National platforms for DRR


Jump to: navigation, search


National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction

As mentioned in the Hyogo Framework for Action, national participation, as the basis for sub-regional and international cooperation for disaster reduction, is a critical issue for the success of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR). In this context, one of the main goals of the ISDR is to develop national mechanisms with a clear multi-sector structure aimed at reducing disasters. These mechanisms are concrete expressions of the political will and institutional recognition of disaster risk reduction as a relevant issue at the national level. In order to be effective, these mechanisms, generally named 'national platforms' but also known as 'national systems', must be established through a participatory process that includes multi-stakeholder viewpoints and actions.

Member States of the UN Economic and Social Council, through its Resolution 1999/63 addressing the complexity of DRR, also called on all Governments to maintain and strengthen established national multi-sectoral platforms for disaster reduction in order to achieve sustainable development goals and objectives, with the full utilization of scientific and technical means.

A national platform for disaster reduction is a national mechanism in the form of a system, forum, committee, network, etc. that addresses the goals of disaster risk reduction through a coordinated and participatory process of ideas and actions. The process carried out by national platforms include analyses of the current situation, the formulation of various policies and action plans, and the ongoing implementation, monitoring and review of all activities related to disaster reduction. The process lays emphasis on the progress made to achieve the objectives set for disaster reduction; and not necessarily on the preparation of a ìplanî as the final product.

What is a national platform?

It is a multi-stakeholder national mechanism that serves as an advocate of DRR at different levels. It provides coordination, analysis and advice on areas of priority requiring concerted action. But for a National Platform for DRR to succeed, it should be based on a number of major principles, the cardinal one being national ownership and leadership of the DRR process.


National platforms work towards more resourced, effective and integrated efforts of risk reduction amongst national stakeholders and amongst national, regional and international parties.

The need to systematically reduce the increased impact of disasters is gaining recognition and commitment among Governments worldwide. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is a cross-cutting and complex development issue that requires political and legal commitment, public understanding, scientific knowledge, careful development planning, responsible enforcement of policies and legislation, people-centred early warning systems, and effective disaster preparedness and response mechanisms. A multi-stakeholder National Platform for DRR can help provide and mobilize knowledge, skills and resources required for mainstreaming DRR into development policies, planning and programmes.


National platforms may serve as tools for informed decision-making, as they bring a framework for the systematic analysis of the commitment to those priority actions carried out among sectors territories. In order to achieve this, consultation, mediation and negotiation processes are institutionalized, and consensus is reached on those priority social issues in which interests may differ.

Furthermore, these mechanisms enable countries to address interrelated social, economic and environmental problems, as they contribute to building capacities, establishing procedures and legislative frameworks, allocating limited resources in a rational manner, and establishing a specific schedule for those actions to be taken. Countries may benefit significantly from developing an effective national platform, both directly as a result of disaster risk reduction- and indirectly from the process itself.

Each country must determine, on an individual basis, the best way to address the creation and implementation of their national platforms, depending upon the current economic, social and ecological situation. In most cases, national platforms will be established in the context of existing mechanisms and processes. The strengthening, rearrangement or redirection of these structures will allow for capacity-building in a more efficient and effective manner. Those national groups or committees already working on disaster reduction will also have the opportunity to increase their access to other relevant bodies at national, regional and global levels, strengthening their existing links.

Beyond the organizational type adopted by a national platform, the additional value of its operation is given by its multisectoral and interdisciplinary nature. These platforms must not only bring together national public officials, but also civil society, NGOS, the private sector, academia, and the media. In addition, national platforms must be flexible, as the dynamics of current national situations, particularly regarding political and economic issues, require that these mechanisms respond to change and be adaptable.

It is unlikely that, since the beginning, a national platform will be established with an ideal structure regarding its members. It is then applicable to speak of a process for ìdeveloping and strengtheningî these platforms, making explicit reference to their evolving characteristic. In general, a national platform starts with a core group composed of those institutions with a greater commitment to disaster reduction, under the leadership of one of them. During its evolving process, more stakeholders and interest groups participate, as they see this platform as an illustrative and concrete mechanism needed to voice their inputs and develop their initiatives.

The additional value of national platforms must be clear to all participants. To a large extent, disaster risk reduction still depends on the commitment of public authorities. In order to gain access to essential elements, such as the political will and commitment of national leaders to allocate resources, national platforms will have to prove their value from both economic and political standpoints. Although the opinions of experts, academicians and major development organizations are essential, they are not enough to stimulate the large amount of resources and energy required for the effective functioning and sustainability of these platforms. For this reason, a basic ingredient of a national platform is the active and committed participation of all main actors from the public sector whose responsibilities include disaster reduction.

Some of the main objectives of national platforms include:

• Increase collaboration among national groups involved in disaster reduction;

• Identify priorities and gaps when implementing their national agenda for risk reduction;

• Monitor the advance of all efforts related to risk reduction, through the establishment of indicators and short-, mid- and long-term goals;

• Increase existing knowledge and the exchange of national experiences at regional and national levels;

• Gain credibility among different institutions and interest groups;

• Complement short-term goals for economic development with mid- and long-term goals for the reduction of vulnerability to national disasters; and,

• Follow-up on the implementation of the ISDR at the national level.

