value of the CATALYST project has been its Think Tank, now composed of more than 120 regional experts from the four CATALYST regions. These think tank members (TTM) include practitioners, business people, policy advisers and academics, and work together with CATALYST project partners in a collective effort to develop key knowledge products and, by doing so, ensure that the project’s knowledge products are useful to their own work, and that of others in these regions. The partners and members come together to identify and discuss issues and develop recommendations via the online discussion forum, regional and multi-regional virtual meetings, and regional workshops. The CATALYST Think Tank is global in extent but regional in implementation. It is not the intention of the project to provide a “one-size-fits-all” set of knowledge products, nor to promote a Euro-centric view of what other regions of the world may need in terms of DRR and CCA capacity development; rather the intention is to allow regional experts to define the needs and best practices of their own region – a process for the regions, by the regions. However, the Think Tank also seeks to catalyse inter-regional exchange of knowledge and ideas from all regions, for the benefit of each one.
CATALYST adopts the UNISDR definition of capacity development – i.e. “The process by which people, organisations and society systematically stimulate and develop their capability over time...” (UNISDR, 2009: p. 6), as well as Alaerts and Kaspersma’s (2010) focus on the importance of knowledge production - i.e. the collation and synthesis of knowledge, as a key component of capacity development. Hence, key outputs of the project include the development of knowledge products that describe best practices suitable for each of the CATALYST regions; identify gaps in research and existing networks; and outline recommendations on how to foster capacity development to strengthen DRR/CCA in those regions.
The key objectives of the project have been to:
1. Establish and maintain the CATALYST Think Tank in all its four regions, and thereby reinforce European/international networking capacity, and thereby facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences, lessons learned and best practices in natural hazards DRR & improve the science-policy interface;
2. Deepen and add value to the body of integrated knowledge on natural hazards DRR, as well as to identify key gaps in current natural hazards DRR knowledge and research, and as a result develop the following knowledge products:
a. Report on issues, gaps and opportunities in the regions
b. Report on capacity development for disaster risk reduction;
c. Special report on stakeholder advice for disaster risk reduction;
d. Synthesis reports on:
best practices for disaster risk reduction,
DRR network and research gaps,
recommendations for fostering capacity development, and strengthening networks
e. Regional best practice papers
f. Best practice policy notebook with thematic essays
g. Teaching module on DRR/CCA
3. Establish a way of continuing the project website and think tank as a means for the exchange and dissemination of information on DRR/CCA, beyond the lifetime of the project;
4. Increase the capacity of NGOs and SMEs to include disaster risk reduction and adaptation in their activities particularly in the developing countries, and thereby increase societal awareness and resilience to natural hazards.
The main results of the CATALYST project can be viewed in terms of the successful achievement of the project’s first two objectives (no.s 1 and 2), presented above, and through these achievements contribute to objectives 3 and 4 which are more linked to dissemination and impacts.
Objective 1: Establish and maintain the CATALYST Think Tank in all its four regions, and thereby, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences, lessons learned and best practices in natural hazards DRR, improve the science-policy interface and reinforce European/International networking capacity.
CATALYST is a different type of project to one focused on Research & Development , since it primarily seeks to gathers its knowledge from professionals working in DRR/CCA, not through basic or applied research. The key to this knowledge gathering and analysis work has been the development and maintenance of the CATALYST Think Tank.
“CATALYST has surprised me in that the Think Tank has not been too lofty and has addressed the grassroots level, producing material of real use”
It is indisputable that the added value of the CATALYST project has been its Think Tank, which is now comprised of over 120 regional experts from the four CATALYST regions. These regional experts are from inter-governmental and governmental organisations and NGOs, the scientific community and the private sector. They have worked together with the CATALYST project partners to support them in steering the project and research topics, as well as developing the key knowledge products and, by doing so, ensure that the project’s knowledge products are useful to their own work, and that of others in these regions. Additionally, many of the Think Tank Members are involved in capacity development and dialogue with the public and organised civil society, and it is through supporting their work that CATALYST can achieve a significant multiplier effect in terms of dissemination. The CATALYST Think Tank process was overseen by the Stakeholder Advisory Board, a six-member-strong group comprising five Think Tank Members from each region and the EU project officer.
The Think Tank process – see Figure 2– has had both multi-regional (Think Tank members from all regions) and regional discussion processes (members work with their regional colleagues). Whether regionally or multi-regionally, the Think Tank members in CATALYST were able to discuss issues with each other and the partners via:
*Online discussions – this took the form of asynchronous text-based messaging among members in an online forum established on the project's extranet.
*Regional and multi-regional virtual meetings – facilitated meetings of 1-2 hours’ duration, carried out online in a virtual meeting “room”.
*Regional workshops - facilitated face-to-face meetings of members over 2-3 days.
*Bilateral meetings/interviews – meetings between one or more partners and one or more TTM, either online or at international conferences and other events.
After interviews with selected TTM to begin to identify key issues within the four regions, the CATALYST Think Tank was launched with the first global virtual meeting, to present the project and its objectives to the Think Tank Members; to explain the TTM's roles; to answer their queries about the project and their roles; and to begin the exchange of knowledge be-tween TTM. The main issues arising from the TTM about the CATALYST included: how the Think Tank works; who will benefit from the process; how further stakeholders, especially at the local level, should be included; and what the difference is between CATALYST and other projects.
The process then divided into four regional sub-processes for each of the project regions (see Figure 2). Each regional sub-process began with online discussions to confirm the key thematic issues of importance to the region and to identify initial perspectives on gaps in knowledge. In the European Mediterranean region, the key themes were flood, drought and earthquake risk management; in the Central America and the Caribbean, the emphasis was on ecosystems-based DRR/CCA, social vulnerability, and the follow-up to the Hyogo Framework for Action; in the South and South-east Asian region the key themes included floods, earthquake and tsunami risk management; in the East and West Africa region, the main thematic focus was on urban disaster risk reduction, including floods.
Figure 2: Schematic of the Think Tank Process
These discussions were swiftly followed by regional virtual meetings. All regions had their own approach to the virtual meetings, but in general, the first set of regional virtual meetings had the purpose of reviewing the activities of the regional Think Tank process, and to provide an opportunity for the Think Tank Members to provide feedback on two knowledge products: Report on issues, gaps and opportunities, network coverage, and Report on capacity development for disaster risk reduction and adaptation (in draft form). Identifying themes and issues that would be discussed in the regional workshops and discussing the logistical preparation for the coming regional workshop was then the general topic for the second half of the meetings.
