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International Recovery Platform

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International Recovery Platform[edit | edit source]

The International Recovery Platform is a network of 17 institutions working together to promote the sharing of experiences and lessons on ‘build back better[1]’ in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. It advocates for governments to seize the opportunity to reduce disaster risk during the recovery process by building back better. It serves as the global repository of knowledge on ‘build back better’. IRP's mission is to identify and strengthen knowledge and information on ‘build back better’ in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

International Recovery Platform
Agency overview
FormedMay 11, 2005
HeadquartersKobe, Japan
Agency executive
  • Josef Lloyd Leitmann
IRP Steering Committee
Logo Member
1 Asian Development Bank
2 Asian Disaster Reduction Center
3 Government of Japan
5 Hyogo Prefectural Government
6 International Labour Organization
7 Government of Italy
8 Government of Switzerland
9 The World Bank
10 United Nations Centre for Regional Development
11 United Nations Development Programme
12 UN Environment
13 UN Habitat
14 UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
15 UN Office for Project Services
16 World Health Organization

History[edit | edit source]

Why it was established?[edit | edit source]

The International Recovery Platform (IRP) was established in May 11, 2005 to support the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action[2] (HFA) by addressing the gaps and constraints experienced in the context of post-disaster recovery. IRP adopts a more specialized role as an “international mechanism for sharing experiences and lessons on build back better” following the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction[3].

How it evolves?[edit | edit source]

Governments impacted by the Indian Ocean Tsunami[4]realized that post-disaster recovery is complicated and challenging process. Aside from little or no preparations, there were limited information, tools, and guidance on recovery. The Government of Japan, along with other partners (national and local government, regional institution, and UN agencies), supported the establishment of IRP to address knowledge gaps on recovery through knowledge management, capacity building, and enhancing recovery operations. The more focused role on promoting lessons on ‘build back better’ came about to reinforce growing knowledge products on recovery, including assessment and planning tools.

Governance[edit | edit source]

Steering Committee[edit | edit source]

The Steering Committee serves as the decision-making body with responsibility for providing strategic oversight and guidance on IRP activities including approval of the annual work-plan. It comprises representatives of IRP members. The membership and number of Steering Committee members is decided by consensus amongst IRP members. Requests to become a Steering Committee member are received by the Secretariat and considered by Steering Committee members either in or out of session as determined by the Chair. Members are expected to contribute towards the approved activities of IRP by means of commitment of funds or in-kind contributions, including costs associated with IRP steering committee functions. The Steering Committee members can request the Chair for technical experts or specialist to attend meetings on an ad-hoc basis to provide specialist’s inputs as and when deemed necessary. If any IRP partners are seriously considering joining in IRP and wish to observe a meeting of the Steering Committee, they can contact to the Secretariat. In consultation with the Steering Committee members, Chair will admit them to observe a meeting of the Steering Committee and contribute to discussions.


Steering Committee decisions are consensus-driven and consistent with the IRP vision, mission, and goals. In cases where consensus cannot be reached, the Chair and Co-Chair will decide.

Chair and Co-chair

The Chair is selected from among the IRP Steering Committee member organizations. A permanent Co-Chair is the Government of Japan. The Chair and Co-chair, as a rule, shall not belong to the same organization. The Chair continues to perform the role until a successor is officially elected. Below is the history of SC chairmanship:

Secretariat[edit | edit source]

The Secretariat provides necessary support for operation of the Steering Committee so that the IRP network can function as a whole. It is responsible to the Chair of the Steering Committee. The Secretariat executes the decisions of the Steering Committee and regularly provides updates for, consults with, and reports to the Steering Committee Chair, Co-Chair, and members.


The Secretariat is hosted by the Hyogo Prefecture Government[5]. Its offices are located with the UNISDR Office in Kobe[6] and coordinated by the appointed UNISDR staff member. The Secretariat is co-staffed by UNISDR, Asia Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), and the Hyogo Prefecture Government.


Interns at the IRP Secretariat assist in documenting and collecting case studies on ‘build back better’ in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

Strategic Framework[edit | edit source]

The IRP Steering Committee is guided by the Strategic Framework which the members develop, update, and enforce.

