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    Discuss with your fellow students this DRR diagram theoretical model, both the fast-onset and slow-onset versions. Does this relate to the reality of the concept and reality of disasters as you understand them?


    The DRR diagram well reflects the concept and reality of disasters as I understand them because if you reduce the vulnerability of people to the hazard, the likelihood of a disaster having a higher negative impact on populations is reduced. The more prevention, mitigation and preparedness we can be involved in, the less the hazard impact will be.


    The diagram is able to illustrate the case that DRR reduces the impact of a potential disaster. It is more challenging to present an illustration of this type which demonstrates a diminishment of likelihood.


    The diagrams do relate fairly well, showing the steps, action that could take place if awareness and preparation to prevent impacts of disaster are present.

    Are these concepts used in every situation ?


    You’ve raised an interesting question about the diagrams. For all of the key ones (DRMC x 2 versions; DRR x 2 versions; PMC; DRM Planning diagram), they’ve all been developed over the past 12 years or so, as an attempt to represent diagrammatically key aspects of DRM and project management. On one hand, they represent an ideal (indeed almost ultimate) participatory process…whilst I originally thought up the designs, they’ve been modified as a result mainly from DRM and PPM students. One example is the DRR diagram, where the suggestion for good governance being in a circle surrounded by those four other components, was suggested by a PNG student (actually working for a bank) in Port Moresby. The challenge is for the diagrams to develop more ‘traction’ and become increasingly widely accepted. Whilst these diagrams are incorporated in the Charles Sturt University (CSU) emergency management program I teach in, there’s still a long way to go. ultimately for any diagram, if it’s useful, keep it. If it’s no good, either modify it or discard it….


    Chris, it appears that the way you have designed the 2 DRR diagrams is spot on.
    The rapid DRR diagram shows that any recovery processes are slower than the slow cycle DRR. Presumably this is because the slow cycle can respond to the disaster quicker with more effectiveness mitigating the impact because of all the prior pre-planning strategies in place. With a rapid onset disaster, although preparations are in place, the time taken to mobilise effectively would be slower due to possibly facing multiple challenges including poor access to the areas.
    The challenge will always be in an areas/nation’s willingness/ability to prepare pre-disaster. Some countries may or may not have the facilities for DRR themselves but may be reluctant to ask for outside help to prepare. Likewise, other countries with the resources to prepare, may prepare inadequately. That’s why, if there were an international DRR plan, acceptable to all, were available, I’m sure there would be a better ability to prepare and respond.
    A multinational or multi-regional approach to DRM preparation would be preferable with a greater capacity to prepare and act. The Pacific region certainly has taken this multi-national planning approach and seems to be able to reach areas quicker with better facilities available sooner than if left to one country only, eg the cooperation with the NZ vulcanologists with Tonga (?).


    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your comments here….just to clarify a few points:
    1. Overall the diagrams work pretty well because they’ve been quite participatory. Students from DRM and PPM workshops have made comments over the years, and we’ve duly taken note of these suggestions
    2. The DRR diagrams both indicate that without DRR initiatives beforehand, then the impact/likelihood of any disaster will be correspondingly higher (than would have been the case if these DRR initiatives were in place). Also the recovery process for non-DRR situations will be more long and drawn out than those where corresponding disasters hit places where there were good DRR initiatives in place. The diagrams don’t necessarily mean that the recovery process for fast-impact disasters are more drawn out than for slow-onset disasters however….
    3. In the Pacific region there is good cooperation between the various islands. The Emergency Management framework for all of these was introduced by Australia/NZ, so they should be working off the same framework. National governments are also supported by a strong Pacific Humanitarian Team (PHT) based out of Fiji.
    4. There is also some good coordination across Asia. In the UNOCHA document ‘Disaster Response in Asia and the Pacific – A guide to international tools and services’ – see DRM/PPM bibliography, you will note there are some binding regulatory agreements between ASEAN and SAARC countries, namely AADMER and NDRRM respectively.
    5. In practice of course, when there is a major disaster in either the Pacific or Asia, things sometimes work less than perfectly…!!


    Both models seem quite comprehensive; having participatory input over the years seems to have ensured the models capture all the key factors quite aptly! They are quite coherent in tandem with the DRMC diagrams too, which helps them prove both comprehensive yet readily learned. Quite interesting to hear about the Pacific Humanitarian Team and those binding regulatory agreements Chris – it’s nice to know anyone facing a disaster is well-supported in the Asia-Pacific. Is the PHT a Fijian initiative following the DRR and broader DRM principles, or an Aust/NZ one?


    Hi Matt,
    Apologies for the delay in replying to this…the PHT is primarily made up of UN agencies. They recently (19-21 Oct) had their annual Pacific Humanitarian Partnership Meeting in Suva, Fiji, and more information about this (as well as the PHT) can be found on The PHT is primarily to support host countries (such as Vanuatu affected by TC Pam, or Fiji affected by TC Winston). The challenge for the PHT is to incorporate international DRM principles into the Emergency Management (EM) framework around which host governments base their EM Plans..these being developed from the Australian/NZ model.

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