1. Introduction
  2. Discuss the levels of capacity development.
  3. Discuss the methods for building capacity.

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) define ‘Capacity Development’ for Disaster Risk Reduction as “the process by which people, organizations and society systematically stimulate and develop their capability over time to achieve social and economic goals, including improvement of knowledge, skills, systems, and institutions. Sendai Framework emphasizes the need for enhancing the technical, financial, and administrative capabilities of institutions, governments, and communities to deal with the risks at different levels.

There are three level of capacity development: individual, institutional and enabling environment.

  • Capacities at level of enabling environment relate to things as policies, legislations, institutional arrangements, leadership, political processes, power relations and social norms. At this level the National Policy for Disaster Management and the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) identifies the themes for capacity building which include prevention and mitigation for risk reduction; effective preparedness and response; and recovery and build back better.
  • The institutional level capacity pertains to internal policies, systems and strategies, arrangement, procedures and framework that allows an organization to operate and deliver on its mandate by enabling individual capacities to work together and achieve goals.
  • The primary responsibility for disaster management lies with the state governments. The local self-governments also have a major role to play. The role of central government is supportive and supplementary.
  • The overall coordination of disaster management vests with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The Cabinet Committee on Security (CSS) and the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) are the key committees involved in the top-level decision making with regard to disaster management. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) lays down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management.
  • The National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project aims to empower the governments, the communities at large, particularly women. The National School Safety Programme is to build capacity of students and teachers for better preparedness. National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) undertakes training, research and development of national level information base. NIDM strives to emerge as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in the field of Disaster Management.
  • The individual level pertains to the skills and knowledge that are vested in people which include individual, communities, groups and teams.

The emphasis should not be only on developing human resources, but also on developing the necessary infrastructure and institutional capacity for risk reduction. Capacity building cannot be the responsibility of the state alone. As the Sendai framework puts it aptly, we need an all-of society approach. There is need to build the knowledge of civil society, communities and volunteers on disaster risk reduction and need to train people in the private sector such as private medical practitioners and engineers for medical response and disaster resilient construction respectively.

Capacity of the NGOs and civil society should also be built for emergency response, relief and disaster management. Capacity building is not a onetime activity. It is a continuous process. As the risks are dynamic, capacity building programmes have to keep changing and evolving. The programmes, projects and trainings for capacity building should be constantly evaluated to make them relevant and suitable.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish October 13, 2022