The United Nations Development Program released a study in 2014, titled “Financing Recovery for Resilience.” Written by Fiona Bayat-Renoux and Yannick Glemarec, the study examines whether the financing process of disaster recovery efforts is consistent with the international architecture to promote transition from crisis to sustainable development in fragile states.

What it says

The report notes that resilience is the outcome of an ongoing process consisting of prevention and mitigation; preparedness; response; and recovery and reconstruction.

The authors state that current financing practices for recovery in fragile and conflict-affected countries is limited in terms of coverage (doesn’t exist for everyone or is applied too late); capitalization (too small and fragmented to act as center for coordination and alignment); coherence (covers too many issues, leaving key areas unaddressed).

The report’s key conclusion is that as disasters and humanitarian crises are becoming more complex and interconnected, a strategy of integrated resilience is needed to address the short, medium, and long-term needs of recovery.

The authors recommend:

1). Enhanced coverage of pooled financing mechanisms for recovery by better leveraging the risk management potential of pooled funds. This brings together government and development partners for shared understanding and coordinated efforts.

2). Optimize capitalization of pooled financing mechanisms for recovery by consolidating the large number of small funds into a small number of large funds to create a central resource that improves coordination and alignment of activities.

3).  Improve the coherence of recovery efforts through a common theory of change. Substance and leadership is needed to achieve success, and a common theory of change allows actors to work towards common goals through the incorporation of required elements into individual programs.

Why it matters

It is particularly important for funders to understand the full arc of disaster recovery: prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. Full recovery when a disaster occurs happens much faster and more efficiently when each of these components is funded.  This means that donors should pay attention to initiatives that are heavy on preparedness and mitigation, such as building for disasters, prepositioning relief supplies, and community advocacy and information efforts before a disaster occurs.  These initiatives allow response and recovery to move forward in the most effective manner possible.

While this report is geared towards international funding pools, its lessons and study of the disaster arc can be applied to U.S.-specific events.

Read the full report.