The network for Partnerships for Resilience through Innovation and Integrated Management of Emergencies and Disasters (PRIMED) primarily aims to strengthen community preparedness and resilience as a strategic approach for addressing three key global challenges, i.e., sustainable development and poverty reduction, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change. Participation of communities in disaster management programmes is recognized as key for minimizing the severity of natural and climate-related hazards on the most vulnerable and recovery from disaster, thus ensuring sustainable development for all. Efforts are shifting away from reactive emergency response frameworks to more proactive management approaches that incorporate varying socioeconomic and cultural interests, socially differentiated groups (such as those based on gender, age, physical challenges), capabilities and resources for effectively reducing vulnerability and sustainably increasing resilience at the local level.
Many of these communities struggle with deploying and managing sustainable infrastructures, such as services for energy access via renewable or fossil-fueled electrification programs, roads and transport services. Small and medium-sized municipalities in these developing nations, especially, are often constrained in terms of financial and professional capacity. At the same time, public servants need to manage complex planning and policy processes to ensure that the communities they are serving will have appropriate systems in place to respond to climate shocks. This includes sufficient information to ensure that new human settlements, and associated energy and transport services settlements, will be built so as to be climate-compatible, with reduced vulnerability to future events, whilst at the same time enabling sustainable development.
The PRIMED network will, therefore, facilitate social innovation and knowledge co-creation, taking as a starting point, applications and models of resilience interventions and building sustainable infrastructure where success has been achieved through improved community partnerships, leadership training, participative research and action-oriented education. Partnerships created within the PRIMED network will bring together international and national academics, researchers, policy and decision-makers, practitioners, and community members that represent the various social groups, to share their varied perspectives, reflections and experiences of what works. These interactions will enable the team to:
1. Understand and define constraints and opportunities
2. Define mechanisms required for increasing the participation of diverse coastal social groups, including the marginalized, in disaster mitigation and preparedness
3. Identify effective educational tools that improve the leadership skills of community members
4. Improve community capacity to take action and build their overall resilience to coastal hazards
5. Improve the management of complexities associated with climate-resilient and low carbon development policy and planning.
The network for Partnerships for Resilience through Innovation and integrated Management of Emergencies and Disasters (PRIMED) aims to strengthen coastal community preparedness and resilience as a strategic approach for addressing the three key global challenges of sustainable development and poverty reduction, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change. Our goal is to facilitate social innovation and knowledge co-creation across various social groups in these communities, working as a network. PRIMED will identify and share models for climate actions where resilience interventions and low-carbon sustainable infrastructure has been successfully achieved through improved community partnerships, leadership training, participative research and action-oriented education.
Co-design and co-delivery with stakeholders are at the heart of the PRIMED proposal, and partnerships created within the PRIMED network will bring together international and national academics, researchers, policy and decision-makers, practitioners, as well as coastal community members that represent the various social groups, to share their varied perspectives, reflections and experiences of what works and why. Our work is of relevance for all those working to deliver resilience, DRR and sustainable energy services to coastal communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Asia and the South Pacific. In addition to the benefits of academic institutions engaging with each other within the network, PRIMED ideally provides a platform for transdisciplinary learning with four principle non-academic groups of beneficiaries:
1. Government departments and bodies (e.g., the Ghana National Development Planning Authority Ghana Environmental Protection Agency; Ghana National Disaster Management Organisation, and the UK Department of International Development) and local authorities (e.g. Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies) responsible for delivering economic development whilst also needing to protect coastal communities from extreme weather events and meeting climate change targets. These actors will benefit from insights and information to ensure that new human settlements, and associated infrastructure including the provision of energy and transport services, will be both climate compatible, more resilient to future events, and enable sustainable development.
2. Private-sector organisations and businesses at multiple scales (e.g. international engineering consultancies such as Arup, BuroHappold, local renewable energy associations, community farming associations) who require analysis and support to respond to climate change, where possible realising co-benefits and identifying opportunities for investment.
3. Local (e.g., ABANTU, KITE, and KASA) and international (e.g., CARE International, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation) NGOs whose programmes are already committed to strengthening the capacity of vulnerable groups. These programmes have been implementing community-based adaptation projects and the best lessons can be shared within the network whilst also building their own knowledge for innovative integrated strategies.
4. Coastal communities in the partner countries, where socially differentiated groups with varying degrees of vulnerability and resilience, will contribute to and benefit from the co-production of knowledge. Their participation will enhance social innovation processes, prompting greater commitment and concerted action for preventive, mitigative and preparedness measures.
We will deliver impact through a number of pathways elaborated in the Pathways to Impact documents, such as the network membership, activities to co-produce knowledge, develop various learning material, social media, community learning centres and contribution to domestic and international policy.