Note: This is a part of a comprehensive step-by-step approach for creating a Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) program. Check out the main topic page, CBDRR Practitioners Guidelines, to learn more about the full guidelines.
As the community develops its DRR skills, it will need less support. It will be able to function independently and with local stakeholders. While a community will continue to need encouragement and support, particularly during disaster events, this step allows the National Society to scale up its DRR efforts by supporting communities to continue risk reduction from its own resources in a sustainable way.
What do I need to know?
Why is this important?
Ultimately, the actions and results of the project stay with the community. While in the early stages of the project, the National Society will be more closely involved with the process, over time, their role will reduce and the community and local government will continue to develop and use their skills. The best time for transition to communities will depend on the length of the project, the nature of the interventions and the perspectives of the individuals concerned. However, good practice recommends at least three years of engagement and support by the National Society, slowly evolving the project to the community rather than a sudden end to the relationship.
What are key questions to be answered to know if the community is ready for transition?
- Has the community completed the earlier steps of the project? If so, with what measure of success?
- Does the project or programme exit and sustainability plan indicate that it is time to transition? What measures have been achieved? What ones are outstanding and why?
- Does the endline show that there has been sufficient change in community knowledge and behaviours to continue practicing risk reduction independently?
- What degree of community ownership was indicated by the endline and final evaluation or other reviews? Is it sufficient?
- Has the community developed on-going action plans for DRR and do they have the means to finance them? This could be through revolving funds, income-generating activities, or support from local actors.
- What is the on-going role of the National Society in continuing to support the community? For example, refresher training, participating in future simulations, participation in community DRR/development plan revisions, etc.
- Does the Branch see future opportunities to continue to work with this community? In DRR/DM or any other broader sister programmes e.g. health, livelihoods etc.?
- How is local government engaged and what support do they provide?
- Are there community organizations that will take on specific roles in continuing to maintain and advance the DRR plan?
What are the basic steps in supporting the transition to the community?
- Review the status of community participation and actions to date, including a review of any pre-project agreements. This should include a review of any exit or sustainability plans that were created during the project and programme design stages.
- Document what has worked well and where the community may still require additional support.
- Identify key stakeholders that will maintain the DRR skills of the community, as well as local actors that will support them (e.g. local authorities and other NGOs).
- Organize a celebration of success.
- If additional support is required by the National Society review how this can be incorporated into longer term DM plans. For example, this could be in the form of attending annual planning or disaster simulation events, undertaking periodic follow-up training for team members in key areas like first aid and disaster response etc. Is this some the local branch can manage or will HQ need to be involved?
What are some success factors or key determinants?
- The community must be well aware of the conditions under which the NS will exit.
- The indicators for community ‘graduation’ should be part of the project design and the community M&E plan.
It is vital that the longer term role of the community has been made clear from the beginning of the project. This may include an agreement on roles and responsibilities of the National Society, the community and other local actors.
In some cultures, a formal hand-over ceremony is an acknowledgement of what the community has achieved to date and therefore is very important and appreciated.
What are some useful tools and methodologies?
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