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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)

1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the priorities of your organization? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the systemic nature of risk and its cascading and cross-sectoral impacts. This, as already evidenced by the climate emergency, further demonstrates that bridging institutional silos, and coordination with different sectors and levels of government, as well as cohesive and participatory action beyond government level, are key success factors for effective risk governance. The pandemic has also shown the consequences of systematically underinvesting in resilience. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) highlighted the existing body of knowledge, expertise and experience in managing disasters and disaster risks to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. UNDRR published 85 knowledge resources and products in 2020, including 23 COVID-19 related briefs. Several programmes were initiated and accelerated, as outlined in the subsequent sections. UNDRR quickly pivoted from traditional face-to-face delivery of training workshops and events by kick starting the UNDRR COVID-19 webinar series, adapting traditional courses for online delivery, and developing new ones to address emerging and ongoing needs throughout the year. Online delivery proved to increase audience reach by engaging new non-traditional participants and those less likely to be able to attend face-to-face workshops. The pandemic has informed and influenced the new Strategic Framework 2022-2025 of UNDRR that places high priority on recovering from the pandemic while building long-term resilience. UNDRR will place high urgency in strengthening risk knowledge, data and analysis to enable countries to better manage the complex and interconnected risks of today and in the future. Further, the midterm review process of the Sendai Framework has been initiated and will culminate in 2023. The midterm review was mandated by the General Assembly in 2020, with the adoption of Resolution 75/216 recognizing the important role of the Sendai Framework in a sustainable recovery from COVID-19. It will assess progress on integrating disaster risk reduction into policies, programmes and investments at all levels, identify good practice, gaps and challenges, and accelerate the path to achieving the goal of the Sendai Framework by 2030. Building on the heightened interest and awareness of risk due to COVID-19, UNDRR will deliver evidence-based advocacy initiatives with clear calls to action to invest in prevention, including through communication campaigns highlighting the crucial role of disaster risk prevention. The 2022 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, held under the overall theme ‘From Risk to Resilience: Towards Sustainable Development for All in a COVID-19 Transformed World’, will focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the traditional understanding of risk and disaster risk governance. With COVID-19 recovery investments allocated to new infrastructure and given that the bulk of funding allocated for recovery will be used to support public investment and key structural reforms, it is critical that considerations of risk reduction and resilience shape how and where these resources are spent. Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will also involve an exceptionally high amount of public funds channelled towards recovery investments, to a large extent through the private sector. UNDRR will enhance global momentum for investing in resilient infrastructure. To increase private sector mobilization, UNDRR will continue coordinating the implementation of the UNDRR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Communities (ARISE) network and expand its coverage with a focus on ground level implementation at national level.

2. In 2020/2021, how has your organization endeavored to support Member States to build back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda? Please select up to three high-impact initiatives to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations in those efforts to achieve coherence and synergies?  

