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November 2004

Announcement of a new publication

The role of local institutions in reducing vulnerability to recurrent natural disasters and in sustainable livelihoods development

Case study: Viet Nam

by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC)
and the Rural Institutions and Participation Service
FAO Rural Development Division

This case study on the role of local level institutions in reducing vulnerability to recurrent natural disasters and in sustainable livelihoods development in high risk areas is written for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to contribute to the understanding of the role of local institutions and organizations in the design and implementation of disaster risk management strategies, as well as the role of local authorities in building community social capital for disaster prevention and preparedness. This understanding will provide insight and guidance on how disaster risk management may be integrated into development strategies.

Viet Nam, owing to its geographic location, is most prone to typhoons, floods, storms and salinity intrusion. Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue were selected, as the central provinces are the focus of disaster mitigation efforts by government, donors and NGOs in response to the great flood of 1999. The study sites (Gio Linh and Hai Lang Districts, Quang Tri and Aluoi District, Thua Thien Hue) were selected based on the following criteria:

  • The districts represent different agro-ecological environment and production systems that are affected by flood and drought in different ways (Gio Linh and Hai Lang lowland; Aluoi highland)
  • The districts have different socio-economic structures and capacities
  • The researchers have established relations with the local authorities, which is critical to access to information

This study is based on the premise that successful disaster risk mitigation and management, as well as rural development, requires that central government line ministries and departments get better linked with local actors, including traditional authorities and civil society, and that actions and resources are better coordinated and decentralized according to the comparative advantages of local actors. These advantages include local perspectives into policy making and rural development planning, two-way communication with higher policy levels, implementation of rural development activities at local level, mobilizing local participation, and handling emergencies at the local level with conscious links to reconstruction, prevention and preparedness phases of disaster risk management.

Click here to view the document.

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