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Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities

The CDR have been working with Federation of Sri Lankan Local Govt. Authorities to achieve resilient, sustainable urban communities by working with local governments to reduce the risks associated with disasters.

In Sri Lanka, which has suffered significant from natural and man-made disasters in recent years, our research focused on reaching the most vulnerable urban communities where people suffer most from the impact of hazards. The Centre initiated a series of capacity development activities with the aim of strengthening the knowledge, abilities, skills and behaviour of those responsible for the built environment in Sri Lanka, and improving institutional structures and processes to ensure that disaster mitigation and reconstruction could be achieved in a sustainable way. In doing so, we sought to empower local government through stronger national policies investing in risk reduction at local level, as part of urban and regional development plans. The project succeeded in enhancing the capacity of stakeholders to identify constraints and to plan and manage mitigation and reconstruction in the built environment effectively, efficiently and sustainably. This involved the development of human resources, institutions, and communities, and a supportive policy environment.

Further, through strong commitment for implementation of disaster risk reduction policies, CDR is :

  • Collaborating in applied research projects on risk management and reduction in local government environments;
  • Making its expertise available to local governments and the public at large;
  • Adapting the science agenda to emphasise this paramount research topic and advance the state-of-the art in risk reduction;
  • Making risk knowledge, assessments and risk reduction part of the university curricula for urban planners, architects, engineers, geographers and similar disciplines, as well as a cross disciplinary subject.

Awareness-raising events were carried out in the first instance, for example a major international conference on the development of societal resilience to natural and human induced disasters was held involving more than 65 international and 45 Sri Lankan academics, practitioners, professionals and policy makers in the field. Its outcomes were incorporated into a joint action plan, which identified key priority activities following the 'Ten Essentials' of the ‘Making Cities Resilient’ campaign. Other outcomes included (but not limited to):

  • A training session at the Construction Craftsman Training Programme (CCTP) led by the Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka, which improved building contractors’ understanding of disaster risk, conflict transformation and gender
  • Training on the ‘Ten-point Checklist - Essentials for Making Cities Resilient’ and ‘Inclusive Development for Local Government Councils
  • Facilitation of 3 International Workshops on ‘Disaster risk reduction, capacity development and Resilient Cities’.