As part of the UN joint response to COVID-19, UNDRR has been engaging diverse stakeholders at all levels to promote learning for improved policy and practice to ensure that disaster risk reduction addresses pandemics and biological hazards, as part of a multi-hazard approach, and to ensure that COVID-19 response and recovery is risk-informed. This work includes fostering dialogue amongst Member States, stakeholders and the UN system, developing guidance and tools, and ensuring a multi-dimensional understanding of risk, so that early lessons learned from the pandemic inform current and future disaster risk reduction efforts. The UN Plan of Action on DRR for Resilience, highlighted in the 2020 QCPR Resolution, guided interagency efforts to strengthen DRR in the context of COVID-19 response and recovery. UNDRR collaborated closely within the UN system, including through UNSDG and the UN Senior Leadership Group on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience (UN SLG) chaired by the SRSG for Disaster Risk Reduction, to ensure a recovery process that not only builds back better, but also strengthens resilience to reduce the risk of pandemics and a wider range of hazards in the future. This has included the development of technical guidance notes on incorporating biological hazard preparedness into UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks for Resident Coordinators and United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs), active leadership in UN Issue-based Coalitions (IBCs) at the regional level, as well as efforts to bring together health sector and disaster risk management constituencies. Mandated by the UN SLG, UNDRR in collaboration with DCO, OCHA, UNDP and WHO led a review of DRR in the UN’s management of COVID-19, which includes a further set of recommendations on how to strengthen DRR in the UN’s humanitarian, development and health-related support to Member States’ response and recovery, which are being taken forward in 2022. UNDRR coordinates the International Recovery Platform (IRP), a thematic platform and joint initiative of international organizations, national and local governments, and civil society to promote building back better in recovery and advocate for the implementation of Priority 4 of Sendai Framework. In 2020, the IRP has demonstrated its agility by adjusting its work plan to respond to emerging knowledge demands to support COVID-19 recovery, as the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading across the world in spring 2020. IRP has issued a series of publications to support recovery from the pandemic. Recognizing that countries that had in place multi-hazard DRR strategies found themselves better prepared to respond to COVID-19, UNDRR continued to provide technical assistance to countries in developing multi-hazard disaster risk reduction strategies, incorporating lessons learned from the COVID-19 response. In this context, UNDRR worked closely with WHO to ensure that the Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (EDRM) Framework and the Bangkok Principles for health aspects of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction are implemented in COVID-19 response and recovery. With WHO, UNDRR also contributed to advocacy to ensure that health systems become more resilient to the health impacts of multi-hazards, including climate-induced, biological and other natural and human made disasters. As part of a multi-agency initiative on comprehensive disaster and climate risk management, UNDRR is collaborating with WHO to develop a supplementary guidance for developing or updating national multi-hazard disaster risk reduction strategies. A public health system resilience (addendum) scorecard has also been developed to inform local resilience strategies. UNDRR has also developed tools and guidance to enhance business resilience against the impact of the pandemic, focusing on the small and medium enterprises. UNDRR supported Member States in reporting COVID-19-related losses under Sendai Targets A (related to disaster mortality), B (related to disaster-affected persons) and D (related to disruption of basic services from disasters). In collaboration with WHO, UNDRR conducted targeted trainings for national Sendai Focal Points and produced dedicated guidelines on COVID-19 reporting under the Sendai Framework. Recognizing that a healthy environment is essential for supporting human health and reducing disaster risk, UNDRR developed the Words into Action Guidelines on Nature-Based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction, in collaboration with the Partnership for Environment & Disaster Risk Reduction. The Guide highlights Nature-Based Solutions as a critical element of recovery and ‘building back better’. UNDRR has generated a momentum on managing the ‘dual impact’ of the pandemic, as disasters resulting from natural and climate-related hazards continued to rise. This included issuing and revising guidance on preparedness, now considering the impact of the pandemic.

Name Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 11, 13
Member States benefiting from the initiative Global 
Description The Guidance Note helps UN RCOs and the UNCTs in formulating and implementing Cooperation Frameworks that support countries, communities and people in using climate and disaster risk management approaches to build disaster resilience. It outlines the impacts of climate and disaster risks on progress towards achieving the SDGs and suggests appropriate actions for each phase in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework lifecycle to make them risk-informed. The Note is one among a larger library of supporting documents to the Cooperation Framework Guidance and is best read alongside the Cooperation Framework Companion Package. The Guidance Note includes a special addendum for integration of disease outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics in Cooperation Frameworks. The Guidance is complemented by a training package, available in English and Spanish.


Name Disaster resilience scorecard for cities: Public health system resilience addendum
Partners UNDRR, WHO
Relevant SDGs SDGs 3, 11
Member States benefiting from the initiative Global, Focus on local authorities and city managers
Description The Disaster resilience scorecard for cities helps local governments understand and analyse the gaps in resilience and develop plans of actions to remedy this deficiency. The health scorecard addendum aims to strengthen and integrate coverage of the many aspects of public health issues and consequences of disasters that are not adequately emphasized in the original Scorecard. While the more obvious health factors such as hospital services capacities and structural and non-structural safety are covered in the Scorecard (under Essential 8), other disaster-related public health issues have not been well addressed. The Addendum, promulgated by UNDRR, with the support of World Health Organization (WHO) and partners, aims to remedy this. The Addendum is used in conjunction with the Scorecard, and WHO’s Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health EDRM) Framework. The Addendum is structured in sections around the same “Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient” as the Scorecard. It helps local governments integrate all health services into their resilience plans aiming for more robust implementation of the SDGs.


