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5. Overview of Local Institutional Responses to Natural Disasters

Certain local institutional responses have taken place within project frameworks that sought to coordinate local government and civil society contributions with those of DRM experts. The ‘Proyecto Fortalecimiento de Estructuras locales para la MItigación de Desastres’ (FEMID), for example, implemented from 1997 to 1999 in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, was a pilot initiative aimed at responding to communities’ interests to participate in jointly analysing the causes of natural hazards, the risks and vulnerability involved, and the actions that can be taken to mitigate negative disaster impacts.

Diagramme 1: A Local Risk Management System in Guatemala (Source: FEMID/GTZ 2002)

To perform the planned joint analyses in an organised and systemic manner, an approach referred to as Local Risk Management (LRM) was developed, using the inter-related dimensions of Prevention, Mitigation, and Preparedness (PMP) to group and structure activities to be carried out. Based on lessons drawn from the practical experience gained, Diagramme 1 above shows the process elaborated and applied over the three year period to put in place local DRM capacity in the countries covered by FEMID. Within the project programming framework, training activities too involved central and local government, as well as a range of civil society actors and community groups (as visible on the left side of the Diagramme).

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