Department of Environmental Sciences
Geography / Urban and Regional Studies
Klingelbergstrasse 27
CH-4056 Basel

+41 (0)61 207 36 44

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The project in brief

Country / Region

India / Gujarat / Tamil Nadu


All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) and associated NGOs, local communities, government authorities, insurance companies.


India is a country at risk: Geo-climatic and socio-political conditions make the country vulnerable. In addition to natural hazards in the form of earthquakes, floods, droughts, tsunami and cyclones, man-made disasters (ethnic riots, terrorist acts) endanger the fabric of society in India. This directly translates into poverty in urban and rural communities. India has begun massive efforts in disaster management, establishing government and nongovernmental agencies, and linking up with international disaster management resource networks. Emergency response measures have been set up that include rehabilitation and preventive measures towards enhancing societal resilience to disasters. The main concern of this project is to find out how local communities adapt to disasters and how they can be assisted in their adaptive capacities. It focuses on how local communities and households can and do involve themselves in the co-management of disaster mitigation.

Aim of the project

The individual studies carried out under the Indo-Swiss Internship and Social Science Studies' Program deal with local adaptive capacities towards risk, with the ways local communities activate their disaster awareness in cooperation with local NGOs, and how households build up resilience towards the occurrence of disasters that individual stakeholders normally could not cope with. The studies focus on

  • Livelihood security strategies in the informal sector of disaster affected areas
  • Mitigating disaster impact - effectiveness, problems and potentials of selected technical approaches
  • Microcredit impact and effectiveness in livelihood security
  • Different responses to disaster and adaptability of disaster mitigation strategies.

Project target

Building up resilience and adaptive capacities, thus reducing vulnerability and poverty in areas of natural and man-made disasters. Education and capacity building for young Swiss professionals in the field of development work.

Target group

Local NGOs and communities engaged in disaster mitigation, young Swiss professionals interested in building up capacities for development work.

Funding Sources


March 2008 - March 2009


Department of Environmental Sciences
Geography / Urban and Regional Studies
University of Basel

Prof. Dr. Rita Schneider-Sliwa,
Claudia Saalfrank, M.A.