The four regional workshops, and two additional events (one side-event and a technical workshop within larger events) involved the participation of over 100 Think Tank mem-bers, in the following:
European Mediterranean regional workshop
East and West Africa regional workshop
Central America and the Caribbean regional workshop
South and South-East Asian regional workshop
CATALYST side event presenting initial results and further plans at the 2013 UNISDR Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
CATALYST Technical Workshop at the 2013 2nd Asia Pacific Water Summit
Each of the regional workshops has gathered stakeholder views of the regional state of the art in DRR/CCA practices; moving towards best practices; gaps in research and networks; recommendations for fostering capacity development in the region, and recommendations for the CATALYST online teaching module as well as for the sustainability of the CATALYST Think Tank. The additional events have provided extra information on these themes. In summary, hundreds of regionally relevant ideas, experiences and recommendations related to best practices, gaps, and capacity development were collected during the workshops and additional events. Indeed, examples of best practices identified in regions were provided by the workshop participants where available. Across the four regions there were common issues that were raised by Think Tank Members – improved leadership, greater enforcement, support for community participation, data sharing, improved financial mechanisms, mainstreaming DRR/CCA into policy making, spatial planning, and improved school curricula on DRR/CCA – as well as issues distinctive to the needs of the region and the hazards they are threatened with.
In the European Mediterranean region Think Tank, outputs of the workshop discussions included calls for more emphasis on institutionally reinforcing rural-urban mutual support in times of flood and drought crisis, in order to share resources between the two communities for the benefit of both; improving levels of leadership on DRR and CCA, particularly in initiating processes and for sustaining them over time and for enabling transformational adaptations where key factors are adaptive management, learning, innovation and leadership; and for putting more resources into DRR planning for local level preparedness in earthquake-prone areas, especially in the area of simulation training, and the convening of citizens as part of citizen-based first-response teams. Additionally, the issue of supporting data sharing across different administrative levels, e.g. national to community level was raised as being important. Also, it was felt that the DRR/CCA community needs to make better use of scientific and local knowledge and to advance the use of ‘open access’ and ‘open source’ materials and data.
In the East and West Africa region Think Tank (see Figure 3), outputs of the workshop discussions included the recognition that although Africa has a reputation for suffering mainly from drought-related rural crises, the rapid urbanisation of the continent means that DRR/CCA needs to focus more on reducing risks in urban environments stemming from flooding and other interrelated and cascading hazards, both in the short and in the long term. This in turn requires that DRR/CCA be mainstreamed into spatial and urban planning which in itself needs to be strengthened, e.g. through the establishment of specific units and master plans that address DRR/CCA, and increased enforcement of planning regulations and bylaws, such as building codes. It was also concluded that there is a need for a permanent, approved, continental and regional knowledge (management) network with a scientific foundation and a strong link to policy and practice, a role that could be taken up by the African Climate Policy Centre, for example. The improved selection and implementation of demonstration projects on DRR/CCA - their communication and scaling up – would also support capacity development in the region, along with scientific, evidence-based monitoring and evaluation of DRR/CCA activities, which will allow practitioners to understand the best options to consider in their own activities.
Figure 3 Participants at the East and West Africa regional Think Tank workshop
In the Central America and Caribbean region Think Tank, given its members’ interest in reducing social vulnerability, outputs of the workshop discussions included calls for more investment in sustainable ecosystem management, as a means of offering cost-effective solutions for reducing communities’ vulnerability to disasters, and more research investment in identifying the benefits and costs of ecosystem-based DRR/CCA; more financial, institutional and capacity development support for community participation in the development of DRR/CCA strategies and projects; the elevation of DRR as a policy priority to create a sound institutional and legislative framework, with appropriate resources for its implementation; and the development and mainstreaming of insurance schemes for disaster risk in the rural context which would complement broader risk reduction strategies, to by enabling communities to have prompt access to monetary resources to support recovery should a disaster occur. One of the most innovative pieces of research to be discussed at the workshop was new research currently be done on the cognitive impacts of disasters on children and their ability to recuperate afterwards, in terms of cognitive development. This has the potential to further develop practitioners’ understanding of social vulnerability.
In the South and South-east Asia region Think Tank (see Figure 4), outputs of the workshop discussions included calls for resources to be put into improving leadership on DRR and CCA (at all levels). In addition, an important priority was increased support for and expansion of community-based DRR planning. Making further inroads into mainstreaming vulnerability assessments, DRR and CCA into national and local development planning was another important issue, and closely linked to this was the call for the formal and rational integration of uncertainty into planning of DRR and CCA. A further issue of much importance to the think tank members was to improve rules and means for exchanging knowledge and data for assessments of risks, vulnerabilities etc.
Figure 4 Participants at the South and South-East Asia regional Think Tank workshop
The participants' evaluations of the workshops were very positive, in that the workshops met the expectations and needs of most participants. A major recommendation for future workshops is that more time is devoted to them (beyond the 2.5 days allocated) in general and for group discussions in particular. There was a clear desire among the participating Think Tank Members that CATALYST Think Tank should continue beyond the lifetime of the project.
The second set of regional virtual meetings was initiated to confirm the findings of the regional workshop regarding best practices. In these meetings the focus was on discussion of the workshop summary reports, providing input into the CATALYST Regional Workshop Reports, and from this discussion, ideas on best practices were proposed and identified, to be used in the Synthesis Report on Best Practices, and in the Best Practice Papers for the region. Additionally, time was allocated to allow partners to present and obtain feed-back on plans for other deliverables, such as the Online Training Module and the Special Report on Stakeholder Advice for Policy Makers. In some of the meetings the theme of how to continue CATALYST after the formal end of the project was raised and dis-cussed by Think Tank members.
Based on the results of these workshops, the regional processes concluded with a second set of regional virtual meetings and bilateral meetings at international conferences, such as the UNISDR Global Platform, the Asia Pacific Water Summit in Chiang-Mai, and the 5th Delft Symposium on Water Sector Capacity Development, in the Netherlands, to confirm the findings of the workshops and thereby support the development of i) the CATALYST regional workshops reports, ii) a synthesis report on best practices, research gaps and recommendations for fostering capacity development in the regions, and iii) a set of best practice papers focused on each region.
The final part of the Think Tank process has included the three-day Final Project event including partner meeting, a symposium for sharing results and a workshop focused on fol-low-up to the project. It was held at DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission in Brussels in September 2013. TTM and members of the European Commission were invited, as well as members of complementary projects, in order to obtain feedback on the project and further disseminate its findings.
