Collaborative risk governance in informal urban areas: The case of Wallacedene temporary relocation area
Zweig, Patricia J.
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Community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) is an emancipatory approach that aims to empower local communities in reducing their own risks. A community risk assessment (CRA) is an essential element of CBDRM, incorporating highly participatory processes of hazard identification and vulnerability analysis. By incorporating local knowledge and insights, together with those contributed by other external role players, the nature of local risks can be more accurately identified, giving consideration to their causal factors, the nature of their realised impacts or potential effects on a local community and the challenges posed in addressing them. Reflecting on the process and outcomes of a CRA conducted in an informal settlement in the Cape Town metropolitan area, this article describes how one such risk assessment contributed to building local agency through a process of collaborative engagement. Offered as an example of possible best practice, it illustrates both the immediate and potentially longer term benefits to be derived from such a collaborative process, suggesting that a community-based risk assessment may contribute significantly to building more resilient communities. It concludes with a consideration of the challenges of sustaining longer term risk reduction efforts.