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Connecting Asia’s Disaster Risk Reduction Practitioners

This article refers to a Community of Practice that was part of Give2Asia’s grant-funded NGO Disaster Preparedness Program (NGODPP), which concluded in 2021. To learn more about Give2Asia’s current disaster response programs, visit our Disaster Relief Grants and Services page or explore our new DisasterLink Network.

A person in Asia is five times more likely to experience a natural disaster than the average person on earth. Earthquakes, floods, and typhoons are an annual occurrence in this region, and the resulting crises are increasing.

Community-based disaster risk reduction and preparedness programs are growing to meet this need. These Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) across Asia demonstrate that with unique access and expertise, they can have a dramatic local impact to prevent harm from natural disasters.

Over the past 20 years, Give2Asia has supported over 2,000 national and sub-national CSOs through its international grantmaking. These local organizations also serve as a trusted and ready network for our disaster response work because they are on the frontlines when preparing for—and recovering from—natural disasters.

These groups have significant advantages when working with the most vulnerable communities in Asia. CSOs have strong local knowledge, direct access, and social connections with impacted communities. They are also familiar with local languages and culture. This hyper-local expertise makes such organizations the primary catalysts for effective and contextualized disaster programming, both in the immediate aftermath of an event and in preparing for long-term readiness.

However, as our recent report on Trends in Disaster Philanthropy revealed, disaster preparedness work remains chronically underfunded. As a result, too many communities are not adequately equipped for the next disaster.

To continue our commitment to disaster resilience, Give2Asia is pleased to announce a new platform for organizations doing this work: DisasterLink. This website will enable disaster experts in Asia’s CSOs to find peer organizations, strengthen their expertise, and share best practices.

The website’s resources include:

  • Profiles on 200+ local-expert organizations in disaster risk reduction
  • Climate Profile and Disaster Vulnerability Index on eight disaster-prone countries in Asia
  • Manuals and publications for project development, fundraising, disaster programming, donor opportunities, and multi-stakeholder engagements

For most CSOs, the most significant benefits of DisasterLink will be access to free educational resources that support capacity building and learning from other organizations’ experiences. The Resources section contains impact stories from members involved in previous disaster preparedness programs. Thanks to Give2Asia’s partnership with Philanthropy University, members can also access various free online courses on topics like project management and fundraising.

Unlike many other DRR resources, DisasterLink’s focus on linking local CSOs with each other nationally and regionally—and allowing their interests and needs to drive the community—makes it a resource by and for the local practitioners. DisasterLink also serves to educate funders about the importance of supporting preparedness activities. Donors can also identify partners and programs in the locations they wish to support.

While the world’s attention remains focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, recent severe flooding and typhoons across Asia remind us that other natural disasters remain a threat. DisasterLink provides a vital resource for organizations to stay connected and celebrate their successes—while preparing communities for disaster resilience in the coming years.

Interested in supporting our work or joining our community of DRR practitioners? Contact us to learn more.

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