People’s Participation is the Essence of Good Governance

- By Jidnyasa Ghag

Every year on 13thOctober, it’s observedas the International Day for Disaster Reduction. The purpose of the day is to promote global awareness on disaster management to reduce disaster risk. Also, how people and other communities are reducing the risk of disasters. Unprecedented pandemic – COVID-19 and climate change-related disaster are causing huge damage to socio-economic and infrastructure. This year'stheme is ‘Disaster Risk Governance’ as governance plays the most important role to reduce disaster loss.

Disaster Risk Governance (DRG) Concept

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) defines Disaster Risk Governance as “the way in which public authorities, civil servants, media, private sector, and civil society at community, national and regional levels cooperate in order to manage and reduce disaster and climate related risks. This means ensuring that sufficient levels of capacity and resources are made available to prevent, prepare for, manage and recover from disasters. It also entails mechanisms, institutions and processes for citizens to articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights and obligations, and mediate their differences.”UNDP aims the governance should consist of the principles of accountability, transparency, participation,equity, and effectiveness. The principle participation refers to the inclusionof a broad spectrum of actors in consultative processes, and giving communities and vulnerable groups a voice in government decisions that affect their safety from natural hazards Poor governance will increase disaster damage.

Fig 1:- Governance for Disaster Risk Disaster

In India, rapid urbanization and climate change are the two major challenges for disaster risk governance. This year the Indian coastal areas faced severe damages due to cyclones, floods, and sea-level rise. Governance loopholes, lack of awareness, unpreparedness, management, etc. are the concern factors to become strong governance. Stitch on time to save nines.