The second global virtual meeting officially closed the CATALYST Think Tank process, providing an opportunity for TTM to listen to and offer feedback on the many different knowledge products of CATALYST project, as well as the outcome of the CATALYST Final Event in Brussels. Additionally, TTM and partners discussed the proposed follow-up network to CATALYST: CATALYST-Local, and funding opportunities. The feedback on the project from the TTM was very positive, with members interested in continuing to work with the partners on capacity development at the local level. In addition, interviews took place with selected members to gather their personal views on how policy should be adapted to support their sector’s work in DRR/CCA, thus contributing to the special report on stakeholder advice to policy makers.
As can be expected from any collaborative project of this scale (i.e. international in scope and involving seven partners and dozens of stakeholders), many lessons have been learned that can benefit those planning similar projects in the future centred on the establishment of a multi-stakeholder Think Tank. These lessons are summarized below with the intention of providing insights for those undertaking similar stakeholder processes in the future.
*Each tool for communication and exchange has a different role to play
Although virtual meetings with Think Tank Members were did not for elicit expansive knowledge, they were irreplaceable as a means of maintaining stakeholder interest in the Think Tank and for keeping up information exchange during phases in which there were no workshops. In the CATALYST project, it was found that the online discussion forum could not, as originally intended, play this role that was finally taken up by virtual meetings, and went largely unused by the TTM shortly after launch. Such discussions were replaced by the convening of more virtual meetings with the TTM. An online discussion forum needs both ongoing facilitation and a great deal of stakeholder motivation in order to be maintained. The CATALYST TTM were all volunteers working on their own time, and simultaneously, very busy in their professional work, which reduced the interest in such a forum. More research is needed on the conditions for a successful online discussion forum. In the final virtual meeting of the CATALYST Think Tank, a TTM suggested that moving away from a website-based forum to an email-based one, or one with instant social media messaging to alert TTM of new discussion threads and inputs, might have improved the use of the forum , although experience with the use of social media among partners and TTM is mixed. Finally, it is very important to make use of interviews and bilateral meetings with TTM, in order to get in-depth information and expertise from stakeholders, that are not able to be elicited from workshops or virtual meetings. The amount of rich information that one can elicit from interviews is demonstrated in the Special Report on Stakeholder Advice to Policy Makers .
*There is no replacement for meeting in person
Whilst there is a temptation to rely on virtual communication for developing and maintaining networks, there can be no substitute for creating opportunities for allowing network members to meet in person, e.g. through workshops. Such meetings create trust, mutual bonds, and support the sharing of knowledge. As a means of eliciting substantive information from groups, they are second to none. The CATALYST project organised just one work-shop per region, at the midpoint of the project, whilst making use of virtual meetings, online discussions, bilateral talks, and other events to create and maintain the Think Tank. In future projects, those involved in this project recommend that an additional workshop is organised in each region at the beginning of the project in order to get to know the stake-holders better and to create bonds and trust between the members at an earlier stage.
*Multi-regional virtual meetings are a great idea, but hard to implement
It is very hard to organise a common time for a virtual meeting that includes stakeholders from Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The different time zones do not permit it. For CATALYST, it was therefore best to organise virtual meetings regionally.
*More time for stakeholder analysis
The project devoted two of its 24 months to stakeholder analysis, to identify potential stakeholders and understand their needs, before selecting them to join the Think Tank. Given the central role that stakeholders have had in this type of project, this phase of the project has to be longer in order to build up even stronger network of stakeholders and to better understand their potential needs and requirements. Additionally, CATALYST should have made use of conference visits early on in the project (rather than at the end, as was the case) to support stakeholder analysis.
*Making use of non-research related EU connections to acquire TTM
To support stakeholder analysis and the recruitment of TTM, CATALYST would have benefited from obtaining more contacts via the various EU delegations (E.g. the African Union) and directorates outside research such as the European Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (DG-ECHO). Finally, to be able to “open doors” to certain large stakeholder organisations, CATALYST would have needed a stronger EU-backed identity, that went beyond just being an EU project.
*Starting locally and working up to the regions
It has been an issue since the beginning of the project, as mentioned by TTM and project partners, that working at the regional level was not going to provide knowledge products of immediate use at the local level . If re-planning this project, with the goal of providing regional exchange of best practices, then CATALYST would probably start at the national level, by first working with experts from one country, gathering the state of the art and best practices there, and then selecting and working in another. Once enough country-level insights could be collected, then regional exchange and synthesis could begin.
*The TTM cannot be considered to be fully representative of all practitioners, but this is not a problem
Whilst members of other networks (e.g. UNISDR national platforms) are paid for their work, there were no funds available to pay TTM for their collaboration in the project. Hence, CATALYST relied on goodwill and volunteerism to build up and maintain active membership. This had two effects: first of all, it meant that the project had to keep generating results or carrying out activities that were of benefit to the TTM to prevent them from leaving the network. The fact that our membership kept rising through the project, and that some members joined in multiple activities, were a sign in this case, that we were doing something right. Secondly, voluntary membership means that members are self-selecting and not necessarily representative of the entire practitioner community. This fact, however, does not negate the views and expertise of the TTM practitioners. The general results of the project need simply to be qualified in these terms.
*Defining best practices
Since CATALYST is not a research project, it was never in the position to carry out a formal analysis of practices to determine which were “best” and which were not. Instead, it based its selections on the opinions of TTM, who themselves may or may not have carried out a formal analysis to decide what they considered to be a best practice. As such the project can be seen not as a replacement for work done by organisations such as UNISDR on analytically identifying best practices through their formal network nodes, but as another perspec-ive on the issue, from a group of practitioners.
In fact, bearing in mind the paucity of approaches for and applications of post-implementation evaluation tools for capacity development activities in DRR/CCA, it is probably safe to assume no formal analysis was carried out by the TTM. Nevertheless, much more work at the beginning of the project should have been carried out to agree and define basic qualitative metrics for identifying a “best practice” in particular regions. This would have saved a time lost in the middle and latter phases of the project due to different approaches to the issue in the four regions.
*Knowledge products are not the only valuable outputs of CATALYST – an enduring network
Before describing the knowledge products arising from the CATALYST project, it is important to note that it was mentioned at the final symposium in Brussels that the project needs to emphasise that its knowledge products are not the only key outputs of the project. Less tangible, but equally important results have been achieved. For example, the membership of the CATALYST Think Tank rose from around 50, in March 2012, to 120 members by September 2013. This increase in membership is testament to the growing awareness among stakeholders of the value of joining the Think Tank. Membership numbers alone is not enough as an indicator of this, however, for members need to be active in order for a Think Tank to work. Something that has been particularly important to the success of CATALYST is the fact that TTM have continued to collaborate with the CATALYST partners, up until the end of the project, in the development of knowledge products, by providing feedback on them, as well as providing text and further background information, and even going so far as to co-author essays contained in this notebook. One could say CATALYST has provided a learning alliance or community of practice among regional and global TTMs and the CATALYST partner organisations and researchers. As one TTM put it, the project has enabled her to meet professionals in her own region involved in DRR/CCA that she did not know about, and that, together with the knowledge products, will enable her and her (new) colleagues to make a positive impact on their region . In any case, an enduring output of the CATALYST project is the network of professionals that has been created; professionals who want the CATALYST Think Tank to continue.
