Are We There Yet? Reflections on Integrated Disaster Risk Management after Ten Years

Ben Wisner,


Integrated disaster risk management (IDRiM) is a lofty and ambitious goal. It would bridge scales from the global to the local, involving a wide range of actors or stakeholders. It would draw on local as well as outside specialist knowledge, and this external knowledge would come from a wide array of professional and scientific fields from economics and the social sciences to the earth and biological science and engineering, public administration and communication. Above all the word "Integration'" implies that established distinctions are bridged, such as between planning for development and planning for disaster risk management. This paper argues that over the past ten years some progress has been made in laying out the road map, but that we are not there yet. In fact, the journey has only begun. There have been key events that have motivated people to seek IDRiM such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and Haitian earthquake and their aftermaths. New institutions have been created that have the potential to move us toward IDRiM such as UN-ISDR. Finally, a series of concepts have emerged from many reports, evaluations, and research. These ideas are discussed, and the challenge for the next 5-10 years mapped out.

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