AUTHOR: World Wildlife Fund Environment & Disaster Management Program


TYPE OF TOOL: knowledge platform

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, environmental management, land and land use, water, shelter,

climate adaptation, risk reduction, restoration, World Wildlife Fund, knowledge platform

FORMAT: web site


WEB LINK: (WWF Environment & Disaster Management Program) (help desk tool)

ABOUT THE TOOL: Provides round-the- clock interactive support for questions about environmental

dimensions of disaster recovery, reconstruction, and risk reduction. Users may submit queries via

phone, email, or web chat. Emphasis on users requiring a rapid response related to ongoing


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: “World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Environment and Disaster Management (EDM)

program collaborates with humanitarian and development agencies, the United Nations (UN),

academic institutions and others to integrate environmental considerations into disaster recovery,

reconstruction, and risk reduction programs and policies, and to learn and develop new approaches.

The program was formed during the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and in the years since

we have worked in partnership to provide support, training, and development of new approaches for

environmentally responsible disaster management in Belize, Chile, Ecuador, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti,

Indonesia, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.”

INTENDED USER: Individuals and organizations working in disaster response/recovery settings who

need environmental specialist advice and support.


AUTHOR: adelphi and Eurpoean Academy of Bozen

LAST UPDATED: August 2014

TYPE OF TOOL: Handbook

KEYWORDS: environmental management, climate adaptation, land and land use, water, risk

reduction, adelphi, European Academy of Bozen, handbook

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF, 180 pages

LANGUAGES: English, French, Spanish

WEB LINK: (adelphi) (EURAC) (tool) (annex with templates, flow charts, user forms)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “The "Vulnerability Sourcebook", which was commissioned by the Deutsche

Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and developed jointly by adelphi and the

European Academy of Bozen (EURAC), offers a comprehensive tool for conducting regular

vulnerability assessments. The Sourcebook provides a standardised approach to vulnerability

assessments covering a broad range of sectors and topics (e.g. water sector, agriculture, fisheries,

different ecosystems) as well as different spatial levels (community, sub-national, national) and time

horizons (e.g. current vulnerability or vulnerability in the medium- to long-term). In the resourceful

annex technical and adaptation experts will find a wide range of practical tools and templates.”


“adelphi is a leading independent think tank and public policy consultancy on climate, environment

and development. Our mission is to improve global governance through research, dialogue and

consultation. We offer demand-driven, tailor-made services for sustainable development, helping

governments, international organizations, businesses and nonprofits design strategies for

addressing global challenges. Our staff of more than 150 provides high-quality interdisciplinary

research, strategic policy analysis and advice, and corporate consulting. We facilitate policy dialogue

and provide training for public institutions and businesses worldwide, helping to build capacity for

transformative change. Since 2001 we have successfully completed over 800 projects worldwide.

Our work covers the following key areas: Climate, Energy, Resources, Green Economy,

Sustainable Business, Green Finance, Peace and Security, International

Cooperation and Urban Transformation.

“The European Academy Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC) is an innovative centre for applied research

and scientific training in South Tyrol. Founded in 1992 as private institution, the EURAC is divided in

9 research institutes whose activity is primarily concentrated in five fields: Applied Linguistics,

Minorities and Autonomies, Sustainable Development, Management and Corporate Culture as well

as Life Science. These five very different research departments share a common denominator:

flexible interdisciplinary and strict co-operation between the researchers of diverse scientific and

geographic backgrounds.”

INTENDED USER: Targeted at governmental and non-governmental organizations working at the

intersection of climate change and sustainable development, particularly in adaptation and

development planning. “Users of the Vulnerability Sourcebook will most likely be familiar with issues

of climate change and adaptation already. The document, however, does not presuppose advanced

scientific expertise in developing and conducting vulnerability assessments. Rather, the Vulnerability

Sourcebook is written for users with a basic understanding of the concept of vulnerability and

methods for dealing with it.”


AUTHOR: International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)

LAST UPDATED: frequent periodic updates

TYPE OF TOOL: Knowledge platform

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), knowledge platform, restoration, risk reduction, shelter, climate adaptation, water, fuel and energy, land and land use, health, recovery planning, gender psycho-social issues, natural disasters

FORMAT: Website

LANGUAGES: English, Japanese

WEB LINK: (ISDR) (tool)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “The International Recovery Platform (IRP) was established following the Second UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, in 2005 to support the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) by addressing the gaps and constraints experienced in the context of post-disaster recovery. After a decade of functioning as an international source of knowledge on good recovery practice IRP is focusing on more specialised role as an “international mechanism for sharing experience and lessons associated with build-back-better.


To identify and strengthen knowledge and information on build-back-better in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.


Goal 1: To proactively contribute to the implementation of Priority Four of the Sendai Framework and lead discussions around the issue of build-back-better at  international forums.

Goal 2: To promote collaboration and cooperation among global and regional partners on the subject of build-back-better in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “UNISDR was established in 1999 as a dedicated secretariat to facilitate the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution (56/195), to serve as the focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations system and regional organizations and activities in socio‐economic and humanitarian fields. It is an organisational unit of the UN Secretariat and is led by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG).

INTENDED USER: The development and humanitarian communities




AUTHOR: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

LAST UPDATEDfrequent periodic updates

TYPE OF TOOL: Knowledge platform

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), knowledge platform, restoration, risk reduction, impact assessment, climate adaptation, land and land use, water, shelter, fuel and energy, natural disasters, vulnerable groups

FORMAT: Website


WEB LINK: (OCHA) (website)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “ReliefWeb is the leading humanitarian information source on global crises and disasters. It is a specialized digital service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

We provide reliable and timely information, enabling humanitarian workers to make informed decisions and to plan effective response. We collect and deliver key information, including the latest reports, maps and infographics and videos from trusted sources.

ReliefWeb’s editorial team monitors and collects information from more than 4,000 key sources, including humanitarian agencies at the international and local levels, governments, think tanks and research institutions, and the media.

ReliefWeb editors identify and select the content that is most relevant to global humanitarian workers.

Our content is delivered through various channels – the website, social media networks and our new, cutting-edge mobile apps and API – so that humanitarian workers can access key content anywhere anytime.”

ReliefWeb has three main functions:

  1. Collect:We collect updates and analysis from more than 4,000 global information sources around the clock.
  2. Deliver: Our editors identify and deliver the content most relevant to ReliefWeb’s global audience. This content includes country and disaster reports, maps, info-graphics, job announcements and learning opportunities and events of interest to humanitarians.
  3. Enable: As part of our commitment to humanitarians worldwide, we develop new information products and services that enable humanitarian partners to analyze context and situations and make better decisions

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.”

INTENDED USER: The humanitarian community


AUTHOR: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

LAST UPDATED: frequent periodic updates

TYPE OF TOOL: Knowledge platform

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), knowledge platform, risk reduction, restoration, shelter, water, impact assessment

FORMAT: Website


WEB LINK: (OCHA) (tool)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “Humanitarian Response is a specialized digital service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Humanitarian Response aims to be the central website for Information Management tools and services, enabling information exchange among operational responders during either a protracted or sudden onset emergency. This global site is complimented by country specific emergency sites that can be accessed through

At the global level, Humanitarian Response provides access to country sites and a “one-stop-shop” for global information coordination resources, such as normative products including guidance notes and policies, cluster specific information and data, toolboxes and internet links.

At the country level, Humanitarian Response is designed to provide a platform for sharing operational information between clusters and IASC members operating within a crisis. It provides a predictable set of core features that will be repeated on all sites and will host future tools for streamlining information collection sharing and visualization.”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.”

INTENDED USER: The humanitarian community


AUTHOR: United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and United Nations Mediation Support Unit

LAST UPDATED: February 2012

TYPE OF TOOL: Handbook

KEYWORDS: conflict sensitivity, United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and United Nations Mediation Support Unit, handbook, risk reduction

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF documents


WEB LINK: (USIP) (UN Mediation Support Unit) (toolkit)

ABOUT THE TOOL: This series of is a collection of “best practices” handbooks on key aspects of mediation and peacebuilding designed for experienced mediation practitioners and negotiators. Current handbooks include:

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “The United States Institute of Peace works to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict around the world. USIP does this by engaging directly in conflict zones and by providing analysis, education, and resources to those working for peace. Created by Congress in 1984 as an independent, nonpartisan, federally funded organization, USIP’s more than 300 staff work at the Institute’s D.C. headquarters, and on the ground in the world’s most dangerous regions.

