Today ICAI published a performance review on building resilience to natural disasters.

Between 2011 and 2015, the Department for International Development (DFID) conducted a process of mainstreaming resilience objectives into all relevant programmes.

ICAI found that DFID’s approach to mainstreaming proved to be broadly effective. It prioritised countries at particular risk from natural disasters, and it allowed DFID to test its strategy and build up a body of experience.

However, the approach to mainstreaming also led to some gaps and because the mainstreaming process is now over, there is a risk that practice may slip backwards.

ICAI also found that in spite of inadequacies in DFID’s formal results measurement, the resilience components of programmes were generally performing well, and were likely to contribute to reducing the impact of disasters, strengthening preparedness or increasing the resilience of the targeted communities.

Overall, DFID has taken a well-considered approach to mainstreaming resilience, resulting in a good level of focus in the countries reviewed. However, there are gaps in DFID’s results monitoring practices, at both programme and portfolio level, and in its learning processes.

ICAI has made the following recommendations:

  • DFID should keep its risk assessments and resilience strategies up to date, working where possible in conjunction with national governments and other development partners.
  • DFID offices in high-risk countries should adopt a portfolio approach to resilience, articulating how their efforts in different sectors and areas will work together to build resilience.
  • DFID should develop its guidance on how to measure resilience results.
  • DFID should undertake a stocktake of its work on resilience in high-risk countries.
  • DFID should establish a community of practice to promote the continuing mainstreaming of resilience to natural disasters and provide technical and expert support to the dissemination of knowledge and evidence.

Read the report