Responsibilities not appointed

The issue

Many local governments don’t have a designated department or legal mechanisms for assessing and addressing the threats faced by a community.

Half of local government respondents say that no office is specifically responsible for assessing and addressing community risks. 

Key facts

Government departments rarely appoint staff to specifically carry out risk assessments with communities.

51% of local government respondents said they have no legal mechanism to facilitate the engagement of communities in building resilience. 

Governments often don’t delegate enough authority to lower administration levels so that they can engage local communities.


“There is active engagement with our local government. Whenever there is a risk of flooding in the community Buklod Tao is being called by the barangay council to be there, to sit with the officials.”

— Manuel Abinales, Buklod Tao, Philippines


Whilst good practice does exist, like in the case of Buklod Tao in the Philippines, in many government departments it is often the case that no one is specifically appointed to carry out disaster risk reduction activities. Responsibility is often assigned to people who are already doing other jobs.

It is very rare that someone is given the role of consulting communities on the threats they face. Views from the Frontline data shows that this is particularly common in rural areas. The personnel that are appointed often lack the relevant know-how and competencies required.

Responsibility for disaster risk reduction is rarely decentralised.

And authority and resources to carry out activities is not sufficiently delegated to lower levels of government. As a result, local communities can miss critical interactions with their designated government representative on the design of disaster risk reduction activities.


All Views from the Frontline data is publicly available to explore online – with options to disaggregate by country, respondent type and more. You can also find out about the survey methodology.

References and photos

Photo (top): On a walk through Namuwongo, Kampala, one of the local council leaders explains how people are living in very confined places. An average family of four or five members often live in just two rooms. Nine local government representative in this area took part in the Views from the Frontline survey. Six said that risks and approaches to reduce those risk were rarely considered carefully in proposing or approving local investment projects. Credit: Jjumba Martin/GNDR

Photo and quote (above): Manuel Abinales is a community leader in San Mateo, in the Philippines. In 1996 he set up a local organisation called Buklod Tao to undertake activities in community-led disaster preparedness.