United Nations University
Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

Costs and benefits of (in)coherence:
Disaster Risk Reduction in the Post-2015-Agendas


The need to strengthen both disaster and climate resilience is starkly evident across the four main documents of the Post-2015 Agendas, namely the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015–2030, several goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement as well as the New Urban Agenda (NUA, Habitat III). Signatory countries to the Post-2015 Agendas documents have committed to plan, implement and report on the progress towards the goals and targets therein (Fig. 1). An important question for the implementation progress will be whether and to which extent potential synergies between the different agendas are realized.


A combination of deductive and inductive methods was used in order to gain a more robust understanding of coherence in the context of Post-2015 Agendas implementation. This approach was purposefully chosen to dive into the novel research field of agenda coherence where hardly any empirical studies or methodologies are available.

Results from literature review

Both scientific and grey literature that discusses interlinkages in the course of implementing the different Post-2015 Agendas documents are still scarce. Even fewer publications are available on coherencies and incoherencies in policy planning, implementation and progress reports of the agendas.


Mexico case study

Mexico has pioneered diverse policies and programs to align the Post-2015 Agendas, yet challenges remain daunting. In order to understand the context of policy (in)coherence in Mexico, a short look at its vertical and horizontal governance structure and how (in)coherence manifests in practice is important.

© unsplash/Dennis Schrader

Philippines case study

In response to the increasing exposure and vulnerability to climate change and disaster risk, in 2009 and 2010, respectively, the Philippines developed and introduced the Climate Change Act and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act.

© unsplash/Sebstian Herrman

Synthesis: Comparing results from case studies and the literature review

When comparing the results from both country cases against the costs and benefits identified in the literature review, we see some stark differences.

6Conclusions on costs and benefits of (in)coherence

Through analyzing and integrating the current state of knowledge in the literature with empirical insights from two case studies, the study helped identify the range of different incoherencies in policy formulation, implementation and monitoring in the fields of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and overall development planning.

Outlook and ways forward

In the course of the field studies – and in comparison to the preceding literature analysis – different gaps in research and policy were detected.


This report presents the synthesized results of a study supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ (GmbH) within the framework of the Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM), and on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. Research for this study was conducted between September 2018 and August 2019.

Authors: Simone Sandholz, Mia Wannewitz, Mar Moure and Matthias Garschagen

Scientific lead: Matthias Garschagen

Scientific team: Simone Sandholz, Mia Wannewitz and Mar Moure

Philippines: Antonio D. Balang, Kien Develos, Kelvin Mendoza, Mareike Bentfeld and Stephan Huppertz

Mexico: Katharina Schaaff, Sandra Camacho-Otero, Sheila Castillo and José Cortés

Layout and graphics support: Aileen Orate

Suggested citation: Sandholz, Simone, and others (2020). Costs and benefits of (in)coherence: Disaster Risk Reduction in the Post-2015-Agendas. Synthesis Report. Bonn: United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).

e-ISSN: 2304-0467

e-ISBN: 978-3-944535-62-3