Tools Available for Risk Reduction

“If I had a hammer

I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening
All over this land…………”

By Pete Seeger & Lee Hays, 1949.

tool-drr2What is usually not recognized is that the association between collective global behavior and the internal structure of human civilization can be characterized through mathematical concepts that apply to all complex systems.

An analysis based upon these mathematical concepts suggests that human civilization itself is a mortal, which is capable of behaviors that are of greater complexity than those of an individual human being.

In order to understand the significance of this statement, one got to recognize that collective behaviors are classically simpler than the behavior of components. Only when the components are connected in networks of specialized function, can complex collective behaviors arise. The history of civilization can be characterized through the progressive (though non-monotonic) appearance of collective behaviors of larger groups of human beings of greater complexity. However, the transition to a collective behavior of complexity greater than an individual human being has become apparent from events occurring during the most recent decades.

Human civilization continues to face internal and environmental challenges. In this context, it is important to recognize that the complexity of a system’s behavior is fundamentally related to the complexity of challenges that it can effectively overcome. Historic changes in the structure of human organizations are self-consistently related to an increasing complexity of their social and economic contexts. Further, the collective complexity of human civilization is directly relevant to its ability to effectively respond to large scale environmental challenges.

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Human progress of civilization increased by several miles each time a tool is introduced. Hunting tools made humans greater to the animals in the wild, a sickle altered gender power relations in agriculture.

These tools have evolved as a result of human beings struggle for survival, aspiration for progress and ambition for supremacy. However, because of human beings nature of living in colonies and communities, the kind of development they adopted, has always come at the cost of their counter parts and the tools they developed have become exploitative. The major problems the world facing today, such as climate change, urbanization, increasing exposure to hazards and deepening poverty and vulnerability in certain parts of the world have their roots in the pace and nature of economic development in other parts of the world.

Reduction of poverty, vulnerability and impact of disasters also require equally smart and strong tools that have created these challenges. The illustration in this page shows some of these tools that are useful in creating suitable conditions for enabling disaster risk reduction.

Key Message: Disaster risk reduction initiatives need to be built on the key needs of the communities. These needs may be related to livelihoods, shelter, safety or water and sanitation. These needs are to be understood and fulfilled in order to create willingness of the communities for DRR Initiatives. Willingness is the necessary condition for gaining awareness and suitable skills, capacities and leadership for DRR processes. All these conditions can sustain only in a conducive environment, which in turn needs to be promoted through stakeholder ownership and by enlisting policy and political support.

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