LEvel FOur. facilitate Planning
The steps so far have been an assessment of risk in the community. It is now time for the local EVCA team to facilitate the planning process to create a community-based risk reduction action plan as well as a contingency plan in case of an emergency.
Step 9. Risk reduction planning
Purpose: for the community to think about what they want to achieve in the future
Recommended tool: dream map (guidance provided in the mapping tool)
To start the planning phase, it is good to do a visioning exercise with the community, motivating them to think about what a safe and resilient community would look like when all the major hazards are addressed. This exercise is meant to help inspire and motivate.
Purpose: for the community to identify actions that will reduce risks
Recommended tools: talking to the walls, solution tree (guidance provided in the problem tree tool)
At this stage, the community has understood how and why hazards affect them. The next step is to answer the key question: what actions can be taken to prevent and/or mitigate a potential disaster? Using the above tools, ask the community to answer questions like “how can you reduce exposure?”, “what actions can you take to address vulnerability?” and “what actions can you take to strengthen capacity?” for each priority hazard.
Purpose: to identify the priority actions considering different criteria
Recommended tools: ranking, cost/benefit analysis, do no harm check
In the above exercise, the community came up with a list of actions or activities to address vulnerabilities, reduce exposure and strengthen capacity. However, it may be difficult to implement all the identified actions. Therefore, prioritisation is important. Actions must be prioritised based on agreed criteria by the community.
Purpose: to create a detailed plan of action
Recommended tools: focus group discussion, brainstorming
It is now time to describe in detail the prioritised actions and define the how, when, where and who of the implementation. Encourage discussion on what the community can do themselves at the household or community level, what support would be needed (e.g. from the RCRC, local council, community-based organisations or other partners) and what requires further advocacy efforts.
Step 10. Contingency planning
A hazard doesn’t wait until prevention or mitigation measures have been taken. It can strike the community at any time. Therefore, people must be prepared for any eventualities in addition to their day-to-day efforts to reduce their risks. For this, it is important to include a community contingency plan in the risk reduction plan of action.
The contingency plan should at least cover the priority hazards that have a high potential of striking the community. The following sub-steps are a short version of a contingency planning process. However, we encourage you to go through the entire process as described in the RCRC contingency planning guidance.
10.1 Scenario planning
Purpose: to define the scale of potential impact of specific hazards and identify the response capacity gaps within the community
Ideally, it is advisable to prepare a contingency plan considering the worst-case scenario. Such an approach is increasingly being justified now that extreme weather events are occurring more frequently due to climate change. However, we should also consider that resources at the community level are often scarce and that it may be difficult for communities to set aside a significant amount of resources in preparation for the worst-case scenario. Therefore, it may be more practical and realistic for the community to prepare their contingency plan based on the most likely scenario, coupled with estimates of which areas and households would be at risk if a more extreme event occurred.
10.2 Contingency planning
Purpose: facilitate the preparation of a simple community contingency plan based on the gaps identified
Look back at the information you identified in step 6.1.5 on early warning signs, lead time, duration, frequency and period of occurrence for each hazard – it will help you prepare a good contingency plan.
An energising way to initiate contingency planning discussions with the community is to play the participatory game “Ready!” - possibly with different groups (gender, age etc.) as different teams.
Here are some important resources that will help you with contingency planning:
Step 11. Reflect and provide feedback on the EVCA process
Once you have finished the assessment and planning process, it is important to reflect on the collaboration with the community and what lessons can be drawn: what went well, what didn’t go well, how did the team perform, how was the community participation, how was the contribution of the other stakeholders, what should be improved or done differently in the future? Reflection encourages learning, leads to better programme performance and ultimately to better results for communities.
Mutual feedback also improves the relationship and builds trust between communities and the RCRC, and also empowers community members.
Step 12. Report and share
A good EVCA report is key to ensure everyone is clear about the identified risks and the agreed actions to increase resilience and to mobilise support. The EVCA report should document the process while remaining concise and clear – so that it will be accessible and easy to read rather than sit on a shelf! It should provide an overview of the context for the assessment and summarize the findings of the assessment (e.g. the synthesis tables referred to above). It should include as an annex the risk reduction action plan (with the more detailed information on who will do what by when) and contingency plan.
Share the report with the community! Communities need to “own” the EVCA report in order to manage their action plan and monitor progress.
Before finalising the report and action plan, ensure that it has been verified by and disseminated to the wider community (given that often only a smaller number of community representatives will actively participate in the process). Encourage the community to share the report with different stakeholders. The community can also launch the EVCA report to raise awareness and mobilise support for the actions.
Tip! Upload the EVCA report to the VCA repository/virtual library to show others what your branch is doing, and to allow other RCRC colleagues to learn from your examples. Discuss with the community if they agree to share their EVCA results, and under what conditions, and if necessary remove any sensitive and personal data.
Once you have facilitated the creation of the risk reduction action plan and contingency plan and shared the EVCA report, you can move on to the final stage in the EVCA process related to accompanying the community in implementation and learning >>