"International Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) day and Aria Technologies"

-Aryadeep Shah

With International Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) day approaching this week on the 13th of October, it is an opportune time to reflect on our work at Aria Technologies towards DRR initiatives and highlight the increasing need to address such shocks to address inequality, vulnerability and inform resilience in communities across Nepal. In the face of an increasingly volatile climate, the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction cannot be overstated. With climate change increasing the frequency as well as magnitude of environmental shocks, Nepal, a country already prone to such events, may only see a further rise in devastation to life, land, property, and livelihood.

With a stark a contrast in the vulnerability of different communities in Nepal, our work in Humanitarian action initiatives, have developed tools such as Vulnerability indexes as well as utilising Laligurans, our CVA project management software app to accurately identify target communities/households in critical need of aid intervention. Moreover, our collection of disaggregated data of communities is crucial to informing reliance building plans. These identification processes are paramount to reducing inequality exacerbated by disasters. We realise, through witnessing first hand, that communities in Nepal are disproportionately more vulnerable to shocks, due to factors ranging from proximity to environmental shock as well as structural/ historical societal factors that may render them excluded to social protection or dependent on volatile livelihoods, unable to cope. It is with the recognition of existing inequalities in our community, as well as addressing these inequalities wherein we can accurately identify the most vulnerable, reducing the impact to human life and livelihood.

With DRR’s prominence in humanitarian action prompting larger discussions, Aria Technologies have been involved in discussions for the need for Aniticipatory Action in Nepal. Anticipatory Action’s definition may seem self-explanatory, but the framework relies on activities (such as mode of aid intervention) as well as triggers and decision-making rules being pre-agreed as to ensure timely responses towards reduction of acute impacts of shock. Nepal, a region prone to various natural disasters, serves as a prime example of the need for Forecast based actions, which falls under Anticipatory Action, as we aim to work closely with local authorities and NGOs to develop early warning systems that provide and disseminate critical information to communities at risk. This allows them to prepare and respond swiftly, ultimately saving lives and livelihoods. Moreover, Aria Technologies’ CVA project management software Laligurans can be optimised and customised to suit the need for a various range of responses as well as timely distribute finance towards the affected communities. These actions MUST be pre discussed and prearranged in an anticipatory action framework and with the advent of our technological innovation as well as the increasing confidence in analytical approaches to predict certain shocks, Disaster Risk Reduction must look towards Anticipatory Action Frameworks to reduce the acute impact faced by the most vulnerable of populations.

With the onset of climate change related shocks increasing, the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction cannot be overstated. Accurate identification of vulnerable populations, utilisation of technological innovations and grounding our work in anticipatory actions is at the heart of reducing inequality in Nepal that is only further exacerbated by disasters. ARIA Technologies is proud to have served a multitude of Humanitarian and development institutions/organisations in this venture, driving progress through technology and innovation through the power of data-driven approaches, but our journey only indicates the sheer amount of work and discussion to be done remaining towards building resilience and empowering communities across Nepal.