Name Practical Lessons for Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic: Principles for Recovery (Consultative Edition), International Recovery Platform
Partners ADB, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNDRR, the World Bank, WHO, Hyogo Prefectural Government
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 3, 11, 13
Member States benefiting from the initiative Global
Description The pandemic has exposed and exploited vulnerabilities and inequalities at the root of the virus' most severe and disproportionate consequences. Preventing future outbreaks from becoming pandemics, and future shocks from causing such scale and scope of damage across the development spectrum, will depend on addressing these root vulnerabilities in recovery. It is not just a moral imperative to do so, it is necessary to ensure the durability of recovery and to build resilience to future global shocks. This publication offers a set of guiding, action-oriented principles and practical cases to support recovering communities as they plan and implement recovery. The principles focus on key cross-cutting issues for recovery such as building back better and greener, inclusive and people-centred recovery, and preserving development gains, among others. It offers a roadmap of options to guide recovery efforts, based on applied disaster recovery experience, and established methods and evidence.


3. Has your organization published or is it planning to publish any analytical work or guidance note or toolkits to guide and support recovery efforts from COVID-19 while advancing SDG implementation at national, regional and global levels? Please select up to three high-impact resources to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. 

UNDRR highlighted the existing body of knowledge, expertise and experience in managing disasters and disaster risks to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. UNDRR published 85 knowledge resources and products in 2020, including 23 COVID-19 related briefs. Through a series of webinar and discussions UNDRR explored the global communities that are most at risk and most affected by COVID-19, and subsequently produced specific key findings and policy recommendations informing efforts to overcome the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, particularly as it relates to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations in complex settings.

Name COVID-19 small business continuity and recovery planning toolkit
Publishing entity UNDRR
Relevant SDGs SDGs 3, 8
Target audience Private sector (Small and medium enterprises)

The toolkit supports SMEs to (i) Protect their employees and customers from contracting and passing COVID-19, (ii) Rapidly take measures that can protect their businesses from the incoming disruptions, especially in countries that have not yet been severely impacted by COVID-19, and (iii) That have been impacted by COVID-19 to utilize all resources that might be available to them to remain solvent and operational.

Link to access

Language English, Chinese, and nine vernacular languages in Asia-Pacific


Name Tsunami Evacuation during COVID-19: A Guide for School Administrators
Publishing entity UNDRR, UNDP
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 4
Target audience Education sector (school administrators and students)

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges to disaster preparedness and response. In planning safe evacuation from disaster events, physical distancing and hygiene practices need to be observed. As a result, disaster and tsunami preparedness plans need to be reviewed and updated to address the challenges brought about by the current pandemic. The Guide provides step by step instructions for School Administrators to take prior to an emergency, during the evacuation and within the evacuation centre, with the view to prevent the spread of infectious diseases during a tsunami event. The Guide is divided into three main sections: (i) Updated facts from recent Tsunami and disaster events, (ii) Challenges associated with COVID-19 and additional evacuation measures, and (iii) Checklist for school evacuation centres in view of COVID-19.

Link to access

Language English


Name Increasing global resilience to systemic risk: emerging lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic
Publishing entity UNDRR
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 11, 13
Target audience Multiple, including disaster risk managers, governance experts, planning and development ministries

This report outlines the importance of applying a systemic risk lens to help prevent the escalation and reduce the impact of future pandemics. It also outlines a number of key reforms required within global governance systems to facilitate this change. This includes not only strengthening and integrating health agendas into governance systems but also looking more holistically to address the root causes of zoonoses spillover. Action now to address the climate crisis, protect ecosystems and reduce extreme poverty and inequality can temper the conditions that allowed COVID-19 to emerge. Putting this into action requires stepped up efforts beyond just the health sector to strengthen disaster risk reduction, prevention and resilience, and to work across traditional silos to address systemic risks. Finally, it is essential that global systems do not aim just to ‘recover’ to where they were before but instead use this crisis as an opportunity to ‘bounce forward’ and build back better.

Link to access

Language English

4. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups to support SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery at national, regional and global levels? Please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. If your organization has established multi-stakeholder partnerships in this regard, please describe them (objectives, partners involved, relevant SDGs, Member States benefiting from the partnership) and provide links to relevant websites, if applicable.