Objective 2: Deepen and add value to the body of integrated knowledge on NH/DRR, as well as to identify of key gaps in current NH/DRR knowledge and research, and as a result develop the following knowledge products
The CATALYST project produced the following key knowledge products, thus adding to the body of integrated knowledge on NH/DRR, and knowledge and research gaps.
Report on issues, gaps and opportunities, network coverage
Authors: Jaroslav Mysiak (FEEM), Elisa Calliari (FEEM), Lorenzo Carrera (FEEM), Alexandros Maziotis (FEEM), Peter Van Der Keur (GEUS) and Jochen Luther, Christian Kuhlicke (UFZ)
Deliverable no.: 2.2
Date: March 2012
Description: an in-depth analysis of the issues, gaps and opportunities for improving disaster risk reduction practice in the four CATALYST regions. It includes an initial assessment of the regions in terms of hazards exposure and susceptibility to harm. Desk research was complemented by insights gained through face-to-face and telephone consultation with Think Tank members.
Available for download at:
Report on capacity development for disaster risk reduction
Authors: Fons Jaspers (Alterra), Matt Hare, Caroline van Bers (Seeconsult), Peter van der Keur (GEUS), Jochen Luther (UFZ), Elisa Calliari (FEEM), Humaira Daniels (UNU-EHS).
Deliverable no.: 3.1
Date: July 2013
Description: an introduction to the concepts, terminology, and reference material regard-ing natural hazards, DRR and CCA to be used in Think Tank discussions. It provides, in the form of regional sub-reports, the foundation material for further discussions in the Think Tank on key issues pertinent to each of the four CATALYST regions, including an assessment of hazards and vulnerabilities; a description of measures and related governance structures; a qualitative assessment of measures; an assessment of the use of science-based knowledge in stakeholder activities and the management of uncertainties; and an overview of available DRR/CCA training.
Available for download at:
CATALYST Regional Workshop Reports
Editors: Matt Hare , Caroline van Bers (seeconsult)
Contributing Authors: Carol ine van Bers (seeconsult), Elisa Calliari (FEEM), Matt Hare (seeconsult), Marius Hasenheit (seeconsult), Fons Jaspers (Alterra), Peter van der Keur (GEUS), Christian Kuhlicke (UFZ), Jochen Luther (UFZ), Jaroslav Mysiak (FEEM).
Deliverable no.: 4.2
Date: July 2013
Description: A summary of the approach and in-depth description of the results of each of the four CATALYST regional workshops, involving 109 participants, and each of the two additional events, as well as to provide an evaluation of the regional workshops. This document can be used by readers who are interested in knowing more about the main source of knowledge used to generate key CATALYST knowledge products mentioned above. It is intended that this compendium of stakeholder knowledge will also be of use for scientists seeking more insight into issues important to practitioners within the four CATALYST regions.
The four workshops, and two additional events (one side-event and a technical workshop) described in this document are:
•European Mediterranean regional workshop
•East and West Africa regional workshop
• Central America and the Caribbean regional workshop
• South and South-East Asian regional workshop
• CATALYST side event at the 2013 UNISDR Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
• CATALYST Technical Workshop at the 2013 2nd Asia Pacific Water Summit
Available for download at:
CATALYST Virtual Meetings Report
Editors: Matt Hare and Caroline van Bers (seeconsult)
Contributing Authors: Fons Jaspers (Alterra), Peter van der Keur (GEUS), Jochen Luther (UFZ), Elisa Calliari (FEEM), Caroline van Bers (Seeconsult).
Deliverable no.: 4.3
Date: October 2013
Description: The virtual meetings reported here in this deliverable, in the form of meeting minutes, are activities of the four regional Think Tank processes that comprise the CATA-LYST Think Tank on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The ten virtual meetings minuted in this document are:
1st Global Virtual Meeting
European Mediterranean 1st and 2nd Virtual Meetings;
East and West Africa 1st and 2nd Virtual Meetings;
Central America and the Caribbean 1st and 2nd Virtual Meetings;
South and South-East Asian 1st and 2nd Virtual Meetings;
2nd Global Virtual Meeting.
This document's purpose is to present the minutes of the ten CATALYST virtual meetings, involving 69 participants in total, which have been used to exchange information with CATALYST Think Tank Members over the duration of the project. This document can be used by readers who are interested in knowing more about the sources of knowledge used to generate key CATALYST knowledge products mentioned above.
Available for download at:
Special Report on Stakeholder Advice to Policy Makers
Editor: Matt Hare (seeconsult)
Contributing Authors: various Think Tank Members
Deliverable no.: 4.3
Date: October 2013
Description: This report is special since it represents the only knowledge product deriving from the CATALYST project that provides TTM's opinions about DRR/CCA, in their own words. At the end of the CATALYST project, selected TTM from various sectors were interviewed to find out what they considered to be the most urgent policy recommendations they would make to policymakers, in order to support their sector's work on DRR/CCA, and to restructure national and international funding mechanisms to support their sector. The results of these interviews, in the form of short contributions from the interviewees, are presented in this document, according to sector: UN sector; research sector; the NGO sector; and the SME sector. The report concludes with a summary of key recommendations made by the contributors. The 46 main recommendations coming from the Think Tank Members interviewed can be grouped according to several recurring themes, including recommendations for policy and funding changes aimed at improving:
donor-country collaboration in DRR/CCA;
national strategies for DRR/CCA;
support for local level actors to implement DRR/CCA;
participation in DRR/CCA planning;
Specific recommendations are listed at the back of this report, and range from calls for pol-icy to specifically promote the mainstreaming of ecosystems-based DRR/CCA into poverty eradication programmes, to the setting up of a market for SME skills partnerships to provide first response and remediation activities, as well a call for a realignment of DRR/CCA policy towards the management of cumulative, small scale local risks, in order to reduce extensive risk impacts, and a call for greater funding for research into the long term monitoring of the actual effectiveness of DRR/CCA capacity development initiatives. The adoption of these and the other recommendations described in this report would go towards facilitating the work of the Think Tank Members from the UN, research, NGO and SME sectors, for the benefit of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation at the national and local levels.
