Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience (DRR4R) at UNOPS

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) aims to build resilience to natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods and cyclones, among other shocks and stresses, through identifying and effectively managing risk.

UNOPS strives to increase the resilience of nations and communities to such hazards by integrating a risk-based culture into all our activities around the world. In this way, we can make a meaningful contribution to the development outcomes of our partners.

Sustainability and resilience (or 'robustness') are about ensuring people, economies, infrastructure and environmental systems are better prepared to withstand shocks and stresses, recover and continue to develop and grow.

With the frequency and intensity of natural events predicted to rise due to climate change, the need to identify, manage and reduce or eliminate risks has become critical. By reducing or eliminating risk, we can help build the resilience of nations and communities to these shocks and stresses.

In response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, for example, UNOPS supported the Brazilian government in building earthquake and cyclone resistant community hospitals, with solar-powered lighting and rainwater harvesting systems, making them not only sustainable but more resilient.

For a project to be truly sustainable and resilient, we need to consider both sustainability aspects, such as the impact of the project on the environment, and resilience aspects, such as the impact of the environment on the project (or 'external risk context'). This is key to ensuring the resilience of our projects.

Where risks cannot be eliminated, we need to address the remaining risks through strategies associated with preparedness, response and early recovery.

Widely promoted as a best practice model by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), our DRR4R Strategy aims to align UNOPS programmes with the organization's commitments to current and forthcoming global frameworks, including:

  • the United Nations Plan of Action on DRR4R

  • the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

  • the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • the World Humanitarian Summit 2016


Read more about UNOPS DRR4R Programme in our factsheet.