10 Years


The Swiss NGO DRR Platform is a network of Swiss-based organisations dedicated to increasing climate and disaster resilience.

Represents the vast majority of NGOs
in Switzerland that work on DRR

Open and supportive exchange
and learning between members

Coalition over competition,
based on trust built over the years

Has developed many well-received hands-on tools and guidance documents for use by its members

The Platform was launched in 2011 with the overall aim to increase the resilience of women and men, communities and governments, through an integrated approach to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

The Platform has many achievements over the years, with work across the different areas:

Learning & exchange

Conceptual support

Advocacy & policy dialogue

Building up an effective Platform (2011–2014)
The Platform is launched, to enhance collaboration and sharing of best practices for its member organisations
7 organisations form the Swiss NGO DRR Platform
The Platform organises its first annual F2F workshop: The role of DRR in international development – focus on DRR mainstreaming
Recognising that DRR can no longer be considered as an isolated approach, the Platform brought together representatives from Swiss NGOs, UNDP, World Bank, SDC, research institution sand the private sector to discuss ways to transform the international community from a reactive disaster response to a more proactive disaster risk management approach. Workshop participants shared good practices and tools on how to integrate DRR into development and poverty alleviation programming.
Annual F2F workshop: DRR and Food Security
As food security faces serious challenges from extremes triggered by natural hazards, the Platform called for stronger linkages between stakeholder practices in the fields of disaster risk reduction and food security. With wide participation from members in addition to representatives from SDC, FAO and a keynote by the UN SpecialRapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, the event stressed the need to think in systems and address the underlying causes of food insecurity, which go beyond the actual trigger event.
Cooperation with the SDC thematic networks of DRR and Climate & Environment begins
Annual F2F workshop: Facing uncertainty – the role of DRR in building resilient communities

The concept of resilience had already been widely discussed, but members of the Platform wanted to dig deeper. What does it specifically mean for DRR? How are DRR and community resilience intertwined, overlapping, complementary? And what are the implications for the preparations of the upcoming DRR-framework post-2015? These questions were addressed in the annual event with contributions from ODI, Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance and GNDR and with case studies from El Salvador, Afghanistan, Bolivia and Bangladesh.
The DRR Peer Review is published
See Publication
With the objective of better understanding DRR mainstreaming activities in the 12 member organizations of the Platform and assessing good practices in DRR projects across the globe, the Platform conducted a peer review in Ethiopia, Haiti and Vietnam. The importance of ecosystem services for DRR, collaboration and coordination beyond the community level and a wise embedding of DRR-measures in everyday life were identified as key aspects for successful DRR initiatives.The publication concluded with demands for the post-HFA framework (to become the SFDRR) to be more inclusive, integrative, and representative of the realities of vulnerable communities at risk.
The Platform positions itself in global policy forums and networks, such as the Global Platform on DRR, Hyogo Framework for Action, and Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction to strengthen the voice of the most vulnerable in society and advocate for the relevance of extensive risk
In an official statement at the Global Platform for DRR in 2013, Platform representatives highlighted the recommendations from the Peer Review, urging policy and decision makers toward stronger involvement and recognition of the needs of communities at risk in light of the upcoming policy framework.


Typhoon Haiyan hits the Philippines with unprecedented force. To inform response and recovery efforts of their members, the Platform conducts a risk assessment.
See Risk Assessment
Annual F2F workshop: Incentives and financial mechanisms for scaling up DRR

We know that prevention pays off. However, the reality of DRR-action shows a different picture with a minimal fraction of DRR-funding addressing the underlying drivers of disasters, which often are rooted in social, economic and political power relations. How can we identify incentives for more proactive and preventive DRR-action and upscale existing promising initiatives? These questions were at the heart of the 4th annual workshop of the Platform with inputs from UNDP, WFP, SDC and Platform representatives from Switzerland and abroad.
Members of the Platform, together with SDC in the Philippines, launch joint action and exchange inspired by the joint risk assessment in response to Typhoon Haiyan
See Publication
Which factors contributed to the devastation triggered by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines? And which vulnerabilities in the national disaster risk management system should be addressed in efforts to build back better? These questions were addressed in a risk assessment study by the Platform, guiding Swiss organizations in their recovery and rehabilitation efforts. It also provided an important base for discussion with SDC and Swiss Solidarity, and led to a series of local exchanges and workshops among Swiss stakeholders in country.
Building on strengths (2015 – 2018)
Annual topic: DRR and WASH
Annual F2F workshop: Integrated flood management
See Report
Water-related disasters account for 90% of events, according to numbers of affected people. Between 2014 and 2015, the Platform engaged in various fora to strengthen the conceptual and practical linkages between the issues of water and disaster risk reduction, in order to identify synergies for a risk-informed management of water resources. A joint workshop with the aguasan-network to better integrate DRR in water, sanitation and hygiene programmes and joint sessions with the Swiss Water Partnerships led to demands of policy makers for strengthened action related to the role of DRR and resilience building in achieving SDG 6 on Water. The annual workshop on integrated flood management (see report) shed light on the drivers for floods as well as integrated approaches to address flood risk in Switzerland and abroad.
The Platform represents civil society as part of the Swiss delegation in negotiations for the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030
The Sendai Framework for DRR is a landmark for risk reduction and key instrument for monitoring progress of the DRR efforts of States. Being part of the Swiss delegation gave the Platform  the opportunity to integrate key aspects into the Swiss position from a very early stage, long before the conference took place. 


Earthquakes struck Nepal in April and May, affecting millions of people, leading to the next joint risk assessment
See Risk Assessment
Annual topic: Urban Resilience
Annual F2F workshop on Urban Resilience, and in 2017, learning event on Urban DRR
With more than 50% of the world’s population living in cities, often in precarious conditions, risk reduction in these settings has come to the forefront. Still, a large part of development interventions on DRR focus on rural settings, partly due to the complex nature of urban environments. Therefore, a series of learning opportunities aimed to identify promising entry points for DRR in urban contexts. The workshops worked to address these challenges but also identify potential urban settings for scaling up risk reduction and resilience building. Next to inspiring inputs from SDI, IFRC, UN-Habitat and ODI, the Platform also identified DRR as a potential bridge builder to enter into dialogue between civil society and governmental urban stakeholders, for applying an integrative and inclusive approach.
See Report
The Platform publishes “Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience” briefing note
© Medair
The briefing note provides the basic terms and concepts of DRR, CCA and resilience including the most important international frameworks. In particular, it introduces the risk staircase as a logical model with a clear sequencing of risk reduction measures based on the Swiss understanding of integrated risk management and aligning with the Sendai Framework for DRR. The briefing note has set the standard for a common understanding of DRR, CCA and resilience amongst the Platform member organisations. It is one of the most used Platform products, available in English, Spanish and French.
See Briefing Note
The Platform now has 17 members