“The United Nations Department of Political Affairs’ Mediation Support Unit, established in 2006, works closely with the Department’s regional divisions to plan and support mediation efforts in the field. With the goal of supporting relevant actors to achieve a just and sustainable peace through the pacific settlement of disputes, the unit engages in and supports a wide range of operational activities  and projects and works closely with a number of partners.

INTENDED USER: “The series is being designed for experienced mediation practitioners and negotiators, but will be a valuable resource for students and policymakers.”


AUTHOR: United States Department of Defense, Finnish Ministry of Defence, and Swedish Armed Forces

LAST UPDATED: March 2008

TYPE OF TOOL: Handbook, Guidelines

KEYWORDS: environmental management, United States Department of Defense, Finnish Ministry of Defence, Swedish Armed Forces, guidelines, handbook, risk reduction, impact assessment, water, land and land use

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF document, 118 pages


WEB LINK: (tool)

ABOUT THE TOOL: “This guidebook gives operational planners the necessary tools to incorporate environmental considerations throughout the life cycle of the operation. Failure to integrate environmental considerations into operational- and tactical-level planning increases the risk to the health and safety of military personnel and civilian non-combatants. Inadvertent damage to the natural environment or to significant cultural or historic resources also complicates the attainment of the desired strategic end state through the loss of political capital, negative public image, and increased overall cost.

This document does not necessarily reflect the official policies or doctrine of any nation, but represents the combined knowledge and ideas of contributors with significant experience in this area. This document is intended to serve as an environmental guidebook to help troop contributing nations with environmental management responsibilities identify relevant environmental requirements, practices, standards, and preventive measures, with a goal of integrating them into the planning and execution of military operations in a way that enhances the readiness of the force and accomplishment of the overall mission. It provides overarching principles, guidelines, templates, and examples, which may be used by operational planners and deployed forces to achieve the overall environmental goals and objectives associated with a military operation. Within the text, links are provided to directly access additional reference material and applicable templates.”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “The Department of Defense is America’s oldest and largest government agency. Its mission is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of the United States.”

“As a Government department and the ministry providing the guidelines for defense administration, the Finnish Ministry of Defence is in charge of national defense policy and security and international defesce policy cooperation. In addition, the Ministry is responsible for national military defense resources and the operating framework of the Defence Forces. It coordinates Finnish participation in international crisis management and contributes to shaping the European security structures to safeguard Finland’s national interests.”

“As the only authority permitted to engage in armed combat, the Swedish Armed Forces are Sweden’s ultimate security policy resource. The Armed Forces are therefore always prepared to carry out international missions, assert Sweden’s national integrity and support Swedish society in major crises. To enable Sweden to maintain its freedom of action in terms of its security policy, the Armed Forces are continuously developing capabilities that can meet future requirements.”

INTENDED USER: Operational planners of national militaries


AUTHOR: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM)


TYPE OF TOOL: Handbook, Guidelines

KEYWORDS: conflict sensitivity, environmental management, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), knowledge platform, handbook, guidelines, water, land and land use, minerals, risk reduction

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF documents


WEB LINK: (USAID CMM) (CMM publications) (Forests and Conflict) and Conflict) (Livelihoods and Conflict) (Minerals and Conflict)  (Water and Conflict)

ABOUT THE TOOL: These toolkits are intended to help USAID and their partners understand the opportunities and challenges inherent to development programming in conflicts where natural resources are an important issue. These documents (1) explore the relationship between natural resources, conflict, and cooperation, (2) highlight lessons learned from relevant development and peacebuilding programs, (3) discuss options for programming based on past USAID and development community experiences, and (4) provide various tools to support officers in identifying and evaluating the conflict risk and peacebuilding potential of natural resource management programs. Together, the elements of these toolkits are designed to help raise awareness about the linkages between natural resource management and conflict as well as opportunities for peacebuilding and integrating a conflict perspective into development programming.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. USAID provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States while improving lives in the developing world…. The Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM) was founded in 2002 to lead USAID’s efforts to address the sources of instability and violent conflict.”



