IUKDPF Policy Brief: Resilient Communities for Resilient Infrastructure: Opportunities for India-UK Collaboration

Executive summary

India and the UK have elevated infrastructure resilience to a priority area of development cooperation. The focus of this cooperation, led by the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), has been to develop the resilience of critical infrastructure systems primarily through the lens of engineering interventions and innovation. This Policy Brief argues that India and the UK should, in parallel, work to facilitate and promote cooperation on institutional infrastructures that build community resilience to disasters.

Policy Recommendations:

This note presents three policy recommendations:  

  • Fostering Triangular and South-South knowledge-building:

    Stakeholders from India and the UK could work together to develop a flagship study that showcases best practices and case studies on the role of institutional infrastructures in building community resilience in India, with a broader objective to demonstrate the potential for replicability and scale-up by the UK and/or Southern partners from the CDRI.
  • Creating institutionalised spaces for dialogue between decision-makers and local communities:

    Non-state stakeholders from India and the UK could collaborate with the CDRI to set up mechanisms that allow local communities from India to articulate their resilience needs to infrastructure planners and decision-makers, as well as offer their own insights to inform formal planning processes.
  • Developing forums to catalyse Triangular policy exchange on community resilience-building:

    The UK and India governments could work together via the CDRI to create institutionalised  spaces for Triangular policy exchange on community resilience-building in cities, within existing ‘paradiplomatic’ urban initiatives such as the C40 Alliance or the Urban 20. They might also work together to create new convening spaces to deliberate upon issues around urban and community resilience – for example, within the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) processes, or the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP).