4. What not to do: Do no harm and other common mistakes

  • Relying on exclusively community-based DRR interventions. DRR interventions need to be both community-based and externally informed.
  • Not focusing enough on community-based DRR practices. It is important to strike a balance between community-based expertise and practices, and other available knowledge.
  • Making our analysis too complex. A correct balance must be achieved in analyzing hazards, capacities, vulnerabilities and their immediate and root causes. Response can’t be delayed by over-analysis, in the same manner that analysis can’t be sacrificed in the pursuit of speed. Remember that analysis is not a one-off but continuing activity in the course of the response.
  • Making our analyses too general. What may work for a community as a whole, may not work for women-headed households, people living with HIV/AIDS, etc. Be aware of the different risk landscapes that people live in.
  •  Allowing analysis to be defined by political-administrative boundaries. Risks to communities may emanate from outside their territorial boundaries. Analysis should look at the situation of the larger landscape.
  • Create new risk, eg by installing emergency infrastructure that blocks waterways, depleting the scarce water and other natural resources, or reinforcing existing social inequalities.