Available for download at: http://www.catalyst-project.eu/doc/
Synthesis Report on Best Practices, Networks, Research Gaps, and Recommendations for Fostering Capacity Development for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
Editors: Daniel, H. Schrass, K. & Warner, K. (UNU-EHS)
Contributing Authors: Elisa Calliari (FEEM), Peter van der Keur (GEUS), Christian Kuhlicke (UFZ), Jochen Luther (UFZ), Jaroslav Mysiak (FEEM), Mattia Amadio (FEEM), Matt P. Hare (seeconsult), Caroline van Bers (seeconsult), Peter van der Keur (GEUS), Hans Jørgen Henriksen (GEUS), Susanne Dissing Birch (GEUS), Fons Jaspers (Alterra), Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga (Alterra), Humaira Daniels (UNU-EHS), & Koko Warner (UNU-EHS)
Deliverable no.: 5.1/5.2/5.3
Date: September 2013
Description: a report that outlines and synthesises the knowledge, collected during the CATALYST Think Tank process (2012-2013), on best practices as well as the research, knowledge and institutional gaps that affect human capacity to undertake effective disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) within the project's four regions. Common issues among the regions are also presented.
Available for download at: http://www.catalyst-project.eu/doc/dl_5-1_5-2_5-3_sinthesis_report.pdf
Training Module: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
Authors: Fons Jaspers (Alterra), Caroline van Bers (seeconsult), Matt Hare (seeconsult), Daniel Schweigatz (seeconsult), Jaroslav Mysiak (FEEM), Elisa Calliari (FEEM), Humaira Daniel (UNU- EHS), K e h i n de Balogun (UNU-EHS), Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga (Alterra).
Deliverable no.: 5.4
Date: August 2013
Description: as part of a larger online CATALYST training module on DRR/CCA, this product overviews the first submodule of that module – The Fundamentals of DRR and CCA”, which includes three sets of ready-to-use or adapt teaching materials on DRR/CCA, together with teaching resources such as slides, teaching notes, further reading lists, exercises, teaching questions. It also explains the participatory process by which the modules were chosen and designed. The teaching topics in this product are: Introduction to Disaster Risk Reduction, Introduction to Climate Change Adaptation, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. This submodule will be translated into Spanish and Bengali, along with the English-language originals. This submodule and the others in the CATALYST series will be available via the UNU-EHS online learning platform (http://www.ehs.unu.edu/elearning/).
Available for download at:
Best Practice Papers – Before Disaster Strikes: Transformations in Practice and Policy
Contributing Authors: Cristina Serra (TWAS), Elisa Calliari (FEEM), Peter van der Keur (GEUS), Jochen Luther (UFZ), Matt Hare (seeconsult), Fons Jaspers (Alterra), Caroline van Bers (seeconsult).
Deliverable no.: 6.4
Date: August 2013
Description: CATALYST’s four Best Practice Papers are aimed at policymakers. Based on the knowledge of the Think Tank Members, they describe what the CATALYST project considers to be key practices that could lead to transformations in a region’s capacity for DRR and CCA, and to improve the early planning of regional strategies to reduce risks resulting from natural hazards and climate change. To avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to DRR and CCA, CATALYST’s Best Practice Papers have been specifically tailored to four extremely disaster-prone regions of the world – East and West Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, European Mediterranean and South and South-East Asia. These will be available in English, Spanish and Bengali.
Available for download at:
Best Practices Policy Notebook
Editors: Matt Hare (seeconsult), Caroline van Bers (seeconsult), Jaroslav Mysiak (FEEM)
Contributing Authors: Matt Hare (seeconsult), Caroline van Bers (seeconsult), Peter van der Keur (GEUS), Hans Jorgen Henriksen (GEUS), Fons Jaspers (Alterra), Elisa Calliari (FEEM), Jaroslav Mysiak (FEEM), Koko Warner (UNU-EHS), Raffaele Giordano (CNR), Ana Peña del Valle (UNAM), Jos Timmerman (Alterra), Azizul Haque (FEEM), Koko Warner(UNU-EHS), Kristina Yuzva (UNU-EHS), Michael Zissener (UNU-EHS), Jochen Luther (UFZ).
Deliverable no.: 6.5
Date: October 2013
Description: this publication seeks to summarise the key results of the entire project from a multiple regional perspective. In doing so, it focuses on some of the most essential themes that have emerged from the CATALYST Think Tank over the last two years: ecosystems-based DRR/CCA; mainstreaming DRR/CCA; urban DRR; drought risk management for agriculture; climate risk insurance; small island developing states, and how the Hyogo Framework for Action should be followed up, as well as how to continue the CATALYST legacy.
The key messages of the first set of essays focusing on the international level are summarised below.
Despite international efforts, the trend in damage and losses as a result of natural disasters is increasing. As the Hyogo Framework for Action draws to a close in 2015, the DRR/CCA community is paying much attention to the nature of the new commitment needed for the next round of the HFA (HFA2) to make international efforts in disaster risk reduction more effective. Climate change and adaptation, as well as poverty reduction, inclusivity (of women, children, other disadvantaged sectors of society) and sustainable development have all been identified as vital considerations of such a new framework since these are inextri-cable elements of disaster risk reduction. While the CATALYST Think Tank Members echoed the importance of top-down activities such as HFA, they also stressed the importance of bot-tom-up disaster preparedness with the focus on enhanced resilience at the community level, since this is the front line of disaster risk management. In this context, they also pointed to the vital role of education and training in DRR and adaptation and the need to institutionalize this. While the social and economic dimensions of disaster management are in the foreground, the socio-environmental dimension of vulnerability requires significantly more attention, as elaborated in the subsequent essay on the ecosystems approach to DRR and CCA. These are elements that need also be built into the new global blueprint for DRR (HFA2).
