policy development

Disaster and Vulnerability Policy Section

The Disaster and Vulnerability Policy Section (DVPS) focuses on the development of guidance and tools to improve policy and measures to make policy more effective, specifically in relation to disasters associated with natural hazards. This includes paying particular attention to the changing nature of risk and vulnerability, and the implications of this for the humanitarian community.

In 2008, in close collaboration with the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and OCHA’s Emergency Preparedness Section, a major priority for DVPS will be the identification and mapping of the humanitarian implications of climate change (including an analysis of trends and regional variations) in order to improve decision-making and prioritization of action in high-risk, low-capacity settings. The Section will undertake improved trend analysis of affected communities (in terms of deaths, injuries, displacement, loss of assets) and create a profile of the changing nature of disaster victims over the past two decades. A related priority will be the provision and application of policy guidance on improved preparedness and reduction of risk.

DVPS will focus on identifying issues related to improved coordination in slow-onset disaster settings and appropriate levels of funding for risk reduction in humanitarian contexts. In collaboration with partners, it will also review the gender dimension of disasters and assist in the formulation of policies to address the situation of older people in emergency settings.

Key challenges associated with the analysis of likely humanitarian concerns associated with climate change are the dearth of relevant data and uncertainties about the potential impact of adaptation measures. Other challenges facing DVPS in 2008 include insufficient support for measures geared towards the reduction of risk and the general tendency to be reactive rather than proactive in humanitarian contexts.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Greater incorporation of disaster risk reduction approaches and strengthened preparedness in humanitarian response
Outputs Indicators
Policy advice and analysis for OCHA on disaster risk reduction strengthened. Support to field staff and partners provided. Number of OCHA field offices including disaster risk reduction objectives in planning and programming.

Action-oriented analysis of humanitarian trends and emerging policy issues
Outputs Indicators
Analysis and policy guidance on disaster trends and their implications (in particular in relation to climate change, gender, older people and disaster funding flows) developed and disseminated. Number of analytical and background reports on the humanitarian implications of climate change and other long-term disaster trends released.