The ISDR secretariat, in coordination with other UN agencies (in particular UNDP) and relevant regional organizations, actively promotes the development and strengthening of national platforms. As part of its efforts, the ISDR Secretariat has prepared a document entitled Guiding Principles: National Platforms for Disaster Reduction] in [English and in Spanish

Areas of focus

- Commitment to help the most vulnerable;

- Increased collaboration and coordination amongst national stakeholders;

- Increased knowledge and visibility of national situations at the regional and international levels;

- Increased levels of knowledge and skills in the global risk reduction community;

- National leadership and commitment to the sustainability of a national platform;

- Credibility across different institutions and interest groups;

- National counterparts in terms of implementing the ISDR –further strengthened links with the ISDR Secretariat.

Status of National Platforms in the countries / territories of the Americas

Existing National Platforms (NP):

Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, USA, Venezuela

Anguilla – no NP reported

Antigua and Barbuda – no NP reported

Argentina - YES (launched October, 2008)

Aruba – no NP reported

Bahamas – no NP reported

Barbados – no NP reported

Belize – no NP reported

Bermuda – no NP reported

Bolivia – YES (launched October, 2009)

Brazil – no NP reported

British Virgin Islands – no NP reported

Canada – YES (launched October, 2010)

Cayman Islands – no NP reported

Chile – no NP reported

Colombia - YES (launched 2004)

Costa Rica - YES (launched 2004)

Cuba – YES

Dominica – no NP reported

Dominican Republic – YES (launched 2008/2009)

Ecuador – YES (launched 2004)

El Salvador - YES (launched July, 2008)

Falkland Islands (Malvinas) – no NP reported

French Guiana – no NP reported

Grenada – no NP reported

Guadeloupe – no NP reported

Guatemala – no NP reported

Guyana – no NP reported

Haiti – no NP reported

Honduras – no NP reported

Jamaica – YES

Martinique – no NP reported

Mexico – YES (launched 2009)

Montserrat – no NP reported

Netherlands Antilles – no NP reported

Nicaragua - YES (launched 2005)

Panama - YES (launched December 2005, re-launched October, 2010)

Paraguay – YES (launched October, 2010)

Peru – YES (launched February 27, 2009)

Puerto Rico – no NP reported

Saint Barthélemy – no NP reported

Saint Lucia – no NP reported

Saint Pierre and Miquelon – no NP reported

Saint Vincent and Grenadines – no NP reported

St. Kitts and Nevis – no NP reported

Suriname – no NP reported

Trinidad and Tobago – no NP reported

Turks and Caicos – no NP reported

United States Virgin Islands – no NP reported

United States of America - YES

Uruguay – no NP reported

Venezuela – YES (launched May, 2007)

Supporting Mechanisms

UN Resident Coordinators in Latin America and the Carribean

Argentina: Mr. Carlos-Felipe Martinez,

Barbados: Ms. Rosina Wiltshire

Belize: Resident Coordinator Jessica Faieta

Bolivia: VACANT-,

Brazil: Ms. Kim Bolduc

Chile: Mr. Enrique Ganuza

Colombia: Mr. Bruno Moro

Costa Rica: Mr. José Manuel Hermida

Cuba: Ms. Susan McDade

Dominican Republic: VACANT-,

Ecuador: Mr. Rene Mauricio Valdes

El Salvador: Ms. Jessica Faieta

Guatemala: Mr. Beat Rohr

Guyana: VACANT-,

Haiti: Mr. Joel Boutroue

Honduras: Mrs Rebeca Arias

Mexico: Mr. Magdy Martínez-Soliman

Nicaragua: Mr. Alfredo Missair

Panama: Mr. Jose Eguren

Paraguay: Mr. Lorenzo Jimenez de Luis

Peru: Mr. Jorge Chediek

Trinidad & Tobago: Dr. Marcia de Castro

Uruguay: Mr. Pablo Mandeville

Venezuela: Mr. David McLachlan-Karr

Related documents

Guidelines: National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction


Towards National Resilience: Good practices of National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction

Published by the United Nations secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR)

Geneva, Switzerland, July 2008

Governments increasingly recognize the need for comprehensive multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral national coordinating mechanisms – National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction - to reduce, prevent and manage the impact of natural hazards. The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, which provides an integrated set of activities to support the efforts of nations and communities to become more resilient to and better cope with the hazards that threaten their development gains, emphasizes the importance of setting up National Platforms with designated responsibilities at national and local level. In an effort to inspire and support the birth of new National Platforms, and also to strengthen existing ones, the UN/ISDR secretariat presents this publication featuring nine National Platform case studies.

Colombia: Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction at the Local Level

Good practices of National Platforms 2008 - Case Study: Colombia

Sistema Nacional de Prevención y Atención de Desastres (SNPAD) / Dirección de Prevención y Atención de Desastres (DPAD)


Costa Rica: Financing Disaster Risk Reduction

Good practices of National Platforms 2008 - Case Study: Costa Rica

Sistema Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias (SNPRAE) / Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias (CNE)


More information on National Platforms for DRR and NP Guidelines



  • UN/ISDR Webpage on National Platform (currently under construction)

Recent related events:

Workshop on national platforms at the International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC) Davos 2008

Meeting of European national platforms and HFA focal points for disaster risk reduction, Paris 2008

NP related publications & Multimedia:



UN/ISDR Headquarters in Geneva

National Platforms / National Coordinating Mechanisms Focal Point: Lars Bernd

UN/ISDR, Advocacy and Outreach Unit

Tel: +41 22 917-8884


Ana Cristina Angulo-Thorlund

Tel : +41 22 917-8983

E-mail: []

Americas Regional Unit of UN/ISDR Secretariat

National Platforms Focal Point: Haris Sanahuja

Tel: (507) 317-1124


Personal tools