Expanding the Reach of ProVention - 23 April 2003

Following a successful launch and start-up period, the ProVention Consortium is pleased to announce the transfer of the ProVention Secretariat from the World Bank's Disaster Management Facility (DMF) to the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The Secretariat, responsible for the coordination and management of ProVention activities, has been hosted by the DMF since the launch in early 2000. Rotating the secretariat every few years was envisioned from the outset of the initiative as a way to broaden participation, bring fresh perspectives to ProVention efforts, and increase the ownership of other host organizations in the network. An agreement signed by the World Bank and the IFRC concludes the transition of the Secretariat from Washington to Geneva and marks the official point of departure for the IFRC-hosted Secretariat

The first three years of ProVention has produced a number of innovative tools for integrating disaster risk management into development efforts and made significant contributions to reducing the impact of disasters in developing countries. Thanks to the active participation of many ProVention members, achievements include: improved documentation of the longer-term social and economic impacts of disasters; models for integrating disaster risk into development planning; methodologies for better assessments of disaster impacts; and strategies for more effective management of disaster risk. A number of training activities were also undertaken to raise awareness and increase capacity for disaster risk reduction in developing countries.

The progress of ProVention was facilitated by working as a flexible network and connecting actors from different sectors and backgrounds, including the public and private sectors, academic, and civil society to focus on practical outputs for addressing the urgent problem of reducing disaster vulnerability in developing countries. ProVention outputs have influenced World Bank projects and assistance strategies, as well as those of other member organizations. The World Bank continues to be a lead partner in the Consortium, funding the Secretariat for the next two years and coordinating a number of ProVention activities initiated during 2000-02.

The advances made in the first three years provide a sound foundation for the IFRC-hosted Secretariat to take forward the goals of the Consortium. The transfer to IFRC presents new opportunities for advancing disaster risk reduction through the global network of the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies and other civil society organizations. The IFRC-hosted Secretariat aims to strengthen the partnerships and interaction between members of the Consortium, support innovative approaches to the practice of disaster risk management and continue to promote the goals of ProVention among senior policy makers in international organizations, national governments, civil society and the private sector.

Alcira Kreimer, Manager, The Disaster Management Facility, The World Bank
Eva von Oelreich, Head, Disaster Preparedness & Policy Department, International, Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies