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Accountability and Non-discrimination in Flood Risk Management: case study in Honduras

In Honduras, floods are the most common and damaging type of natural disaster. To mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Mitch which devastated the country in October 1998, ODI and its Honduran research partner, Contecnica, have recently concluded a review of governance of flood management in this flood-prone, low-income country. The current culture of accountability within government is seen to be weak, but, based on the positive feedback from stakeholders at a broad-based forum convened by Christian Aid, a key conclusion is that accountability is an important principle for framing policy-debate on disaster risk reduction-‘DRR’ in Honduras - so as to build more transparent and responsive institutions, and achieve higher levels of equity.

Claiming increased protection from flood: a draft Honduran law on DRR proposes a ‘right to protection’ (derecho a la protección) against physical threats such as floods. It refers to strengthened responsibilities of government, but does not say how to achieve that. Future collaborative research and policy analysis can usefully consider how the proposed right may be formulated and validated in practice. As elaborated by the Rights in Action Programme, ‘rights’ are here interpreted broadly, as justifiable claims which have a legal, political, social or other basis, i.e. including human rights, but also going beyond them.


Peter Newborne

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