AUTHOR: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


TYPE OF TOOL: Handbook, Training Course

KEYWORDS: conflict sensitivity, humanitarian action, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), handbook, training course, risk reduction, impact assessment

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF document, 49 pages; CD-ROM

LANGUAGES: English, French


ABOUT THE TOOL: “The objective of the Training Kit is to facilitate local authorities in increasing public awareness of the hazards present in their community, fostering communication between various stakeholders in the community (including the government officials, industry representatives, and the public), and developing co-operative emergency plans for their local area.

This Training Kit is a compilation of information gathered from existing materials and resources. Although extensive information on emergency preparedness for natural and industrial hazards exists, these materials tend to focus on a specific hazard type, such as industrial installations that handle hazardous chemicals, flooding, earthquakes, etc. Few existing resources addressed comprehensive emergency planning from a multi-hazard viewpoint. Recognizing this need, the Training Kit was developed so that local authorities responsible for emergency preparedness could easily access information on comprehensive emergency planning that addresses multiple hazards. The Training Kit is not meant to be a complete list of all the hazards and issues that a community may face; instead, it is meant to provide a summary of the most important principles and steps in improving emergency preparedness, as well as some of the most common hazards found worldwide. Similarly, the modules do not provide detailed guidance on technical issues such as industrial risk analysis, hydrological or meteorological assessments, or building plans for reducing structural vulnerability. Instead, it provides a brief summary of the main issues present for each hazard source or aspect of emergency planning, with additional resources for further guidance where appropriate and available.”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: UNEP, established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment.”

INTENDED USER: “The primary users of this Training Kit are expected to be local authorities responsible for emergency preparedness or response in countries or areas with identified natural or industrial hazards. This may include government agencies responsible for industrial safety, emergency response, environmental protection, or public health and safety. However, effective emergency planning is generally a multi-stakeholder exercise that should involve community members, local industries and businesses, expert organisations, and any other stakeholders with the potential to be affected by or provide assistance during an emergency. For this reason, any group that is interested in implementing emergency preparedness activities may find the Training Kit useful in identifying the steps they should take to do so.”


AUTHOR: The Sphere Project


TYPE OF TOOL: Handbook

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, environmental management, The Sphere Project, handbook, risk reduction, shelter, water, restoration

FORMATS: Handbook available for purchase in 18 languages; open-access website available in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish; Training modules in English

LANGUAGES: Arabic, Armenian, Bangla, Braille (English), Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Haitian Creole, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Kyrgyz, Nepali, Russian, Sinhala, Slovenian, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu, Vietnamese

WEB LINKS: (handbook); (web site)

ABOUT THE TOOL: The Sphere Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, is one of the most widely known and internationally recognized sets of common principles and universal minimum standards in life-saving areas of humanitarian response.  The Sphere Handbook is designed for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation during humanitarian response. It is also an effective advocacy tool when negotiating for humanitarian space and for the provision of resources with authorities. Furthermore, it is useful for disaster preparedness activities and contingency planning, with donors increasingly including the standards in their reporting requirements.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: In 1997, a group of humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement initiated the Sphere Project.  The Sphere Project is a voluntary initiative that brings a wide range of humanitarian agencies together around a common aim–to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and the accountability of humanitarian actors to their constituents, donors and affected populations.  They based Sphere’s philosophy on two core beliefs: first, that those affected by disaster or conflict have a right to life with dignity and, therefore, a right to assistance; and second, that all possible steps should be taken to alleviate human suffering arising out of disaster or conflict.

INTENDED USER: The principal users of the Sphere Handbook are practitioners involved in planning, managing or implementing a humanitarian response. This includes staff and volunteers of local, national and international humanitarian agencies. In the context of fund-raising and project proposals, the minimum standards are also frequently referred to. Other actors, such as government and local authorities, the military or the private sector, are also encouraged to use the Sphere Handbook. It may be useful in guiding their own actions, but also in helping them to understand the standards used by the humanitarian agencies with whom they may interact.