Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction - Assessing barriers and opportunities to integrate risk information into communal development planning in Burundi
Sammanfattning: Natural hazards cannot be avoided, but their damage to what human beings value, such as life, health, and property, can be limited. Climate change will increase extreme weather events and overall disaster risk, which will particularly affect Least Developed Countries. Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into development planning, the systematic integration of information stemming from risk assessments into all sectors is a recognised means to protect a country’s development gains. But despite acknowledgement and recognition through international agreements, efforts to integrate this information remain limited due to barriers of various types. The present study investigates the barriers and opportunities to mainstream DRR into communal development plans in Burundi focusing on the agricultural and educational sectors. Burundi, a country in East Africa, is frequently affected by different disasters that undermine the country’s ability to sustainably develop its economy and society. This qualitative study used mixed methods but was primarily based on 36 semi-structured interviews. The findings showed that most barriers and opportunities for risk-informed planning are tied to institutional arrangements. These can be clustered in legislation, finance, information, technology, knowledge and expertise as well as socio-political conditions and dynamics that shape disaster risks. The study concludes that to understand barriers to integration, it is essential to consider them as interlinked across different sectors, governance levels and planning phases which are influenced by underlying power dynamics between stakeholders involved. A holistic approach is recommended to address the complex system of institutional barriers and yield opportunities to protect the development process.
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