The promotion of ecosystems-based DRR and CCA has enormous potential for reducing losses and damage from natural hazards, and is a particularly important approach in the CATALYST region of Central America and the Caribbean. However, its promotion has value for disaster-prone regions throughout the world. A combination of international agreements, national regulations and planning, as well as local level capacity development will facilitate tremendously the adoption of ecosystems-based approaches and measures. Protection and enhancement of ecosystem services, such as those provided, for example, by (coastal) wetlands and mangroves, have tremendous value in protecting human lives and infrastructure against the effects of storms and sea surges. Urban and regional planning and natural resource management are just two important sectors that can play a central role in the enhancement of ecosystem services. Furthermore, the positive correlation between enhanced ecosystems and poverty reduction is just beginning to be appreciated. Given that the poor are frequently the most vulnerable to the effects of disasters, this link warrants more attention.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such those in the CATALYST region of Central Amer-ica and the Caribbean region that are particularly vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters would benefit in particular from ecosystems-based DRR and adaptation as well as integrated coastal zone management. One important mechanism for achieving this is to build these approaches into spatial planning. However, this cannot happen in the absence of more international attention to the specific development needs of these islands. A strengthening of the link between DRR/CCA and sustainable development, in the SIDS con-text, is the foundation stone of future support to these island states. At the regional level, risk reduction and adaptation in SIDS can also benefit tremendously from regional and multi-country networks and organisations such as the Indian Ocean Commission and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency that provide effective platforms for stakeholder exchange and cooperation including assistance for those islands facing disasters. As an example of the latter, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility provides its members with access to affordable and effective coverage against natural disasters.
Following from this example of risk insurance, the subsequent essay focuses on the general topic of climate risk insurance. In many but not all cases, risk transfer mechanisms such as insurance provide a cushion against natural disaster losses. The creation of an enabling environment is needed in order to implement effective climate risk insurance. This includes a regulatory and supervisory framework; mobilising those advocates who can encourage a long term commitment from the public and private sector; reliable data for pricing risk and for understanding the different options for managing climate risks; securing cost-effective distribution channels; a “back-up” mechanisms such as reinsurance or a safety net to meet exceptionally high claims; and, investment in risk management education and responsible management of clients. It is important to note that the UNFCCC and the Hyogo Framework for Action encourage country-driven risk transfer and risk-sharing mechanisms. The inter-national community needs to be sharing more information about good examples of risk transfer mechanisms that meet the needs and priorities of low-income and vulnerable peo-ple.
The subsequent set of essays focuses on key DRR/CCA themes from a country and local lev-el perspective.
Much attention has been given at the international level to the importance of mainstreaming or cross-sectoral integration of DRR/CCA into national and regional policy making. This mainstreaming also recognises the fact that DRR and CCA are inextricably linked when it comes to meteorological hazards and secondary hazards that may be triggered by them. Mainstreaming can effectively be supported with a regulatory framework that prescribes the actions that governments should undertake at various governance levels and within various sectors in order to achieve DRR/CCA goals and objectives in national or sectoral planning. As demonstrated in examples from the CATALYST Think Tank, integrating DRR/CCA into national economic development plans encourages governments to take own-ership of DRR/CCA planning so that aid efforts from donors can be better directed and managed. As the examples in this essay demonstrate, the effectiveness of these plans do however require sufficient allocation of budget, the high capacity level of the government staff involved, in large part due to investment in education and training, and a system of fre-quent reviews and planning revisions. Intergovernmental coordination, along with inter-governmental information sharing, is also key to effective DRR/CCA mainstreaming. The international community can also play an important role in encouraging national level mainstreaming by expanding National Adaptation Programmes for Action (NAPAs) to in-clude DRR objectives. It is important to consider that there are also indirect methods of mainstreaming DRR/CCA into government policy that can be adopted by non-government actors, including targeted capacity development of key staff in government, supporting change agents within government, lobbying and embedding.
Focusing on specific hazard events, and local action, the next essay reviews the emerging approaches to addressing increasingly frequent and/or intense drought episodes under conditions of climate change. The implications of drought for water resources and agricul-ture are far-reaching. Drought impacts, unlike other disasters, are not always immediate, taking place over a period of months or years, and are more difficult to assess, making them more challenging to manage. As a result there has been an increased recognition of the im-portance of shifting from crisis management to a risk reduction approach when it comes to addressing water scarcity and drought, with a focus on reducing the vulnerability of the so-cio-ecological system. One of the most effective measures for drought DRR/CCA is the set-ting up of a comprehensive drought monitoring and early warning system, such as the Eu-ropean Drought Observatory, which involves cooperation among several drought monitor-ing systems across the region, to provide a more complete understanding of the drought risks and early warning of the onset and duration of events. At a practical level, adaptation measures are presented that are proving effective including, for example, innovative water pricing mechanisms that promote conservation and resource pooling, i.e. the joint use of resources that are held collectively during times of scarcity.
Moving away from hazards in rural areas, in the penultimate essay, a call is made for practi-tioners at all levels to pay more attention to urban disaster risk reduction. As more and more of the world’s populations begin to live in urban areas, and informal settlements within large urban agglomerations grow, the vulnerability of human populations to hazard risks increases. But here lies a paradox: at the same time as being structurally vulnerable to dis-aster, urban areas can also act as the catalyst for transforming DRR/CCA in a country. The well-run city can be a bastion of good education, employment and high life expectancy, and can take the lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as be armed with the widest range of options for reducing risks from extreme events. Given the high risk and the great potential, urban areas are arguably the best place where efforts in DRR and CCA should start.
A popular version of this report (see Figure 5) has been published, available in English, with essays in Spanish and Bengali.
Figure 5: The Popular version of the Best Practices Policy Notebook
Available for downloading at: http://www.catalyst-project.eu/doc/
Evaluation of the project by Think Tank Members
There were 12 respondents to the end-of-project survey – a 10% response rate on Think Tank Members. The responses followed the general pattern of those from the interim evaluation the previous year. The support which the participants' work gained as a result of participation in CATALYST was described by respondents mainly in terms of an improvement or increase in networks and partnerships. The next most important gains were in knowledge gain and learning effects. Apart from the very latest knowledge product, the best practices policy notebook, the majority of respondents (70% or more) had read the products produced by CATALYST. Of those who read them, all respondents found the products either useful, very useful or excellent, with the exception of the CATALYST teaching module which all but one reader found useful. The product with the highest number of readers rating it as excellent were the Best Practice Papers (see Figure 5).
Figure 6: The Best Practice Papers for the four regions
Finally, in terms of making progress towards goals, the majority of respondents (80% or more) felt some or good progress had been made in terms of all goals, except for the more indirect one of increasing the capacities of NGOs and SMEs to mainstream DRR into their activities. Even in this case, 5 out of 11 believed progress to have been made.
The main potential impacts of the CATALYST project can be viewed in terms of the successful achievement of the project’s final two main objectives (3 and 4), presented above.
Objective 3: Establish a way of continuing the CATALYST website and think tank as a means for the exchange and dissemination of information on DRR/CCA, beyond the lifetime of the project
What has been clear from Think Tank Member feedback on the project is that there is a strong desire for CATALYST to continue in some form. For the last year, therefore we have been working with Think Tank Members to plan a way of continuing the CATALYST website and the Think Tank, beyond the lifetime of the project.
