DRR Project Design

Key Considerations

Projects should consider how their approaches link to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), which is the global commitment from 2015 – 2030 and is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SFDRR has 4 main priorities. Proposals that link explicitly  to at least one (if not  more) of these priorities is encouraged. The 4 Priorities are:

  • Priority 1: Understanding Disaster Risk
  • Priority 2: Strengthening Disaster Risk Governance to Manage Disaster Risk
  • Priority 3: Investing in disaster reduction for resilience
  • Priority 4: Enhancing preparedness for effective response, and to “Build back better” in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction


Designing DRR/R projects requires understanding of the impacts of recent disaster events, with specific attention towards how the most vulnerable are impacted (women, children, people with disabilities…). Additional information around government capacity to manage disasters is a key consideration and should be included in any assessment.

Important questions to consider during the assessment phase include:

  • What mechanisms warning are available for disseminating warning messages? How effective are these?
  • Are there functional disaster management systems, actors or committees in place within the area (at district, sub-district, village)?
  • Are there particular areas within the disaster affected zone that were not as impacted as others?

Here are two examples of DRR/R assessments :

  • For Rapid Assessments: CRS Emergency Rapid Needs Assessment Form_2022.03.22.docx. See section 8 (Disaster Risk Reduction): this is an example for how to start assessing entry points for DRR in a rapid needs assessment immediately following a disaster
  • For more in-depth assessments: Standard DRR Assessment – this is an example from Malawi of the typical components of a DRR assessment, along with tables to help summary data.

Analysis & Project Design

All projects should consider the potential impact that activities may have on the natural environment. During the project design phase, the use of the This should not be done only for DRR/R projects, but any sector. Completion of this risk register tool will identify potential areas of environmental risk and associated mitigation activities which can be incorporated into finalized project activities. Failure to do so may actually increase vulnerability for communities in the future. Environmental due diligence is increasingly mandated by donors, but in addition to that, it is just good program design.

Partner Capacity is another key consideration in DRR/R projects as partners are often those who are facilitating the action planning process in at-risk communities. Past partner experience in community facilitation, participatory approaches and planning purposes (even if it is not DRR/R) is always helpful. If this is a new sector for the CP or the partner, then, planning for a CLDRM training, facilitated by a DRR/R Technical Advisor is typically the best course of action and should be written into the proposal in the early phases of the project.

We have seen good results when CRS Project Manager/Officers for DRR/R projects are posted in partner offices. This does not always work based on the nature of every relationship, but this has helped with successful projects, especially if activities take place in remote areas, far away from CRS offices.

Sample Proposal Language

For sample proposal language and budget support please contact the DRR/R Team at [email protected]