It is interesting to note that the divide between humanitarian/emergency response and the development needs are not quite as wide as could be thought – the better the five components are addressed developmentally, the better the disaster risk reduction will be, and therefore the less the impact the hazard/disaster will have – thereby reducing the depth/breadth of the humanitarian/emergency response.

If a country is resilient in all of the six components, it stands to reason the DRR program will be more effective. My experience is that Vanuatu does not have major safety & security issues (e.g. no civil war), and this definitely makes a big difference when it comes to the sustainability of DRR initiatives as it allows those involved to focus on the activities/objectives without having the “distraction” of their families or their own welfare.

Good governance – perhaps this is one area in which I can see potential. The government of Vanuatu has had corruption but has also dealt with it (famously earlier this year jailing 13 (out of total 50) of it’s MPs for corruption and causing a change in government and reinforcing the rhetoric that “no one is above the law”.). This shows major progress. However, one area of good governance is also the institutional frameworks at which you are trying to implement projects or programs. Where there exists strong leadership and solid institutional frameworks, the ability to carry out DRR is much higher. Where there is weak leadership easily swung by development $$, and poor management you get poor projects that do not reach their intended objectives when it comes to DRR.

I also see good governance as working with local community institutions – in some islands these can be very strong. This has negative & positives, but the positives are that if you get the local community institution on board with CCDRM work, then there is good coordination, communication and implementation. In communities where the community institutions are weaker (e.g. they do not have clear community leaders / chiefs), it seems much harder to implement community boosting DRR activities.