Hurricane Matthew rages in Haiti, prompting the Platform to commission a post disaster effectiveness assessment of DRR measures implemented by different Platform member organisations
See DRR Effectiveness Assessment
Annual topic: Nature-based solutions
Annual F2F workshop: Grey, green or hybrid – the value of nature-based solutions for DRR
See Report
Drawing on knowledge and experience from experts in Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) the event advocated for a stronger focus on the use of nature and ecosystems for addressing risks on the long term. Hybrid solutions should be favoured in highly-disaster prone contexts, in order to ensure high effectiveness from day one. One of the major challenges for working with nature is the need for immediate benefits, with nature-based solutions building up their effectiveness over time. The event concluded with the launch of the joint publication “where people and their land are safer”.
The Platform launches the E-learning course on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation
To offer a self-paced learning opportunity on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for its members, partners and beyond, the Platform developed an E-Learning Course consisting of four modules, introducing basic concepts of DRR and CCA and illustrated with numerous practical examples. After its release, the course modules were widely used both by member organisations and practitioners from all over the world, reaching people in more than 20 different countries, mainly from the Global South. With over 900 downloads since publication, the course is a good example of the Platform's reach - well beyond its membership base.
See E-learning course
The Platform releases the publication “Where people and their land are safer – compendium of good practices in DRR” in partnership with the WOCAT-Secretariat at the University of Bern
See Publication
“Where people and their land are safer – A Compendium of Good Practice in Disaster Risk Reduction” is a joint publication of the DRR Platform and the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) global network on Sustainable Land Management hosted by the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern. The compendium comprises key concepts of DRR and sustainable land management as well as 30 good practices in disaster risk reduction from platform member organizations, building on years of experience and evidence from projects implemented by platform member organizations in 11 countries. The practices function as a tool for stakeholders (planners, advisers, extension agents, development consultants) from different sectors (WASH, food security, agriculture) to include good DRR practices in the planning, design, and implementation of development/humanitarian projects.
As a member of the advisory board, the Platform supports the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR)‘ Views from the Frontline’ report, the largest global review on DRR at the local level
See Report
The VFL 2019 aims to strengthen the collaboration between at-risk people, civil society and governments in the design and implementation of policies and practices to reduce risks and strengthen resilience. In comparison to previous “Frontline”publications, the VFL methodology has been strengthened to be more robust and adhering to high sampling standards which enhance its messages.
Annual topic: Raising our voice – advocacy for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction
Annual F2F workshop: Local evidence for climate and disaster-resilient pathways – An advocacy journey
See Report
What are people’s stories behind climate change and disasters and how can we effectively tell them to decision and policy makers? Following these guiding questions, the workshop developed tools and shared evidence of successful advocacy initiatives in the field of climate change and disasters to raise the voice of those most affected. At the Public Event that concluded the workshop, the advocacy campaign “facing climate change” was launched to advocate for stronger climate action.
See Advocacy Packing List
The Platform develops ‘Facing climate change’ videos and website to advocate for stronger climate action
See Website
The facing climate change videos and website brought the voices of Nasrin Begum (Bangladesh), Federman Moreno (Colombia) and Simangaliso Dube (Zimbabwe) to Switzerland, impressively showing that those who have contributed least to the climate crisis have to face its greatest consequences. The videos were shown at different events around Switzerland, asking decision makers and investors for bolder action fostering a low carbon and climate resilient future for everybody.
The Platform commissions an impact assessment
The Center for Development at the ETH-Zurich uses the Platform’s e-learning course in a training on disaster risk reduction for aspiring development professionals
In April 2018 ETHZ-Nadel held its first ever DRR course for aspiring development professionals. The course development was supported by the Swiss NGO DRR Platform and the E-Learning Course, which had to be completed by all course applicants served as the introduction into the course week, setting the basic knowledge on DRR for course participants.
Building bridges (2019 – 2023)
Annual topic: Tools for practitioners
The Platform releases the Disaster Risk Reduction / Climate Change Adaptation Mainstreaming Guidance document
See Publication
Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are not stand-alone topics but transcend all thematic sectors. Over the years, numerous tools and approaches of how to integrate DRR and CCA into projects and programmes have been published. The guidance presents successful and useful tools for different sectors and purposes to givean orientation among the wealth of available material. The guidance is complemented by an interactive database of tested tools.
The Platform launches the DRR and CCA Indicator Toolbox
See Toolbox
What are evidence-based indicators to measure impact of DRR and CCA projects? What    benchmarking options  allow a more in-depth learning and sharing among Platform member organisations? These were the questions leading to the development of the DRR and CCA Indicator Toolbox. The toolbox contains an excel-based set of 12 outcomes and 70 related indicators that are formulated in a generic way, and guidelines providing step-by-step guidance. For each outcome, at least one standard indicator is proposed which comprises additional guidance for data collection and analysis.The toolbox can be used online and offline.
Annual topic: Covid-19 - how can we effectively collaborate in a fully virtual mode?
The Platform produces the regional webinar series on DRR and humanitarian-development nexus
See Website
The humanitarian development nexus is an important topic for many Platform member organisations. In order to bring the topic closer to programme countries, the Platform produced a webinar series covering West Africa, Asia and Latin America contexts, thereby using material that had been developed for a learning event in Switzerland in 2019. The series aimed at enhancing the capacities of practitioners a better understanding of DRR as a key element of the nexus approach, as well as sharing of participants’ experience.


The Covid-19 pandemic hits, impacting and slowing activities. In projects of member organizations, local DRR-structures are crucial in sensitizing for the pandemic and distributing support items such as soap, hand sanitizer and masks. They also play an important role in organizing cash-based interventions to strengthen recovery from the pandemic. The Platform as such turns fully virtual and strengthens internal capacities to conduct innovative and high-quality online events and learning journeys.
Annual topic: DRR in the humanitarian-development nexus 
The Platform celebrates its ten-year anniversary!
There are now 20 member organisations
The annual event “DRR & humanitarian-
development nexus” takes place virtually
DRR is traditionally located at the intersection of humanitarian response and longer term development. Approaching DRR from both arenas is therefore not new, as was seen in the late 1990’s through the Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development approach. The current debate on the Nexus goes several steps further – starting at the policy level with high-level commitments, incorporating projected impacts of climate change on humanitarian needs and innovative approaches from the DRR-community and beyond to address these challenges. During a 2 week-learning journey, participants across the globe presented good practices from Bangladesh, Ethiopia and the Andes region and discussed potentials of innovations such as Anticipatory Humanitarian Action.
See Report
Nature-based Solutions workshops take place in Haiti (virtually) and Mali (in-person)
One of the objectives of the third program phase of the DRR Platform is to anchor the Swiss NGO DRR Platform more strongly at the regional level and in the partner countries. To implement the regionalization strategy, an online workshop in Haiti and F2F workshop in Mali have so far been organized on the topic of Nature-based Solutions, focusing in particular on Eco-DRR and Ecosystem-based Adaptation. In Mali, 19 participants from 12different Swiss NGO DRR Platform member organizations and partner organizations were able to get familiar with the latest methodological approaches on NbS as well as to share their experiences for mutual learning and networking.
And much more work is yet to be done...
See what's next!
DRR and CCA-mainstreaming
Weather Water and Climate Services
Nature-based solutions

We thank SDC for their continued support and contribution