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Cordaid NL

Building resilient communities

Director Health Care, Private Sector Development & Resilience

Heleen van der Beek

Empowering to overcome disaster risk and conflict

A resilient community is one that is able to resist, absorb, accommodate, and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and effective manner. In the face of increasing disaster risks and conflict, Cordaid empowers individuals to come together and overcome adversity. Through an integration of sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and ecosystem management, these communities create resilience futures.

What we do

Building Resilient Communities in Fragile Contexts

The frequency and severity of disasters caused by natural hazards and/or by armed conflict are increasing. This is aggravated by climate change, which has a multiplier effect on conflict, causing tensions over natural resources, water, and land. Conflict and displacement diminish people’s capacity to cope with disaster risks related to natural hazards. In fragile contexts, the government’s capacity to adequately address people’s needs may be weak. We therefore work with a multi-stakeholder approach, linking and building capacities of communities, governments and other actors.

The overall goal of Cordaid’s Resilience program is to assist disaster-prone communities to become more resilient to disaster risks, in the face of climate change, environmental degradation and conflict risk. Doing this, we are enabling livelihood security, peaceful co-existence and sustainable inclusive growth.

Cordaid’s Resilience Framework

Watch this video to find out more about Cordaid’s approach to strengthen the resilience of these communities:

Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR)

We increase capacities of communities to become disaster resilient. CMDRR brings people together to analyse and address common disaster risks, starting from the community’s own knowledge of recurring hazard events. This includes training in CMDRR concepts and processes, participatory risk mapping, contingency and action planning, community organization, implementation of selected resilience measures as well as monitoring and evaluation. Resilience measures can include, among many others, ensuring access to clean drinking water during floods or draughts, reinforcement of river banks, strengthening shelters against natural influences, and ensuring alternative livelihoods to secure income.

Urban Resilience

Half of humanity lives in cities and in the next 30 years, this will increase to at least 70%. Nearly one billion people live in slums and/or in informal settlements. Changing hazard patterns in combination with the conditions in slums – poor infrastructure, high poverty rates and complex social structures – significantly increase disaster risks. Cordaid’s risk-focused participatory neighborhood planning and action approach, implemented in collaboration with multiple stakeholders, strengthens resilience in urban settings.

District Resilience

District development plans rarely integrate disaster risks. And communities living in vulnerable districts are hardly involved in the planning process. Therefore, we support district staff in making development and contingency plans, and ensuring that the district has the capacity and tools to implement these plans, and reduce the risk of disasters. These plans must take the hazards in the district into consideration, and involve communities in the planning and implementation process. District planning is complementary to community level development.

Resilient recovery

To break the cycle of disasters and dependence on emergency aid, Cordaid works with disaster-affected communities as soon as possible after the emergency phase. Our interventions not only replace damaged assets, but also strengthen the capacity to cope with recurring hazards avoiding them to turn into disasters, and to bounce back quicker should a new disaster occur.

Partners for Resilience

In order to promote CMDRR, urban resilience and district resilience, we work with the Partners for Resilience (PfR) strategic partnership. PfR is an international alliance, consisting of Netherlands Red Cross, CARE Netherlands, Cordaid, Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre and Wetlands International and around 60 local partner organisations. From 2016 to 2020, PfR focuses on policy dialogue to integrate disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and ecosystem management in international, national and community level programs and policies. PfR works in ten countries in Central America, Africa and Asia.

In the Teso region of Uganda, Cordaid and partner organization SOCADIDO support female farmers who struggle to maintain their livelihood because of climate change, land depletion or a lack of tools and agricultural knowledge. Cordaid and SOCADIDO provide seeds, tools, technology and training. Image: Mickael Franci/Cordaid.
  • 770,000 people became more resilient to disaster (2018)
  • 38 projects enhanced community resilience (2018)
  • 7 countries and 3 regions have stronger CSO capacity to advocate for Integrated Risk Management (2018)

Resilience Services

Thematic expertise

  • Strengthening capacities of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and local government staff/private sector on Participatory Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) and multi-stakeholder collaboration;
  • facilitating processes to formulate joint resilience action plans and to set up effective risk management structures;
  • implementing resilience measures in the areas of agriculture, water management, soil management, ecosystem management, shelter, WASH, alternative livelihoods and access to finance;
  • strengthening lobby and advocacy capacities of CSOs to ensure that policies, practices and investments of government and private sector include the topic of resilience;
  • lobby and advocacy at international level to promote and enhance resilience, including climate change adaptation;
  • knowledge management in collaboration with research institutions and the private sector. The aim is to develop innovative resilience building approaches;
  • organisation and facilitation of working sessions and providing keynote speakers at thematically relevant conferences.

Heleen van der Beek

Director Health Care, Private Sector Development & Resilience

Program and grant management

  • Facilitation of pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) and joint action planning to enhance resilience at community level;
  • facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes for joint risk analysis and action planning in districts and urban areas;
  • implementing resilience measures (focus on basic needs, livelihoods and ecosystem management) in disaster prone regions, in collaboration with local partners;
  • enhancing capacities of CSOs to advocate for resilience in selected local, national and global policies, programs and investments;
  • coordination and management of projects and programs at all levels, from country to complex multi-country and regional levels;
  • knowledge management and learning activities on resilience processes and resilience measures.

Heleen van der Beek

Director Health Care, Private Sector Development & Resilience

Investment management

While disaster resilience helps communities and authorities at all levels to be more resilient to shocks, their economic well-being is just as important. Therefore, Cordaid’s Resilience work strives to align as much as possible with micro-finance initiatives supported by Cordaid. Community members as well as entrepreneurs of micro, small and medium enterprises not only receive disaster resilience training and knowledge, but also the financial means to improve and guarantee their livelihoods.

Heleen van der Beek

Director Health Care, Private Sector Development & Resilience

Resilience team

Heleen van der Beek

Director Health Care, Private Sector Development & Resilience

Thierry Fanin

Program Manager & Resilience Expert
+31 622 897 636

Harma Rademaker

Program manager

Margot Loof

Expert Resilience

Karen Stehouwer

Program Manager Resilience

Peter Gijs van Enk

Expert Urban Resilience

Koen Kieft

Project officer Resilience

Kimberley Ogonda

Lobby and Advocacy Expert for Resilience