Name UNDRR Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism (an open and structured avenue for close engagement of stakeholders in the implementation of the Sendai Framework through key global, regional and national policy processes)
Partners Non-State Stakeholders 
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 10, 11, 13
Member States benefiting from the initiative Global 

UNDRR has leveraged its stakeholder engagement to release a series of analytical knowledge tools and policy guidance. Examples include:

• Building resilience during COVID-19: lessons learned from Disaster Risk Reduction programming (…)

• Action brief: Gender and disaster risk reduction and response in the context of COVID-19: The Asia-Pacific Region (…)

• Disaster Risk Reduction and the Caribbean Private Sector: The role of the telecommunications sector in the context of COVID-19 (…)

• COVID-19 Brief: People with disabilities in the face of COVID-19 in the Americas and the Caribbean (…)

• COVID-19 Brief: Reducing Vulnerability of Migrants and Displaced Populations (…)

• COVID-19 Brief: Leave no One Behind in COVID-19 Prevention, Response and Recovery (…)



5. In the 2019 SDG Summit declaration (GA Resolution 74/4), Member States outlined ten priority areas for accelerated action in SDG implementation. Please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted in these ten priority areas:

5.1 leaving no one behind

UNDRR continues to build and maintain partnerships with stakeholders to jointly promote inclusive and coherent implementation of the Sendai Framework, and risk-informed development that leaves no one behind. This is being done through the UNDRR Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism (SEM). UNDRR also coordinates the Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments (SFVC, initiative to ensure all-of-society engagements for the Sendai Framework implementation by operating the SFVC online platform and publishing, monitoring and analysing voluntary commitments made by stakeholders. By the end of 2021, cumulatively 94 voluntary commitments (VC) by various stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society organizations, academia, and local governments have been successfully published in the SFVC online platform. These 94 VCs are being implemented jointly by 595 organizations and have committed to a total of more than 430 concrete deliverables. UNDRR promotes and supports women’s leadership in disaster risk reduction, through a flagship initiative entitled Women’s International Network on Disaster Risk Reduction (WIN DRR,…). In the first full year of implementation WIN DRR has grown significantly, with 418 new members. In addition, a national network has been established in Indonesia with over 100 members. UNDRR also spearheaded the creation of a Latin American and Caribbean regional Women’s Network for Disaster Risk Reduction which has grown to almost 900 members. The inaugural Women's International Network for Disaster Risk Reduction (WIN DRR) Leadership Awards attracted 153 nominations from 22 countries, with the Excellence award granted to Vasiti Soko the Director of the National Disaster Management Office in Fiji, and the Rising Star award granted to Dr Nuraini Rahma Hanifa an earthquake scientist who founded U-INSPIRE Alliance to bring together young professionals in science, engineering and technology to reduce disaster risk. UNDRR developed policy guidance and tools to strengthen gender-responsive disaster risk reduction, working with a range of partners to prioritise and improve sex-disaggregated data reporting, women’s leadership in disaster risk reduction, and gender-responsive COVID-19 recovery. A guidance note on Sex, Age and Disability Disaggregated Data (SADDD) was also created, which outlined the importance of SADD data to be collected and reported by countries. UNDRR also hosted a number of events that recognised the leadership of women in COVID-19 response and recovery, as well as the need for gender-responsive COVID-19 recovery that centres women’s experiences. The policy briefs developed from these events provided member states with recommendations to ensure COVID-19 recovery is inclusive and supports gender equality. Special focus is given to how persons with disabilities and, in a broader context, persons most at risk, are considered by governments when developing and implementing national and local disaster risk reduction strategies as prescribed by the Sendai Framework Target (e).

