The implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction requires non-traditional management and governance approaches to substantially reduce disaster losses. Adaptive governance (AG) has been identified as a mechanism through which to fundamentally change the relationship between development and disaster risk, with potentially far-reaching implications for science, policy and practice.

At its core are collaboration, multi-level collective action, and continuous learning to build knowledge and effectively manage social-ecological systems.

Earthquake damaged houses in Nepal
Earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Photo: Sonny Inbaraj

The authors analyse how prevalent characteristics of AG are in the Sendai Framework, and determine which of the Framework’s components would require an AG approach to facilitate a transformative agenda for DRR. They also identify opportunities for employing an AG approach beyond what is already articulated in the Framework.

The findings indicate significant references to AG in the Sendai Framework, and the authors propose that the Framework could indeed be an important window of opportunity for transforming DRR through AG.

The paper concludes by discussing the challenges that must be overcome if AG is to provide practical solutions for transformations required in DRR.