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Harnessing synergies: mainstreaming climate change adaptation in disaster risk reduction programmes and policies

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K. Harris
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There is increased recognition of the value of mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) into Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities, to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience. However, there is a lack of practical, actionable recommendations on how to create an environment where attempts to mainstream CCA into DRR can flourish. This report is the foundation for a process that intends to help mobilise action through action-oriented advice from those who engage with DRR and CCA on a daily basisthrough the realities on the ground. Based on the premise that promoting and harnessing links between CCA and DRR requiresconstructive, actionable guidance, a conceptual tool known as the Zebra, developed by the authors,  is introduced here. The Zebra is a process that can be used by practitioners and policy makers across the globe as it recognises that no two contexts are the same. The main purpose of the tool is to provide a structured framework for programme managers and policy makers to think through how CCA can be mainstreamed in DRR. This publication draws on the insight and experience of over 100 disaster risk managers from a range of contexts across Africa and Asia, including findings from a series of reflection workshops in Nepal,Kenya and Thailand. One of the report's most important recommendations is that integrating CCA into the DRR sector requires investment in understanding processes of departmental and organisational change. It demands taking a closer look at how institutions ‘tick' - whether an International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO), research organisation or government department. Often those who are most effective at getting their agenda heard and incorporated in longer-term strategic priorities are those individuals who understand how to influence. This is a skill in itself and should not be undervalued.