Knowledge Products[edit | edit source]

Guidance Notes[edit | edit source]

Currently, IRP offers 12 Guidance Notes on Recovery[1] which are presented as “menu of options” in addressing common recovery challenges. In every sector-specific recovery issue, one or more relevant case studies are presented offering solutions. The Guidance Notes are case-based materials that the IRP Secretariat compiled by means of desk review, working-group meetings, conferences, and report submission. While certain activities or projects presented in the Guidance Notes have met with success in a given context, it should be noted that there is no guarantee that similar activities will generate the same results across all contexts. Cultural norms, socioeconomic contexts, gender relations, and myriad other factors will influence the process and outcome of any planned activity. The case studies are therefore intended not as prescriptive solutions that are applied wholesale but rather as experiences that inspire action, that generate contextually relevant ideas, and where appropriate, that planners may adapt to their unique needs. The Guidance Notes include:

Recovery Status Report[edit | edit source]

IRP documents post-disaster recovery lessons from large-scale disasters highlighting challenges as well as good practices. The documentation also puts emphasis on sector-specific lessons.

These Recovery Status Reports are accessible at the IRP Website:

  • The Great East Japan Earthquake 2011
  • Cyclone Nargis 2008
  • Wenchuan Earthquake 2008
  • The Southern Leyte Landslide 2006
  • The Yogyakarta Earthquake 2006
  • Indian Ocean Tsunami: Banda Aceh 2004
  • The Gujarat Earthquake 2001

Post Disaster Needs Assessment[19][edit | edit source]

The Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) is a tool developed originally under the IRP umbrella, specifically by the UN Development Group, the World Bank and the European Union, to promote equity and inclusion in assessing recovery needs. It is a comprehensive assessment for estimating damages and losses, and identifies the needs of the affected population. It serves as a common assessment tool for recovery planning in post-crisis settings. In most countries, where PDNA is conducted, the report served developing recovery strategy, and it also serves as guide for donors’ funding.These sector-specific PDNA tools are useful in assessing damage and losses (available in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese):

  • Community Infrastructure[20]
  • Commerce[21]
  • Culture[22]
  • Disaster Risk Reduction[23]
  • Education[24]
  • Environment[25]
  • Gender[26]
  • Governance[27]
  • Housing[28]
  • Macroeconomic Impact of Disasters[29]
  • Manufacturing[30]
  • Telecommunications[31]
  • Tourism[32]
  • Transport[33]
  • Health[34]
  • Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Forestry[35]
  • Water and Sanitation[36]
  • Employment, Livelihood and Social Protection[37]

Disaster Recovery Framework[edit | edit source]

The guide provides the essential information to assist policy makers and other stakeholders in formulating a framework for the medium and long-term post-disaster recovery. This document guides how to articulate the recovery vision; define the recovery strategy; prioritize actions; and fine-tune planning. It also guides strategies for financing, implementing, and monitoring the recovery. It helps in learning and self-evaluation, leading to continuous improvements over the course of the recovery implementation.

Key Activities[edit | edit source]

International Recovery Forum[edit | edit source]

International Recovery Forum 2019 "Achieving the Build Back Better Dividend"

The International Recovery Forum is an annual event that convenes a broad range of policymakers and practitioners to exchange experiences and facilitate discussion on challenges to resilient recovery and opportunities for ‘build back better’. It is designed to generate cutting edge ideas and collaborative initiatives through dialogue, debate, and analysis. Forum themes are listed below:

2005 International Seminar on Post Disaster Recovery

2006 “Lesson on Recovery from Recent Major Disasters”

2007 “Progress of the Implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and Recovery from Tsunami and Earthquake"

2008 “Capacity Development for Better Recovery”

2009 “Building Back Better and Greener -Engaging Partners for Environmentally Sound Recovery”

2010 “From Resilient Recovery to Sustainable Development”

2011 “Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning for Building Back Better”

2012 “Regional Cooperation for Resilient Recovery”

2013 “Resilient Recovery in Cities and Municipalities"

2014 “The Role of Private Sector in Disaster Recovery”

2015 “Sending the Message of Building Back Better from Hyogo, Japan”

2016 “Development Continuity Planning”

2017 “Build Back Better Towards Resilient and Healthy Communities”

2018 “Build Back Better in Urban Resilience”

2019 “Attaining the Build Back Better Dividend”

Capacity Building Support[edit | edit source]

The IRP designed a strategy to reach clients, specifically disaster-prone developing countries, through a workshop on Disaster Recovery Planning. The participants of this four-day event are senior government officials of the target country. The first day is utilized to visit a recovery project of an IRP partner to give understanding of the context and challenges of recovery. The visit includes discussions with government officials. The next three days involve intensive deliberations, case studies from the Guidance Notes on Recovery are presented as options to address recovery issues. The outcomes of the workshop include draft inputs for a policy paper on recovery or draft Disaster Recovery Plan. Since 2010, IRP organized over 40 workshops covering South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America, Middle East, East Asia, Eastern Europe, Horn of Africa, and the Pacific.

