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Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change

Community-Based Disaster Risk Management Field Practitioners’ Handbook

The handbook briefly explains the concept of community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) and provides practical tools that can be applied in community-level programming. The Handbook is divided into four parts: (1) an introduction to CBDRM, (2) specific step-by-step exercises, (3) cross-cutting issues of gender and communication, and (4) disaster risks in Southeast Asia. The tools in Section 2 cover seven types of activities in CBDRM:

  1. Selecting the community;
  2. Rapport building and understanding the community;
  3. Participatory disaster risk assessment;
  4. Participatory disaster risk management planning;
  5. Building/training a community disaster risk management organization (CDRMO);
  6. Community-managed implementation;
  7. Participatory monitoring and evaluation.

The resource pack for risk identification (Step 3) includes instructions and guiding questions for the most commonly used participatory assessment tools, e.g. constructing timelines, hazard maps, rankings, and calendars.

Appropriate Use This handbook is a comprehensive how-to guide that can be used to assist project teams working at the local level to ensure the participation of community members in reducing disaster risks. Each of the seven steps, particularly Step 3, is clearly outlined, along with simple instructions for group exercises, information to gather, and stakeholders to involve.
Scope Community level
Key Output

Overall: “The CBDRM process should lead to progressive improvements in public safety and community disaster resilience. It should contribute to equitable and sustainable community development in the long term.”

Step 1 – Priority vulnerable communities identified;
Step 2 – Trust between community and project members; understanding of community needs among project members;
Step 3 – Disaster risks identified and community members understand these risks;
Step 4 – Community disaster risk management plan;
Step 5 – CDRMO established and equipped with skills to implement their disaster risk management plan;
Step 6 – Planned activities implemented effectively and on time, with participation of stakeholders;
Step 7 – Appropriate indicators of program success developed and progress measured, with participation of stakeholders.

Key Input Step 1 – Information on various criteria developed by decision makers;
Step 2 – Information about the community and efforts to develop relationships/understanding with community members;
Step 3 – Range of qualitative and quantitative data about the hazards, vulnerabilities, and capacities in the community;
Step 4 – Dialogue among stakeholders to identify needed measures;
Step 5 – Identification of CDRMO members and training;
Step 6 – Responsibilities carried out by members; periodic reviews;
Step 7 – Range of qualitative and quantitative data about activities’ impacts; dialogue between stakeholders.
Ease of Use Readily usable
Training Required Some training or experience in working at the local level would be useful.
Training Available Contact Zubair Murshed at or
Computer Requirements None for community risk identification exercises. Microsoft Office Word processing and spreadsheet skills for program planning and implementation, depending on complexity of local activities. GIS optional for community disaster risk assessment (Step 3).
Documentation Abarquez, I. and Z. Murshed. 2004. Community-Based Disaster Risk Management: Field Practitioners’ Handbook. Bangkok: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center. Can be downloaded from pdf-icon

This methodology has been used in several communities throughout South and Southeast Asia.

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC)

Information Manager, PDR SEA, P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand; Tel: +66.2.516.5900 to 5910; Fax: +66.2.524.5360; e-mail:; website:

Cost Free

Arcilla, M.J.D., Z.G. Delica et al. (eds.). 1998. 4B: Project Development, Monitoring and Evaluation in Disaster Situations. Quezon City, Philippines, Citizen’s Disaster Response Center.

Gutteling and Wiegman, 1996. Exploring Risk Communication: Advances in natural and technological hazards research, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.