5.3 enhancing national implementation

In line with the acceleration of the new Strategic Framework 2022-2025, UNDRR has initiated a programmatic approach to provide and co-develop quality information and analysis to reduce risks and inform humanitarian and development planning at national and local levels. UNDRR’s technical assistance to countries is underpinned in a strengthened understanding of risk. UNDRR’s innovative Global Risk Assessment Framework (GRAF) aims to increase use of scalable, systemic risk information to support more resilient development and humanitarian planning. Through a comprehensive disaster and climate risk management (CRM) approach, UNDRR will help countries better translate long-term climate projections and adaptation goals into short to medium term disaster risk reduction actions. UNDRR will provide technical assistance, in collaboration with partners, to countries to develop climate-sensitive and risk-responsive disaster risk reduction strategies and plans and national adaptation plans. In support of the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on DRR for Resilience at country level, targeted support to UN Country Teams on risk-informed Humanitarian Response Plans and UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks will also be provided in collaboration with UN partners. The strategies and plans will be further enhanced through analysis of the financial landscape in the country, to understand the current level of public financing, planning needs, and (hence) the financing gaps. UNDRR, in collaboration with partners, will support countries to review public financing mechanisms for risk-informed sustainable development, and develop bankable projects. Finally, using the existing metrics and mechanisms available for monitoring of disaster losses and damages, UNDRR will support countries to adopt and follow an evidence-based monitoring system to track progress in disaster risk reduction. Countries will also be supported to contribute to reporting on global state of disasters and implementation of the Sendai Framework. Lessons learned through the process will be widely disseminated through documented knowledge products and leveraging the Global and Regional Platforms for disaster Risk reduction convened by UNDRR.

5.4 strengthening institutions for more integrated solutions

UNDRR follows a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to strengthen risk governance, in line with the Priority 2 of the Sendai Framework (Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk). UNDRR’s support in developing and implementing gender-responsive, climate-sensitive and inclusive national disaster risk reduction strategies ensures governments are better equipped to reduce the impact of disasters on sustainable development. UNDRR leverages its role within the UN system to support the integration of DRR and climate change in UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks and to strengthen humanitarian-development collaboration around DRR. UNDRR also provides UN partners working at the country-level with a wide range of expertise and tools to reduce climate related disaster risks, by integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into development planning processes. UNDRR promotes inclusive risk governance through Global Platforms and Regional Platforms ( that are convened periodically to assess and discuss progress on the implementation of the Sendai Framework and to advance concerted implementation of disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Each region hosts regional platforms while sub-regional platforms are also organised. The Platforms aim to advance progress in achieving the Sendai Framework’s goal and related targets and indicators, as well as those linked to the SDGs, by sharing good practices and lessons learnt, by energizing the global disaster risk reduction community around new initiatives, and by identifying gaps and making recommendations. Countries have also established National Platforms or equivalent mechanisms for coordination and policy guidance on disaster risk reduction. These Platforms are multisectoral and interdisciplinary in nature, with public, private and civil society participation involving all concerned entities in a country.

5.5 bolstering local action

UNDRR and partners launched the Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030, initiative as the successor arrangement of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign that ran from 2010 to 2020. The Campaign achieved considerable success in promoting disaster resilience with local governments, reaching out to 4,360 cities globally. Through the Making Cities Resilient 2030 (2021-2030) initiative (MCR2030) launched in October 2020, UNDRR and partners (e.g. ICLEI, JICA, IFRC, Resilient Cities Network, UCLG, UNHABITAT, UNOPS, C40, the World Bank and WCCD) respond to an increasing need for a systemic, joined-up approach to build local resilience. The MCR2030 gathers a global coalition of practitioners, thought-leaders, financiers and donors, policy makers, technical agencies and networks with a collective commitment to provide service to local governments contributing towards achieving the 2030 Agenda at the local level. The coalition links planning, policy and strategy with on-the-ground support, resulting in a significant increase in the number of cities globally implementing integrated climate and disaster resilience strategies by 2030.

5.6 reducing disaster risk and building resilience

[UNDRR: Specific disaster risk reduction initiatives have been outlined under other action areas]

