Project Overview

Scaling Up Resilience in Governance (SURGE) is a consortium consisting of Christian Aid, Handicap International, Oxfam and Plan International and funded by the European Union humanitarian aid. It aims to increase resilience of high-risk communities in the Philippines. It extends the learnings on inclusive community-based disaster risk reduction (ICBDRR) to more communities and advocates improvements in disaster risk management policies and practices. SURGE believes that:

  • The enhancement of disaster risk management policies and practices must be informed by the successful experiences on inclusive community-based disaster risk reduction (ICBDRR), including lessons from the aftermath of Haiyan.
  • Learnings from successful ICBDRR must be instutionalised in more local DRRM through peer to peer mentoring methodologies through which LGUs and DRR champi-ons can hand-over their knowledge and skills on ICBDRR to more LGUs. In dealing with emergencies and disasters, LGUs must not only prepare but organize individuals and communities and develop plans which mitigate, if not prevent risks and losses and empower people to recover with dignity.
  • The diverse voices and meaningful participation of women and men, girls and boys, persons with disabilities, older persons and other individuals who have been rendered vulnerable by structural and practical barriers, must be integrated in DRM processes. This way, each person’s dignity, capacities and resources are strengthened.

Why scaling up governance?
SURGE brings successful experiences on ICBDRR to more communities to be transformed and established into local, regional and national policies and practices. The learnings from these experiences are drawn from the combined experience on DRR and humanitarian aid of SURGE partners and other agencies. These learnings can be a useful reference for other high-risk and diverse communities in the Philippines and beyond.

How is the project being implemented?
SURGE is implemented through a suite of activities with diverse stakeholders over 18 months, from March 2014 to June 2015 by:

  • Community-building – developing a pool of ICBDRR champions from all sectors and interests and creating opportunities for these champions to hone their own skills and resources in organising more communities, influencing policy changes, institutionalising good DRR practices and developing other initiatives.
  • Change in policies – enhancing local and national policies on DRR, in light of the successful experiences on ICBDRR and lessons learned from the aftermath of Hai-yan. These experiences can lead to the institutionalisation of local DRRM in policies and development plans especially in high-risk places without DRRM capacities and policies. SURGE also participates in the “sunset review” of Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010.
  • Capacity-building – organising peer-to-peer mentoring methodologies in handing-over knowledge and skills on ICBDRR among LGUs that have successfully institu-tionalised ICBDRR and those who are open to replicate successful models. Learning from past projects on ICBDRR that focused on barangays and municipalities, SURGE scales up its capacity-building resources for regional and provincial policy-making processes.
  • Creative communications – promoting the successes and learnings on ICBDRR in the Philippines to a wider audience, including regional and multilateral policy fora, which share similar risks and the same drive to be resilient.

Who are the beneficiaries?
The main beneficiaries of SURGE are national DRR agencies, LGUs and affected com-munities in high-risk and poor areas in the Philippines. Agencies that are deeply involved in DRR will be engaged as SURGE advances improvements in policy and practices. LGUs and affected communities, DRR practitioners including civil society organisations and DRR champions will benefit from the series of peer-to-peer and mentoring sessions on ICBDRR while the greater public can learn more and influence others about the value of ICBDRR especially in a disaster-prone country like the Philippines.

How does SURGE benefit LGUs, DRR practitioners and champions?
Everyone can access knowledge resources on ICBDRR and other updates through our online portal as well as Facebook (icommittodrr) and Twitter (@icommittodrr). These materials can be useful for policy advocacy, trainings and other activities that aim to mainstream ICBDRR. These include our own policy papers on shelter, Republic Act 10121 (Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010) and rehabilitation and recovery efforts on Haiyan.

Meanwhile, representatives of communities, LGUs and national agencies in selected high-risk areas will likewise benefit from the exchanges in our capacity-building activities through a peer-to-peer methodologies. SURGE is also preparing a program for individual DRR champions as they advocate for improvements in DRR policies and practices.

Can SURGE fund an LGU or CSO’s DRR initiative?
No. But SURGE is open to work with different stakeholders on its planned activities as well as explore synergies. We welcome inputs that are helpful in our policy advocacy. The peer to peer mentoring sessions are also open though we keep in mind strategic and practical considerations such as existing partners, pressing needs and space limitations.

How else can we benefit and participate in SURGE?
We encourage everyone to use our online platforms,, Facebook (icom-mittodrr) and Twitter @icommittodrr in accessing and contributing information or in explor-ing possibilities for collaboration.

Where is the project implemented?
The activities of SURGE will take place in the following regions: Metro Manila (NCR), Bicol (Region V), Western Visayas (Region VI), Eastern Visayas (Region VIII), Davao (Region XI), and Caraga (Region XIII).