Strengthening Disaster Risk Governance: Lessons from COVID-19

High Level Session 4


Organized by:
Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR)
Coordination Center for the Prevention of Disasters in Central America and Dominican Republic (CEPREDENAC)

 9:00-10:30 GMT-5
 4 November 2021
 High Level Session 4

The second priority for action of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) clearly states the need for “Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk”. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of this priority. Intersectoral coordination, legal frameworks, policies and plans, up to date risk information to drive decision-making, clear participation mechanisms and integration from global to regional and local levels are elements of governance that the current pandemic has highlighted as key to manage complex situations in the context of systemic risk. It is necessary to address current challenges and prepare for future ones by: (i) focusing efforts on actions aimed at strengthening governance; (ii) highlighting the importance of intersectoral and international coordination on disaster risk in a multi-sectoral context; and (iii) promoting the full and meaningful participation of all relevant actors at the appropriate levels. 

The session specifically aims to:

  • Unpack governance issues to address the multi-sectoral nature of systemic risk at regional, national, subnational, and community levels.
  • Share any existing practices that have examined systemic risks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, to better understand the obstacles and potential for better governance and intersectoral collaboration.


Moderator & Introduction

Alan Lavell
Associate Researcher, Costa Rican branch of the Latin American Social Science Faculty-FLACSO

Keynote speech


Ciro Ugarte
Health Emergencies Director,  PAHO/WHO 



Paula Daza Narbona
Public Health Undersecretary, Government of Chile


Claudia Herrera
Executive Secretary, Coordination Center for the Prevention of Disasters in Central America and Dominican Republic 


Sergio Rico
Director, National Emergency System of the Presidency of the Republic of Uruguay


Simone Keizer Beache 
Chief medical Officer, Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 


Wayne Henry
JP Chairman and Director General, Planning Institute of the Government of Jamaica

Bijay Kumar
Executive Director, Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR)

Session information


Session type: Panel

Who can attend: Registered participants


English, Spanish, French


 International sign language

 Closed captions

 Accessible room

Organized by