Starting in 2022, UNDRR will initiate the implementation of the new Strategic Framework 2022-2025 that aims to ‘provide leadership and support to accelerate global efforts in disaster risk reduction to achieve inclusive sustainable development and the goal of the Sendai Framework.’ UNDRR will enhance use of quality risk analysis to inform development decisions, strengthen risk governance, catalyse action and investments in disaster risk reduction through engagement with partners and stakeholders, and mobilise advocacy and knowledge sharing for risk-informed sustainable development. Some of the innovative programmes initiated by UNDRR include: Global Risk Assessment Framework, comprehensive disaster and climate risk management, disaster loss accounting system, Making Cities Resilient 2030, Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems, Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism, Scaling up DRR in Humanitarian Action, Integrating DRR and CCA in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, etc. UNDRR and WMO have launched in October 2021 a Centre of Excellence for Disaster and Climate Resilience with a view to convening climate and disaster risk thought leaders and practitioners to address science to services, joint research, policies, and capacity strengthening to achieve comprehensive disaster and climate risk management at the global, regional, nation and sub-national levels. In addition, the UNDRR Global Education & Training Institute continues to focus on developing the capacity of national and local government civil servants and non-state stakeholders around the world, helping them to integrate climate and disaster resilience into development plans. UNDRR will continue to analyse progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and by corollary, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This includes the continued use of the online Sendai Framework Monitor, currently being used by over 150 countries, to inform progress measured against 38 indicators to achieve the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. The Mid-Term Review of the Sendai Framework will take stock of the implementation of the framework in the period since its adoption, identify challenges and, in considering changes in context, make recommendations for prioritized or accelerated action to 2030 in support of risk-informed sustainable development and climate resilience. It will assess progress on integrating disaster risk reduction into policies, programmes and investments at all levels, identify good practice, gaps and challenges, and accelerate the path to achieving the goal of the Sendai Framework by 2030. UNDRR is making efforts to ensure that the Mid-Term Review and the Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement benefit mutually from the two concurrent processes. The 7th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be held in May 2022 hosted by the Government of Indonesia in May, will collate and tackle several of these topics, sharing knowledge and discuss the latest developments and trends in reducing disaster risk.

5.7 solving challenges through international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership

UNDRR coordinated the annual observance of the 2021 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (13 October) that focused on enhancing international cooperation for disaster risk reduction, in line with the Target F of the Sendai Framework. To mark the occasion, UNDRR released a report ‘International Cooperation in Disaster Risk Reduction’ (…) . The report highlights low levels of investments in disaster risk reduction for the world’s most vulnerable countries against a backdrop of the climate emergency, including a doubling of major disasters over the last 20 years. The report points that such a planetary emergency can only be adequately addressed through impartial and inclusive international cooperation on disaster risk management, underscored by international financing, capacity development and technology transfer.

5.8 harnessing science, technology and innovation with a greater focus on digital transformation for sustainable development

The UNDRR Science and Technology Advisory Groups (STAG) endeavour to improve resilience to disasters through better scientific and technological understanding and enhance science-based decision making at all levels with a particular focus to the needs of developing countries. The STAGs, which are established in five regions, provide technical and policy advice based on their expertise, coordinate strategic engagement of science, research and technology institutions and promote and enhance better cooperation between science and policy for the uptake of science within policies and plans. UNDRR, in collaboration with the International Science Council and the International Research on Disaster Risk, has coordinated the development of a global research agenda for disaster risk reduction ‘A framework for global science in support of risk-informed sustainable development and planetary health’ (…). UNDRR will advance this research agenda through supporting research to connect evidence to policymaking, bearing the standard for the principles embodied in the Sendai Framework and developing new knowledge in specific areas of focus, such as terminology, and methods to assess risk.

5.9 investing in data and statistics for the SDGs

UNDRR invests in data and statistics for inclusive implementation of the Sendai Framework and SDGs. Over 150 countries are currently using the online Sendai Framework Monitor ( to report progress in disaster risk reduction, and also contributing to selected indicators of SDGs1, 11 and 13. Over 110 countries are also using disaster loss accounting system ( that provides nationally owned disaster-impact data at national and sub-national levels. UNDRR is in the process of developing and establishing a Global Risk Assessment Framework (GRAF) that will serve as an aggregator of risk information through national risk information portals, followed by bespoke risk analytics. UNDRR has coordinated multi-partner collaboration to establish and strengthen standards and quality for disaster-related data and statistics. These include Hazard Definition and Classification Review (…) and associated Hazard Information Profiles (…), both done in collaboration with the International Science Council and a wider range of partners. Further, as a good examples of joint UN system-wide effort, UNDRR has collaborated with the UN Regional Economic Commissions and the DESA/UNSD, to establish an inter-agency and expert group (IAEG) on disaster-related statistics, under the aegis of the UN Statistical Commission. The IAEG, currently co-chaired by UNDRR and UNESCAP, is coordinating with Member States and experts to develop a common disaster-related statistical framework (…). UNDRR is also developing an organisation-side Data Strategy to ensure that UNDRR’s data is used and applied by Member States, partners and stakeholders for risk-informed sustainable development. UNDRR coordinates annual reporting, which is based on a Results Framework, on the UN System’s contribution to implementation the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, through the UN Plan of Action on DRR for Resilience. Five of the UN Plan of Action indicators have been integrated into the QRPR Monitoring and Reporting Framework.

