The Kenya National Platform For Disaster Risk Reduction: The Fifth National Symposium On Disaster Risk Reduction

01 Nov 2017

4:13 pm



  1. The National Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction, an initiative of the National Platform has been held since 2013. The symposium is organized back to back with the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). The fifth edition of the National symposium, originally planned for October, has been rescheduled to November 2017 in Diani, Kwale County.
  2. The symposium provides an opportunity for stakeholders and disaster risk management practitioners in Kenya to come together and share their experiences, challenges and lessons learnt in the course of implementation of DRR activities in various sectors across the country. By bringing together stakeholders, DRR practitioners, academia, NGOs, communities, first line responders, civil societies and members of the Kenya National Platform for DRR, the Symposium has proved to be instrumental in measuring Kenya’s performance and progress in  implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) and previously the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA) (2005-2015).In addition to sharing lessons and good practices, the national symposium; takes stock of the National Progress in DRM; raises the national capacity; strengthens County level systems and engagements in DRR; and provides linkage to the year’s theme of the IDDR.

The theme for the 2017 symposium is:

Following the adoption of the Sendai Framework, in 2016 UNISDR launched “The Sendai Seven Campaign – 7 Targets, 7 Years”, an advocacy initiative to encourage implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction with the goal of saving lives, reducing disaster losses and improving management of disaster risk. Since then, and each year the theme of the IDDR focuses on one of the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. In order to create synergy and coherence between the National symposium and the IDDR Celebrations, the theme of the National Symposium is structured to resonate with the theme for the IDDR celebrations.

  1. The Symposium Sub-themes

Target 2 of the Sendai Framework is to substantially reduce the number of people affected globally by disasters by 2030. It aims to lower the average global figure per 100,000 in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.

The Symposium sub-themes will be based on the four priority actions of the Sendai Framework with a focus to Target 2.

Priority 1. Understanding disaster risk: Disaster risk management should be based on an understanding of disaster risk in all its dimensions of hazard environment, characteristics and presence; vulnerability; exposure of persons and assets; and capacity to manage. Such knowledge can be used for risk assessment, prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response.

Priority 2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk: Disaster risk governance at the national, regional and global levels is very important for prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and rehabilitation. It fosters collaboration and partnership.

Priority 3. Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience: Public and private investment and mainstreaming in disaster risk prevention and reduction through structural and non-structural measures are essential to enhance the economic, social, health and cultural resilience of persons, communities, countries and their assets, as well as the environment.

Priority 4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction: The growth of disaster risk means there is a need to strengthen disaster preparedness for response, take action in anticipation of events, and ensure capacities are in place for effective intervention, response and recovery at all levels. The intervention, recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phase is a critical opportunity to build back better, including through integrating disaster risk reduction into development measures.

The 5th National symposium will consider new and emerging priorities as identified at the 5th Global platform for DRR in Mexico. These include:

  1. Monitoring implementation of the Sendai Framework;
  2. Coherence with the sustainable development and climate change agendas;
  • Gender-sensitive and inclusive disaster risk reduction; and
  1. International cooperation initiatives, such as public-private cooperation and building a coalition of countries for provision of critical infrastructure.

The symposium is inviting stakeholders and practitioners to share their knowledge, experience, innovations and expertise as pertains to the theme of the 5th National Symposium 2017: “INVESTING[1] MORE TO SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE AFFECTED BY DISASTERS IN KENYA”.


The National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is a Nationally owned and led forum of multi-stakeholders that serves as an advocate for DRR at different levels. It provides coordination, analysis and advice on areas of priority for disaster risk management requiring concerted action through a coordinated participatory process The Platform also supports and coordinates the implementation of the Sendai Framework including, Monitoring and Reporting.

The Sendai Framework is a 15-year; voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognizes that States have the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with the local government, the private sector, government departments and other stakeholders. It aims for the “The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries”.

The implementation of the Sendai Framework calls for coherence among other global frameworks such as: The Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development; Transforming our World – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; and Commitments from the World Humanitarian Summit.