Learning Events[edit | edit source]

IRP organizes sessions, when possible and relevant, to advance discussion on ‘build back better’ in support of the implementation of Priority 4 of the Sendai Framework in global and regional events, such as:

  • World Reconstruction Conference
  • Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
  • World Bosai Forum
  • World Ministerial Conference

Contributions[edit | edit source]

Enriched Knowledge on ‘Build Back Better[edit | edit source]

In 2005, there was a critical knowledge gap in the area of recovery. This gap has been gradually addressed over the last decade.  

Compilation of Lessons on Recovery

  • Over 1,000 case studies, reports, documentation, and relevant recovery materials are collected from partners and uploaded on IRP Website
  • 10 Recovery Status Reports/Documentation published
  • 1 dedicated staffer maintaining the IRP Website as a knowledge management tool for recovery

Development Guidance Notes & Guidelines

  • 12 Guidance on Recovery
  • Supporting PDNA process (PDNA workspace within IRP Website)
  • Disaster Recovery Framework
  • Sectoral Guidance Notes

Enhanced Capacity in Disaster Recovery Planning[edit | edit source]

In 2005, very few government officials were knowledgeable of disaster recovery planning but in ten years after, national and local governments had enhanced this capacity through the IRP partners.

Orientation of Government Officials

  • Over 1,000 government officials  were trained in disaster recovery
  • Workshops were organized in over 35 countries upon request by governments

Supported the Formulation of Disaster Recovery Plans and Frameworks

  • Pre-Disaster Recovery Plan of Makati City
  • Disaster Recovery Frameworks

Supported the Creation of Local Recovery Bodies

  • Build Back Better Foundation of Bangladesh

Strengthened ‘Build Back Better’ Advocacy[edit | edit source]

In 2005, the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) did not explicitly articulate recovery nor build back better in the global framework. That limitation was addressed in 2015, as “build back better” is now clearly articulated in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. IRP is recognized in the Sendai Framework as one of the international mechanisms for promoting and advocating build back better.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Guidance Notes on Recovery". https://www.recoveryplatform.org/. Retrieved 2019-03-11. External link in |website= (help)
  2. "Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters - full text - UNISDR". www.unisdr.org. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  3. "Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 - UNISDR". www.unisdr.org. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  4. "Tsunami 2004".
  5. 兵庫県. "兵庫県ホームページ". 兵庫県 (in 日本語). Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  6. "UNISDR Office in Japan - UNISDR". www.unisdr.org. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  7. "Health GN" (PDF).
  8. "Private Sector GN" (PDF).
  9. "Climate Change GN" (PDF).
  10. "Environment GN" (PDF).
  11. "Gender GN" (PDF).
  12. "Governance GN" (PDF).
  13. "Infrastructure GN" (PDF).
  14. "Livelihoods GN" (PDF).
  15. "PDRP GN" (PDF).
  16. "Psychosocial GN" (PDF).
  17. "Shelter GN" (PDF).
  18. "Telling Live Lessons GN" (PDF).
  19. "PDNA Guidelines" (PDF).
  20. "Community Infra" (PDF).
  21. "Commerce" (PDF).
  22. "Culture" (PDF).
  23. "Disaster Risk Reduction" (PDF).
  24. "Education" (PDF).
  25. "Environment pdna" (PDF).
  26. "Gender pdna" (PDF).
  27. "Governance pdna" (PDF).
  28. "Housing pdna" (PDF).
  29. "Macroeconomic Impacts pdna" (PDF).
  30. "Manufacturing pdna" (PDF).
  31. "Telecommunications pdna" (PDF).
  32. "Tourism pdna" (PDF).
  33. "Transport pdna" (PDF).
  34. "Health pdna" (PDF).
  35. "Agri, Livestock, Fisheries, adn Forestry pdna" (PDF).
  36. "Water and Sanitation pdna" (PDF).
  37. "Employment, Livelihood, and Social Protection pdna" (PDF).

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