May 2018: The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has published its 2017 Annual Report, which discusses UNISDR’s work towards implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the first biennium since their adoption in 2015, focusing on the linkages between humanitarian, development and climate action.

The report provides an overview of UNISDR’s progress regarding its Strategic Framework 2016-2021 and Work Programme 2016-2019.

The report notes that, to ensure greater focus, resource efficiency and accountability, UNISDR undertook efforts to align its organizational structure with its Strategic Framework’s objectives, namely: strengthening global monitoring, analysis and coordination of Sendai Framework implementation; supporting regional and national Sendai Framework implementation through the provision of tools, information, platforms, technical expertise and incentives; and catalyzing action through its member States and partners.

The report explains that 2017 was one of the costliest years for disaster losses due to climate change risk drivers, poorly planned urbanization in hazard-prone areas, environmental degradation and increasing inequality. However, it points to a lack of capacity to access, compile and report back on the data necessary to measure progress on Sendai Framework implementation, and underscores the need to boost capacity development in many countries.

The Sendai Framework Monitor will enable reporting against common indicators for the SDGs, particularly SDGs 1, 11 and 13.

During the biennium, UNISDR also provided support to the Open-ended Intergovernmental Expert Working Group on Indicators and Terminology relating to DRR (OIEWG), which agreed 38 indicators to measure Sendai Framework implementation, and engaged and coordinated with the UN Statistical Commission, which approved use of seven of the Sendai Framework indicators to measure SDGs 1 (no poverty), 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and 13 (climate action), thus placing DRR “at the heart” of the SDGs.

The report notes that, following adoption of the indicators in 2017, UNISDR worked to develop an online monitoring system, which was piloted during the 2017 Global Platform for DRR in Cancun, Mexico, in May 2017. UNISDR formally launched the Sendai Framework Monitor on 1 March 2018. The monitoring system will: gather data to enhance understanding of disaster risk; better enable UN Member States to report on progress in achieving the Sendai Framework’s targets; and enable reporting against common indicators for the SDGs, particularly SDGs 1, 11 and 13. Data reported through the monitoring system will provide the basis for UNISDR’s contribution to the report on SDG progress for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2018.

The publication highlights UNISDR-organized side events and workshops on DRR and the SDGs during previous HLPFs, in 2016 and 2017, which led to recognition of DRR’s contribution to sustainable development in the 2017 HLPF Ministerial Declaration and the inclusion of the Sendai Framework in Voluntary National Review (VNR) guidelines.

According to the report, in 2016-2017, UNISDR supported 46 member States to develop and update their national DRR strategies and plans in an effort to achieve Sendai target (e) on substantially increasing the number of countries with national and local DRR strategies by 2020. UNISDR also worked closely with member States and the UNFCCC Secretariat to ensure coherence and linkages between DRR strategies and national adaptation plans (NAPs).

The report underscores that, to support local-level DRR efforts and Sendai Framework implementation, UNISDR continues to provide tools, best practices and policy guidance to almost 4,000 local governments participating in the ‘Making Cities Resilient Campaign.’

UNISDR also facilitated revisions to the ‘UN Plan of Action on DRR for Resilience: Towards a Risk-informed and Integrated Approach to Sustainable Development,’ which enables the UN to better coordinate to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The Office worked with UN Regional Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) to promote joint implementation of the Plan. UNISDR also provided technical inputs to the UN Development Group-led SDGs Acceleration toolkit, which resulted in the inclusion of datasets, risk models and data viewers. The toolkit helps UNCTs address disaster and climate risks in their activities.

In addition, UNISDR joined the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development (FFD), and contributed to its report to the 2018 UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on FFD, which calls for, inter alia, greater focus on prevention and DRR, including the development of institutional frameworks and financing mechanisms. In 2018, the FFD agenda will address DRR for the first time.

The report highlights UNISDR’s global communication and advocacy efforts, which, during the biennium, enhanced DRR awareness through events and outreach, such as implementing the ‘Sendai Seven Campaign: Seven Targets, Seven Years,’ the theme for the 13 October International Day for Disaster Reduction, which aims to raise awareness on the Sendai Framework’s targets.

UNISDR also initiated an Organizational Review and Change Management Process, focused on strengthening UNISDR’s regional presence and organizational efficiency, safeguarding financial sustainability, and further developing gender-sensitive internal policies and approaches. UNISDR raised US$57.6 million against an initial requirement of US$74.9 million, and continues to diversify its support base, with India and Canada becoming new donors. [Publication: UNISDR Annual Report 2017] [UNISDR Annual Report Landing Page] [Sendai Framework Monitor]