While the pandemic is leading to major socio-economic repercussions worldwide, the impact of COVID-19 crisis is especially severe in the LAC region exacerbating existing inequalities. The pandemic has exhausted the existing responsive capacities in many sectors. Besides imposing a severe burden on healthcare systems, the pandemic has entailed many cascading negative impacts in other sectors: Preventive measures of the government to contain the spread of the virus, such as the suspension of services and the interruption of commercial activities, resulted in economic recession, supply shortages and rising unemployment rates and a deterioration of working conditions. In this context, public investment in resilient infrastructure emerges as a sensitive variable for the recovery during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. As public investment projects (PIP) can generate direct, indirect, and induced employment, the recovery process presents a window of opportunity for sustainable public investment.
Cooperation with Red SNIP
In Latin America and the Caribbean, GIDRM is working with the Network of National Public Investment Systems (Red SNIP), which is committed to mainstream disaster risk management in the region. However, in many member states of the Red SNIP network, governments focus on responding to emergencies, instead of also considering comprehensive risk mitigation, disaster preparedness and prevention. Besides supporting the SNIPs in incorporating disaster risk management and climate change adaptation into regional and national development decision- and policy-making, GIDRM focuses on encouraging more sustainable and resilient public investments.
The Network of National Public Investment Systems of Latin America and the Caribbean (Red SNIP) was created in 2010 to strengthen sustainable, effective, and efficient public investment that enhances positive economic and social impact as well as resilient and inclusive development in the LAC region. The network is comprised of state institutions that govern the public investment processes in the member countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The Red SNIP is supported by ECLAC, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
There is an opportunity to adopt a risk-informed development approach to understand and reduce risks as well as to strengthen the coordination between sectors allowing for the evaluation of complex disaster and climate risks. GIDRM focuses on four main areas of intervention:
- the participation and representation in the Steering Committee of the Red SNIP,
- the elaboration of knowledge products to strengthen the capacities of the Red SNIP members,
- the sharing of innovative public investment tools between the member states and with other actors in and beyond the region and
- the strengthening of coordination and communication mechanisms between the network and other strategic actors.
Cooperation with ICAP
The National Public Investment Systems (SNIP) in Latin America and the Caribbean are paving the way towards economic recovery by having direct interference in the formulation and evaluation of public investment projects. In most countries there is an established capacity to analyze PIPs; however, by incorporating disaster risk management (DRM), climate change adaptation (CCA) and mitigation into the investment life cycle, capacities can be strengthened further. As a measure to reduce disaster risks and contribute to more efficient and effective public investments, the SNIP networks have been addressing disaster risk management and resilience in pre-investment, investment, and post-investment processes.
Since January 2021, the Central American Institute of Public Administration (ICAP) has been developing the regional project called INCENTIVA (Central American Initiative for Public Investment with Added Value), financed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, through its project, the Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management. In close cooperation with the regional SNIP networks, INCENTIVA seeks to strengthen national public investment systems through methodological and technological tools that generate public value in the management of public investment projects and contribute to the post-pandemic economic recovery in face of systemic risks. The project is implemented in Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) and the Caribbean (the Dominican Republic).
GIDRM in Colombia
In Colombia, similar to most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, 88% of all the disasters that have occurred over the past thirty years are weather-related events. However, losses and damages do not only depend on the intensity or frequency of the events, but mostly on the exposure, vulnerability, and coping capacities of individuals, infrastructure, and systems in face of hazards. Risks derive from the interaction of hazards, exposure, vulnerability, and coping capacity—hence, risks can in- or decrease because of changes in one of these factors. Although Colombia has established a solid institutional and regulatory platform for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, which is considered a model in Latin America, efforts to promote risk-informed development need to be strengthened to understand and reduce complex risks and safeguard development achievements in the long-term.
GIDRM identified opportunities to strengthen capacities and skills of key actors in risk-informed decision-making while considering context-specific fragility factors: (a) by supporting relevant entities in achieving the commitments stipulated in the current National Development Plan (2018-2022) and (b) by promoting an innovative approach to develop a comprehensive understanding of risks in the upcoming planning instrument (2022-2026) and to strengthen risk-informed development. These efforts will also feed into the current updating of instruments by the different governing bodies of DRM and CCA.
GIDRM focuses on five main areas of intervention, namely, (1) systemic risks in development planning processes and public investments, (2) conditions of fragility and vulnerability in the context of systemic risk (3) capacity building in risk-informed-development (4) the nexus between gender, DRM and climate change in sectoral public policy (5) resilient disaster recovery adapted to climate change. To this end, GIDRM has planned the following measures:
- Implementing the "Technical Guide on Comprehensive Risk Assessment and Planning in the Context of Climate Change” in Colombia, including a feasibility study to identify needs and interest of stakeholders to this process;
- Conducting an analysis on migration dynamics and on the creation of risk scenarios in the context of climate change in Bogota;
- Capacity building of decision-makers and selected subnational entities for the implementation of risk-informed development;
- Mainstreaming gender, DRM and climate change adaptation in sectoral public policies;
- Fostering disaster resilient and climate change adapted recovery.
GIDRM efforts mirror the national structure for DRM, CCA and development planning, as all three approaches are mainstreamed on different levels by different actors. Every institutional platform has its own legal framework with corresponding plans to implement DRM and CCA measures in different sectors and levels. GIDRM cooperates with:
- National DRM System (SNGRD),
- National CCA System (SISCLIMA),
- National Planning System (SNP) / Investment and Public Finance System (SNIP),
- Academic sector (Instituto Pensar, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana) and regional networks (Red SNIP),
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other multilateral agencies.