Research , Training and advocacy
SDI conducts DRR research, training and advocacy in Disaster Risk Reduction with the aim of generating knowledge in order to improve both policy and practice. SDI also engages in training and advocacy. In the past 13 years SDI has conducted a number of research projects which include;
- SADC/World Bank DRR Research, Policy and Capacity Building Programme(2017-2019): Together with the Africa Centre for Disaster Studies (ACDS) based at North-West University in South Africa and the University of Botswana, SDI was engaged by the World Bank Group and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to conduct an assignment whose objective is to facilitate action research in support of SADC’s Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Policy and provide capacity enhancement interventions in various DRR areas to SADC member states’ academia, research institutions, legislature, civil society organizations and private sector in order to enhance their contribution in the implementation of climate change resilience and DRR activities in the region. The assignment promoted evidence-based DRR practice through research in the SADC region focusing on; a) Early warning; b) Urban Planning and Resilience and c) Public-sector budgeting for DRR. Three DRR policy briefs were developed from the final research papers. The policy briefs were developed to strengthen policy advocacy in the identified policy gaps based on the research findings. A total of 50 participants were trained in meteorological forecasting and early warning systems; DRM advocacy, information management and dissemination and DRR policy, planning, and legislation
- Measuring the Contribution of Disaster Risk Reduction Interventions in Agriculture and Food Security to Resilience in Southern Africa (2013-2014): SDI was collaborated with Africa Centre for Disaster Studies (ACDS) based at North-West University in South Africa to conduct a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) commissioned assessment aimed at measuring the contribution of disaster risk reduction interventions in agriculture and food security to resilience in Southern Africa. The research looked at the role of farmers’ associative mechanisms, small-scale irrigation systems, crop varieties, cropping techniques and the timing of production in increasing the resilience of the rural small-scale farmer in Southern Africa. The geographic scope of the assignment covered Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique. In Malawi, the study assessed interventions implemented by FAO partners particularly Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) in Nsanje and GOAL Malawi in Mulanje districts.
- Views from the Frontline (2013-2014): On behalf of the Global Network on Disaster Reduction (GNDR), SDI conducted research aimed at tracking and measuring progress on the implementation of Hyogo Framework for Action in Malawi between the years 2012 and 2014. Views from the Frontline (VFL) was a participatory assignment designed to strengthen public accountability for DRR policy execution by providing the first independent global review of progress towards the implementation of disaster risk reduction at the local level. VFL gathered a broad cross-section of perspectives from communities, local authorities and civil society organizations who are most affected by disasters. During these years, SDI developed country reports for Malawi and was the National Coordinating Organization (NCO) for the exercise.
- Risk Profiling and Action from Frontline (2011& 2013): On behalf of the Global Network for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), SDI partnered with Mzuzu University – Urban Risk Knowledge (URK) to undertake risk profiling in Karonga Township in Malawi. Working with CSOs and communities, the process involves in-depth exploration of climate change related risks that are faced within localities through facilitation of communities in the understanding of the risks and their root causes. And strengthening their capacities.
- Climate Change and DRR Short Course: In collaboration with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), Africa Centre for Disaster Studies and Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Scheme Programme, SDI organized climate change and DRR short courses, Participants included directors, project managers and project officers who implement programmes in DRR, Climate Change, Biodiversity, Land Degradation, Chemicals and Capacity Building.
- Policy Formulation Advocacy in Malawi: SDI has worked closely with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) in Malawi for the past 12 years. It has participated in policy formulation of the current National Disaster Risk Management Policy and National Climate Change Management Policy. (https://mwnation.com/malawi-prepared-for-disasters/)
- Global Policy Influence SDI has participated in Global DRR Platforms and World Humanitarian Summit in Geneva representing the views of local communities and CSOs in Malawi and Southern Africa. In the year 2013, SDI presented to Government of Malawi (Department of Disaster Management Affairs) a report on a global position for Civil Society Organizations on what post HFA should look like. The report made recommendations on what post HFA should take into account to achieve resilience.