From Oct 25-27 2022, the German Red Cross, with the support of BBK, katNet and DKKV, organized the Disaster Risk Reduction Conference in a digital format. In this context, the MYrisk project, in collaboration with the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK), conducted a workshop on “Strengthening the resilience of urban micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in relation to multiple risks and complex crises”. Up to 48 people joined the workshop online, which was held in English. In addition to the project partners from Myanmar, a broad international audience was represented, including participants from e.g. the Netherlands or Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The introductory presentation of Prof. Dr. Kraas on MSMEs and disaster risk reduction showed the results of the large MSME survey in the frame of the project (see previous article) and the high relevance of research in this area. Dr. Marlene Willkomm presented on flood hazard maps of Cologne and their relevance for disaster preparedness.
Afterwards, three parallel sessions on the topics a. Risk awareness in MSMEs and early warning, b. Risk reduction and disaster preparedness of MSMEs and c. Built-back-better strategies and post-disaster preparedness for MSMEs were held. According to the World-Café-concept, all participants provided input to all topics, which resulted in stimulating and fruitful discussions.
For improving of disaster preparedness for MSMEs, various actors at local and regional level must be identified. In addition to that, the governance of local actors and their coordinated action needs to be improved. Also better knowledge on DRR activites of MSMEs must be generated and access for MSMEs provided. The relevance of in-depth (qualitative) research on the MSME’s motivation for taking disaster risk reduction activities as well as the highlighting of good examples is an elementary goal for the future.