A key priority identified in the CATALYST Think Tank has been the eventual tailoring of CATALYST knowledge products to the institutional and cultural contexts of countries and communities, as well as their DRR/CCA capacities and needs . It has been pointed many times by Think Tank Members that best practices, for example, should be sensitive to the governance regimes and current (institutional) policy frameworks employed at the national and local levels. Furthermore, different cultures and linguistic traditions result in different attitudes to risk perception and management, which means approaches to disaster risk reduction and adaptation need to be tailored to culture and language as well. Although a limited amount of language translation was foreseen in the project itself, further tailoring the products (institutionally and culturally) to local contexts has been beyond the scope and resources of the current project. However, it has been the intention since the launch of the Think Tank process to create follow up projects that bring CATALYST knowledge to the local level.
In addition, as mentioned, it has been a major goal of the CATALYST project to ensure that the network created is maintained beyond the lifetime of the project. However, it is well recognised that websites alone cannot maintain the interest of professionals - there needs to be a strong reason for professionals to engage with any network, to take interest in and contribute to the information it communicates.
The Way Forward: the CATALYST-Local Community of Practice
In order to achieve this, the CATALYST project is seeking to create the CATALYST-Local Community of Practice (CoP), open to all TTM and other interested DRR/CCA practitioners. Members would seek the implementation of DRR/CCA capacity development activities at the local level, through CATALYST-Local projects, and, in doing so, to better understand how to effectively tailor the plethora of knowledge products available at the regional and global levels (CATALYST being just one source of many) to local needs.
The CoP will act as a focal point for information about the ongoing projects and for ex-change of knowledge and know-how among projects and the professionals working in them. It will include tools for allocating resources for knowledge generation in response to local needs.
CATALYST has over 28 countries represented in the Think Tank, and it would be seeking to support the creation of 10 to15 CATALYST-Local projects in countries across the four CATALYST regions. With this number of projects, it is believed that a critical mass of members will be engaged so that the CoP becomes active and self-propelling.
Each project will take one of three forms: Type (1) involves the use of a baseline approach to understand local contexts, capacities and needs with respect to DRR/CCA capacity development (the CATALYST approach), followed by the tailoring of CATALYST knowledge products to implement apposite capacity development activities at the local level; Type (2) involves the use of the CATALYST baseline approach to understand local contexts, capacities and needs with respect to DRR/CCA capacity development, followed by the tailoring of other knowledge products on DRR/CCA in order to implement apposite capacity development activities at the local level; Type (3) involves the creation of teams, composed of experts from the CATALYST-Local CoP to contribute expertise that supports local members in solving problems of DRR/CCA at the local level in a specific country.
A typical blueprint for a CATALYST-Local project of type (1) above can be characterised as follows:
Institutional and cultural analysis – national and municipal institutions are analysed in terms of the current governance of DRR responses;
Cultural analysis – analysis of local perceptions of DRR/CCA;
Hazard mapping – the analysis and mapping of hazards in the locality;
Capacity analysis – the analysis of adaptive capacities of the locality;
Requirements analysis – the needs for DRR/CCA in the municipality will be identified
Identification of participatory knowledge products – the CATALYST knowledge products that match the requirements of the municipality and that are potentially relevant to local linguis-tic, cultural and institutional contexts are identified in collaboration with local representa-tives/actors;
Identification and collation of assessment methods for use at local level – each local level project will collate a list of assessment methods that are used or promoted for use at the local level, taken from national or local guidelines. This list will be added to the toolbox compiled by the CATALYST-Local Network (see below).
Interpretation and tailoring of knowledge products – the identified CATALYST knowledge products are translated into locally relevant capacity development material that matches the linguistic as well as cultural and institutional circumstances of the municipality;
c) Capacity development
Training and dissemination – training workshops in the municipality, and at national level, based on the locally relevant capacity development material, will be undertaken. Distance learning opportunities will be provided via the CATALYST-Local website. Locally-relevant capacity development material will be disseminated.
Bottom-up funding approach
A proportion of all CATALYST-Local projects' funding supports the maintenance of the web-site and the community of practice platform for knowledge exchange. The activities will in-clude:
• the launch of the CATALYST-Local website linked to the CATALYST website thus making use of existing communication and discussion tools, and extending its current networking functionality;
• the organisation and implementation of an archive and knowledge exchange fa-cilities to permit the sharing of results and capacity development material among project participants;
• the organisation and moderation of regular discussions via virtual meetings among all CATALYST-Local project participants;
• the organisation of an international workshop, after the conclusion of the first set of projects, to share lessons learned from downscaling DRR/CCA knowledge to the local scale, with all CATALYST-Local project participants;
• the creation of a DRR assessment methodologies tool-box, collated via the local projects and desk research;
• the production and dissemination of workshop proceedings through the website and in hard copy; and the production and dissemination of a report on
CATALYST-Local network projects.
Already, project partners, and one of the Think Tank Members from UNAM in Mexico, have applied for German-Mexican funding for a CATALYST-Local project in the Sierra Gorda region of Mexico. The project coordinators are in discussion with a Think Tank Member from UNESCO about creating a CATALYST-Local project in Indonesia. Projects are also being planned in Italy and Guatemala. The CATALYST-Local Winter Academy being implemented in December 2013 in Mexico (see below) is a concrete realisation of other CATALYST-Local capacity development activities, involving partners and think tank members. The CATALYST-Local spin off of the CATALYST project will create a legacy for CATALYST in capacity development at the local level in DRR/CCA.
The CATALYST Website, being kept active by CATALYST-Local
New hosts of the CATALYST website have been identified for maintaining the website after the end of the project. The project coordinators have received a letter of intent from UNAM, Mexico, a Think Tank Member, to host and maintain a Latin American mirror site of the CATALYST website in 2014. The European mirror site will be hosted immediately after the project by seeconsult GmbH. The website will be kept active by reporting on and disseminating knowledge coming from activities as part of the CATALYST-Local Community of Practice.
Objective 4: Increase the capacity of NGOs and SMEs to include the disaster risk reduction and adaptation in their activities particularly in developing countries, and thereby increase societal awareness and resilience to natural hazards.
The ability of the project to increase capacities of NGOs and SMEs cannot be measured ob-jectively, neither its capacity to increase societal awareness. But its potential can be described in terms of actual dissemination and exploitation activities.
