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Lessons from self-assessments within urban climate resilience programs

Justin Henceroth (Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, Bangkok, Thailand)
Richard M. Friend (Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET), Bangkok, Thailand)
Pakamas Thinphanga (Thailand Environment Institute, Nonthubri, Thailand)
Phong Van Gai Tran (Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, Hue, Viet Nam)
Tuyen Phuong Nghiem (Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, Hanoi, Viet Nam)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Article publication date: 9 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review and develop lessons learned from the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction Local Government Self Assessment Tool (LGSAT) experience in four cities. The capacity to understand, learn from and respond to or reorganize in the face of change is at the core of urban resilience to disasters, climate change and major shocks. Self assessments, like the LGSAT, can be used to engage city stakeholders in critically assessing and understanding their capacity according to a set of standards of resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

City stakeholders in four cities, Hat Yai and Udon Thani, Thailand and Hue and Lao Cai, Vietnam, completed the LGSAT in an open multi-stakeholder process as part of urban climate resilience programs.

Findings

Completing the LGSAT provided important and valuable information about institutional capacity that is important for disaster risk reduction and climate change efforts. Multi-stakeholder processes allowed for greater and more sustained dialogue among groups that may not have a chance to interact regularly and helped build trust and relationships that contribute to climate resilience and disaster risk reduction efforts.

Originality/value

Further, the inclusion of multiple viewpoints allowed for more nuanced and novel consideration of issues and in multiple cities led to new projects that focused on building institutional and agent capacity. The LGSAT process relied on facilitation that was able to guide discussion, ensure safe spaces for dialogue and address stakeholder questions. Finally, while the tool was applied to questions of climate change in this process, there is still room to improve the tool to more adequately and directly address issues of climate change risk.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was completed by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET), Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) and Vietnam National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies (NISTPASS). In addition to the authors, many other individuals contributed to the work, including Suparerk Janprasart, Sarah Reed, Rojana Nilmanon, Kanokwan Paluka, Wannobon Khuan-Arch, Vu Canh Toan, Suwannapa Homchuen, Waraporn Burirak, Parisud Seethongdee, Nguyen Anh Tho, Ngo Thanh, Ngo Thi Le Mai and the city working groups in Udon Thani and Hat Yai, Thailand, and Hue and Lao Cai, Vietnam. ISET, TEI and NISTPASS also greatly benefited from the guidance and support of UNISDR, especially Ms Pham Thanh Hang, Programme Officer, and Ms Nasikarn Nitiprapathananun, Team Assistant with UNISDR, Asia Pacific. These efforts were made possible in part by the generous support of the American people through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the Mekong-Building Climate Resilient Asian Cities (M-Brace) program and the Rockefeller Foundation as part of the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN).

Citation

Henceroth, J., Friend, R.M., Thinphanga, P., Tran, P.V.G. and Nghiem, T.P. (2015), "Lessons from self-assessments within urban climate resilience programs", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 86-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-08-2014-0060

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited