LEvel FOur. facilitate Planning

The steps so far have been an assessment of risk in the community. It is now time for the local EVCA team to facilitate the planning process to create a community-based risk reduction action plan as well as a contingency plan in case of an emergency.

This is an exciting time when all community members participate with their ideas of how to minimize their risks by reducing the causes of their vulnerabilities and strengthening their capacities

Step 9. Risk reduction planning

Addressing vulnerabilities is the main goal of a risk reduction and resilience-building effort. The community shouldn’t only focus on the direct manifestations of the vulnerabilities; rather it should also go further and attempt to address the underlying root causes and dynamic pressures. This requires visionary thinking, long-term commitment and a systematic approach to address them. The following sub-steps contribute to this and need to be facilitated well by the local EVCA team.


9.1 Visioning with the community

Purpose: for the community to think about what they want to achieve in the future

Recommended tool: dream map (guidance provided in the mapping tool)

​To start the planning phase, it is good to do a visioning exercise with the community, motivating them to think about what a safe and resilient community would look like when all the major hazards are addressed. This exercise is meant to help inspire and motivate.


9.2 Identify actions

Purpose: for the community to identify actions that will reduce risks 

Recommended tools: talking to the walls, solution tree (guidance provided in the problem tree tool)

At this stage, the community has understood how and why hazards affect them. The next step is to answer the key question: what actions can be taken to prevent and/or mitigate a potential disaster? 

Using the above tools, ask the community to answer questions like “how can you reduce exposure?”, “what actions can you take to address vulnerability?” and “what actions can you take to strengthen capacity?” for each priority hazard.

Click here to read more, including for a proposed synthesis table >


9.3 Prioritize the identified actions

Purpose: to identify the priority actions considering different criteria

Recommended tools: ranking, cost/benefit analysis, do no harm check

​In the above exercise, the community came up with a list of actions or activities to address vulnerabilities, reduce exposure and strengthen capacity. However, it may be difficult to implement all the identified actions. Therefore, prioritization is important. Actions must be prioritized based on agreed criteria by the community.

​Click here to read more on how to prioritize actions >


9.4 Create a plan of action

Purpose: to create a detailed plan of action

Recommended tools: focus group discussion, brainstorming

​It is now time to describe in detail the prioritized actions and define the how, when, where and who of the implementation. Encourage discussion on what the community can do themselves at the household or community level, what support would be needed (e.g. from the RCRC, local council, community-based organizations or other partners) and what requires further advocacy efforts.

Click here to read more information and tips, including to see a proposed planning table >

Step 10. Contingency planning

A hazard doesn’t wait until prevention or mitigation measures have been taken. It can strike the community at any time. Therefore, people must be prepared for any eventualities in addition to their day-to-day efforts to reduce their risks. For this, it is important to include a community contingency plan in the risk reduction plan of action.​

The contingency plan should at least cover the priority hazards that have a high potential of striking the community. The following sub-steps are a short version of a contingency planning process. However, we encourage you to go through the entire process as described in the RCRC contingency planning guidance.


10.1 Scenario planning

Purpose: to define the scale of potential impact of specific hazards and identify the response capacity gaps within the community​

Ideally, it is advisable to prepare a contingency plan considering the worst-case scenario. Such an approach is increasingly being justified now that extreme weather events are occurring more frequently due to climate change. However, we should also consider that resources at the community level are often scarce and that it may be difficult for communities to set aside a significant amount of resources in preparation for the worst-case scenario. Therefore, it may be more practical and realistic for the community to prepare their contingency plan based on the most likely scenario, coupled with estimates of which areas and households would be at risk if a more extreme event occurred.

​Click here for more details and tips >


10.2 Contingency planning

Purpose: facilitate the preparation of a simple community contingency plan based on the gaps identified

​Look back at the information you identified in step 6.1.5 on early warning signs, lead time, duration, frequency and period of occurrence for each hazard – it will help you prepare a good contingency plan.

An energizing way to initiate contingency planning discussions with the community is to play the participatory game “Ready!” - possibly with different groups (gender, age etc.) as different teams.

​Here are some important resources that will help you with contingency planning​:

Click here for more details and tips >

Step 11. Reflect and provide feedback on the EVCA process

Once you have finished the assessment and planning process, it is important to reflect on the collaboration with the community and what lessons can be drawn: what went well, what didn’t go well, how did the team perform, how was the community participation, how was the contribution of the other stakeholders, what should be improved or done differently in the future? Reflection encourages learning, leads to better programme performance and ultimately to better results for communities.

​Mutual feedback also improves the relationship and builds trust between communities and the RCRC, and also empowers community members.​

Click here for more details and tips >

Step 12. Report and share

A good EVCA report is key to ensure everyone is clear about the identified risks and the agreed actions to increase resilience and to mobilize support. The EVCA report should document the process while remaining concise and clear – so that it will be accessible and easy to read rather than sit on a shelf! It should provide an overview of the context for the assessment and summarize the findings of the assessment (e.g. the synthesis tables referred to above). It should include as an annex the risk reduction action plan (with the more detailed information on who will do what by when) and contingency plan.

​Share the report with the community! Communities need to “own” the EVCA report in order to manage their action plan and monitor progress.

Before finalizing the report and action plan, ensure that it has been verified by and disseminated to the wider community (given that often only a smaller number of community representatives will actively participate in the process). Encourage the community to share the report with different stakeholders. The community can also launch the EVCA report to raise awareness and mobilize support for the actions.

Tip! Upload the EVCA report to the VCA repository/virtual library to show others what your branch is doing, and to allow other RCRC colleagues to learn from your examples. Discuss with the community if they agree to share their EVCA results, and under what conditions, and if necessary remove any sensitive and personal data.

Click here for more information >


Upload the EVCA report to the VCA repository/virtual library to show others what your branch is doing, and to allow other RCRC colleagues to learn from your examples. Discuss with the community if they agree to share their EVCA results, and under what conditions, and if necessary remove any sensitive and personal data.

Once you have facilitated the creation of the risk reduction action plan and contingency plan and shared the EVCA report, you can move on to the final stage in the EVCA process related to accompanying the community in implementation and learning >>

EVCA - Level Four: Facilitate planning

Click below to explore Level Four and its activities in more detail.

© International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 2018

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