Building resilience to natural disasters

DFID has taken a well-considered approach to mainstreaming resilience to natural disasters, and has helped to promote the inclusion of resilience into the global development agenda.

Score: Green/Amber
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 28 February 2018
  3. Type: Performance review
  4. Subject: Climate change and biodiversity, Humanitarian assistance
  5. Assessment: Green/Amber
  6. Location: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nepal, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Uganda
  7. Lead commissioner: Richard Gledhill
  8. SDGs covered:No poverty, Sustainable cities and communities, Climate action, Industry, innovation and infrastructure


This performance review on building resilience to natural disasters was published in February 2018, and ICAI awarded a green-amber score. Five recommendations were made, and the follow-up report for this review, published in July 2019 found strong improvements. Read more about the follow-up in the ‘Further scrutiny’ tab.

Natural disasters and climate-related extreme weather events are increasing in scale and frequency. In 2017, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused widespread devastation in the Caribbean, and in South Asia heavy monsoon rain took 1,200 lives and affected 40 million people.

The impacts of loss and damage caused by natural disasters fall disproportionately on the world’s poorest, and within low-income countries it is the poorest and vulnerable who are most exposed to disasters.

Between 2011 and 2015 DFID focused on mainstreaming resilience to natural disasters in all its relevant programming. This involved ensuring investment decisions were informed by disaster risks and that programmes were designed or adapted to be resilient to natural hazards.

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals relevant to this review are:

  • Sustainable Development Goal 1: No poverty
  • Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate action
  • Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure



Published 13 Jun 2017

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 28 February 2018

Government response

Published 11 April 2018

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 23 May 2018

ICAI follow-up

Published 18 July 2019