ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The National Disaster Management Plan, 2019

This article reflects on the disaster resilience responsibility framework within the National Disaster Management Plan, 2019. It argues that the DRRF lacks clarity as a guidance document for the central ministries identified as nodal agencies for addressing individual hazards. The nodal ministries and agencies require guidance for understanding how their existing epistemologies can evolve to speak to the social conceptualisation of disasters in order to carry out tasks assigned to them under the DRRF. It goes on to suggest that the plan can provide this guidance and facilitate this epistemological transition by creating new knowledge spaces for these nodal ministries/institutions.

 

The National Disaster Management Plan, 2019 provides a framework and direction to the government agencies for all the phases of the disaster management cycle. It is in acc­ordance with the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the guidance given in the National Policy on Disaster Management (NPDM) 2009. The plan is identified as a “dynamic document,” which is to be periodically impro­ved, keeping up with the emerging global best practices and knowledge base in disaster management (NDMA 2019: xxvvii). One of the thematic areas in the plan is building disaster resilience.

The plan argues that integrating disaster resilience in policy process represents a shift in the focus of global disaster resilience responsibility (DRR) frameworks from disaster management to disaster risk management (NDMA 2019: 97). Globally, this shift is underpinned by conceptual change in comprehending disasters from an “Act of God” to a social phenomenon (O’Keefe et al 1976; Tiranti 1977). While the plan does not provide any guiding definition for resilience but according to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)—which the plan follows—resilience is defined as the ability of a system, community or ­society exposed to hazards to resist, ­absorb, accommodate, and recover from its effects in a timely and efficient manner, including the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions (UNDRR 2020). Therefore, building a resilient society goes a step further than merely reducing disa­ster risk. It includes enhancing the capa­city of the community in addition to identifying and reducing hazard risk. The plan identifies disaster resilience section as the one including all aspects of pre-disaster risk management.

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Updated On : 17th Jan, 2022

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