Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre

IFRC reference centres focus on resilience at European Development Days 2016

24/06/2016 - by Alexandra Ponton, Red Cross EU Office, Brussels

(This story appeared first earlier today on the website of the Red Cross EU Office in Brussels. It has been edited here for length.)

European Development Days (EDD) took place in Brussels on 15 and 16 June. As Europe’s premier forum on development, EDD welcomes thousands of development stakeholders, practitioners and advocates for presentations, panel discussions, and informal debates.

In celebration of its tenth anniversary, EDD this year centred on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The Red Cross Red Crescent participated by running a stand from the Livelihoods Resource Centre (LRC) in the Global Village, as well as through the Climate Centre’s participation in the Resilience on the Ground lab at the EU Resilience Forum.

The LRC is hosted by the Spanish Red Cross and specializes in providing information on livelihoods programming in emergency response, recovery, rehabilitation and development.

At EDD, it presented its Livelihoods Programming Toolbox and Indicators – a set of resources compiled by the LRC with the collaboration of 30 specialized humanitarian organizations to facilitate livelihoods programming for practitioners.

Hands-on demonstrations

Traditionally, livelihoods programming has lacked a set of agreed evidence-based programme indicators, making it very difficult for practitioners to implement quality projects and assess their impacts.

The toolbox and indicators fill this gap by offering a standardized means for implementing and evaluating livelihoods projects.

At the Livelihoods Resource Centre’s website, practitioners can now access a multitude of resources including the toolbox and indicators, online training material, and informational videos to help them implement their projects and raise awareness on how sustainable livelihoods contribute to community resilience. 

LRC representatives at EDD discussed different approaches to livelihoods programming with other development stakeholders, providing hands-on demonstrations on how to use the various tools available online via the toolbox and indicators, which were developed with funding from the European Commission’s department for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO). 

The Climate Centre participated in the EU Resilience Forum. Its director Maarten van Aalst was on the high-level panel discussion ‘Resilience on the Ground’, where panellists from the Start Network, the Somalia Resilience Program and the European Commission discussed the practicalities of different resilience approaches. 

Changing risks

“Resilience requires bridging scales, using information from the most vulnerable groups in local, national and global risk assessments, and integrating local solutions into national strategies, plans and policies,” said Dr van Aalst. 

Panellists discussed the need for access to funding that allows for experimentation and learning, so that organizations can try different approaches and assess which work best.

Though risks are constantly changing due to factors like population growth and climate change, it is important to recognise that risks are not isolated to one event in one place.

How a community addresses a risk directly affects how another community is impacted by the same or related risks. For example, the measures taken by a community upstream to prevent a flood affect how the community downstream experiences that flood. 

During the lab, Dr van Aalst also shared insights and lessons learned from the Partners for Resilience (PfR) programme. “Partners for Resilience has demonstrated how to build resilience locally yet at scale, reaching over 400,000 people in the most vulnerable areas,” he said. 

The Livelihoods Resource Centre’s exhibition stand in the Global Village at the tenth anniversary European Development Days, where the IFRC reference centre, hosted by the Spanish Red Cross, presented its Livelihoods Programming Toolbox and Indicators. (Photo: Red Cross EU Office)