5.10 strengthening the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)

In 2021, UNDRR strengthened the integration of disaster risk reduction into development policies and promoted coherence between the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 Agenda through the deliberations and outcomes of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) for Sustainable Development. This was done by: i) Providing data from the Sendai Framework Monitor to the 2021 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Report which informs the statistical update and stocktaking of the SDGs; ii) Leading the Expert Group Meeting on SDG 13 and nominating DRR experts from academia and civil society to participate across the SDG Expert Group Meeting iii) Providing updates to the background papers that inform the HLPF’s thematic sessions; iv) Participating in the Voluntary National Review (VNR) workshops and developing a guidance note to support countries to assess the impact of disasters and report on successful risk reduction measures and policy gaps in their VNR reports and presentations; and v) Supporting the Sendai Framework Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism and other UNDRR partners to engage and promote the message of risk-informed development during the HLPF. This multi-pronged approach was successful in embedding risk reduction into the review of the SDGs at the HLPF and in deliberations on issues such as development challenges in the least developed countries and small island developing States, among others. Disaster risk reduction is well reflected in the HLPF Ministerial Declaration which gives key policy guidance for risk-informed SDG implementation at national level, including embedding disaster risk reduction within public and private investments in all sectors; strengthening multi-hazard disaster risk governance at all levels and in all sectors; and integrating disaster risk reduction into COVID-19 recovery policies and strategies, among others. As the Sendai Framework is recognised by the General Assembly as an integral part of the 2030 Agenda, UNDRR is actively engaged in strengthening the HLPF to ensure that its deliberations and policy recommendations support an approach to sustainable development that reduces risk and builds resilience to future shocks and hazards. The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis demonstrate that development that is not risk-informed is not sustainable. The HLPF is therefore strengthened when it considers the impacts of all hazards on development progress and explores development solutions that reduce risk for current and future generations.

6. In the lead up to the 2023 HLPF to be held under the auspices of the General Assembly (or 2023 SDG Summit), please provide your organization’s recommendations on how to overcome challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs, taking into account the thematic reviews and voluntary national reviews conducted to date.

• Despite remarkable progress in reducing the impact and risk of disasters, the climate emergency, pandemic and rising inequality have rolled back development gains of countries and communities. Countries with high risk of disasters are also the ones with high incidence of poverty. At the same time, risk-blind development decisions may exacerbate existing risks and create new ones. Hence, risk reduction should be at the core of climate action and development policies to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

• Development policies, plans, and programmes must be designed to operate under a range of risk scenarios. Investment decisions need to be risk-informed and must integrate the real projected costs of future disaster impacts. Infrastructure assets and systems should be prioritised, planned, designed, built, and operated to account for climate change and potential disasters.

• With increasing complexity in risk and in the face of global systemic risks, governance systems must recognize that the challenges of economy, environment and society can no longer be separated. Addressing systemic risks requires a systemic approach to governance, across all sectors and stakeholders.

• The Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which is ongoing at national and local level and will culminate in a High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly in May 2023 and a Political Declaration, will provide valuable insight to 2023 SDG Summit. The General Assembly has invited all Member States to report on their national-level midterm reviews, including by utilizing the 2022 and 2023 Voluntary National Review reports. The synthesis of these reports, as well as the deliberations and outcome of the GA High-level Meeting, will provide inputs to the 2023 SDG Summit on the extent to which the implementation of the SDGs is building resilient societies, and will offer recommendations to ensure development policy and programmes reduce rather than create risk for current and future generations.

ECESA Plus Member
Year of submission: 2021