Dissemination and exploitation of results of the project
*The multiplier effect through the Think Tank Membership
The CATALYST Think Tank as a whole has been a major dissemination activity of the knowledge collated and analysed by the project. Each one of the over 120 Think Tank Members (that include SMEs and NGOs) now have the knowledge products and are in a position to disseminate them to their own networks. At the start of the project, considerable efforts were made to include Think Tank Members who, in their daily work, organised capacity development activities (such as PEDRR, UNESCO, and many more). The multiplier effect of these Think Tank Members’ own capacity development activities, supporting NGOs, CSOs and society in general, represents a potential dissemination of the project results of global proportions (from the international to the local levels), that has the potential to increase societal awareness and resilience to natural hazards.
*Repackaged products for policy makers
Additionally, we are redesigning key knowledge products and finding new ways for disseminate them in order to specifically target policy makers and what the best practices policy notebook refers to as “the legion of sectoral experts and policy-makers who... are increasingly being asked to include, in their expertise and mandates, knowledge of DRR/CCA practices and measures that can both support their sector and help their sector to support DRR/CCA objectives.” (REFS). The levels of policy making that can be reached by CATALYST products are local, national, European, and international. The policy fields the products can influence include disaster risk management, climate change, research and innovation, funding policy, agriculture, environment, development, regional policy, humanitarian aid, government policy on policy making, and on creation of an information sharing society. This targeting of policy makers has been deemed important by Think Tank Members. For example, according to one TTM , in countries where government officials are frequently re-placed, having readily available knowledge on the most important developments in DRR/CCA, such as this notebook provides, is a necessity for new government staff. Additionally, it has been pointed out that with climate change comes new situations for profes-sionals to deal with, thus “we need to learn from others about the new situation we find ourselves in” . As a result, we have created new updated versions of the Best Practices Pol-icy Notebook (version 2.0) and the Special Report on Stakeholder Advice to Policy Makers (version 2.0) to go with the already reader-friendly design of the four regional Best Practice Papers. The Best Practice Papers and essays from the Policy Notebook are also being translated into Spanish and Bengali for wider, country-level dissemination. The Special Re-port has been updated (version 2.0) with two further Think Tank Member contributions, and UNU has agreed to redesign and publish it as a prestigious UNU Policy Brief for maxi-mum dissemination to policymakers at subsequent climate change talks and other high level events they are involved in. The Special Report is in fact a very succinct and clear set of recommendations for policy changes written by Think Tank Members, i.e. professionals in the world of DRR/CCA, and it is hoped that, as the introduction to the report states: “[t]he adoption of these and the other recommendations described in this report would go towards facilitating the work of the Think Tank Members from the UN, research, NGO and SME sectors, for the benefit of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation at the national and local levels.”
*Freely available training materials online
To increase the dissemination of the CATALYST teaching module, the contexts have been translated into Spanish and Bengali, along with the English-language originals and will be made available via the UNU-EHS online learning platform (http://www.ehs.unu.edu/elearning/). The presentations and other material (notes, exercises) are under a creative commons license permitting the open and free reuse of material for teaching, as long as the author(s) are acknowledged.
*CATALYST-Local Winter Academy – capacity development at the local level
Finally, the work of CATALYST is being exploited and disseminated in the form of a winter academy being organised under the framework of CATALYST-Local (see Figure 6). The CATALYST-Local Winter Academy CATALYST Winter Academy (Figure 7) on “Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation: Applying science and strategies at the community level” to be held in Guanajuato State, Mexico, 1–14 December 2013, is the collaboration of CATALYST partners and think tank members, all of which are providing funds, human resources to teach post-graduate students from Mexico and across the world about DRR and CCA, making use of the teaching module, and other knowledge products, developed by CATALYST as part of its core material.
Figure 7: Advertisement for the CATALYST-Local Winter Academy on DRR/CCA
The academy is being implemented and co-funded by CATALYST partners seeconsult GmbH and the United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS); with the CATALYST Think Tank Member, the Programa de Investigación en Cambio Climático (PINCC) de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and with a local partner la Universidad de Guanajuato; and The Integrated Assessment Society (TIAS). Extra funding is coming from the Climate Service Center, Germany, and CATALYST partners GEUS and FEEM are also sending, at their own costs, a trainer each to teach at the academy.
The CATALYST-Local Winter Academy will be no ordinary teaching event. It offers a unique opportunity to analyse the current global challenges of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation from a local community perspective. The 14-day programme is specifi-cally designed to engage participants in practical activities that will translate theories of risk reduction adaptation, into a realistic local community approach.
To this end, students in the second week of the course will be immersed in the realities and daily lives of a remote community in rural Mexico: in Las Palomas, in the Sierra Gorda de Guanajuato. In this community, the students will be carrying out projects on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (DRR/CCA) related to real community needs for risk reduction and adaptation. In this way, the theory that the students will learn in the first week in Guanajuato City will be challenged through application in a case study, and through working with members of the local community.
The course will include the following modules:
1. Introduction to Disaster Risk Reduction
2. Introduction to Climate Change Adaptation
3. Vulnerability assessment and risk analysis
4. DRR and urban planning
5. DRR and ecosystems services
6. Participatory processes for DRR/CCA planning
7. Adaptive agriculture
8. Working in rural communities
9. Communication of DRR/CCA plans and information
10. 4-day applied project work
By setting the second week of the Academy in the community, working on projects with local people, the Winter Academy is bringing much needed know-how on DRR/CCA into the community of Las Palomas, and the Municipality of Xichú, as well as infrastructure for future capacity development (teaching infrastructure, books). CATALYST results are therefore being used to provide capacity development for local communities. It is hoped that this model will be repeated in other places in future years, leaving a lasting legacy of local level capacity development for student and communities alike.
List of Websites:
Contact, website and partners
Project Coordinator: seeconsult GmbH (Germany)
Other project partners are: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), TWAS - the world academy of sciences for the developing world, The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS); Alterra (Environmental research, Wageningen-UR), and the United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
Alaerts, G.J. and Kaspersma, J.M.: Progress and challenges in knowledge and capacity development. In Blokland, M., Alaerts, G., Kaspersma, J. & Hare, M. (Eds) Capacity Development for Improved Water Management. CRC Press – Taylor & Francis Group: Delft, 2010.
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Grant agreement ID: 283177
1 October 2011
30 September 2013
€ 992 800,25
€ 843 931,57
FONDAZIONE ENI ENRICO MATTEI
Deliverables not available
Grant agreement ID: 283177
1 October 2011
30 September 2013
€ 992 800,25
€ 843 931,57
FONDAZIONE ENI ENRICO MATTEI
Grant agreement ID: 283177
1 October 2011
30 September 2013
€ 992 800,25
€ 843 931,57
FONDAZIONE ENI ENRICO MATTEI