ILO showcase at International Disaster and Risk Conference: The Multi-hazard Business Continuity Management Guide.

Davos, Switzerland: The Global Risk Forum (GRF) held its International Disaster and Risk Conference last Friday, 31 August. First-time patrons but frequent participants, the ILO seized the opportunity to launch a new manual - a joint project with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) - on business resilience in the face of disaster, the Multi-hazard Business Continuity Management Guide.

The fourth sitting of the biannual conference was attended by UN agencies and NGOs, academics, and a large contingent from the private sector. Its tagline, ‘Pathways to a Resilient Society’ provided the ideal environment to pitch the ILO’s new Guide on resilient business models.

At its core, the document aims to address the truism that threats to healthy business are threats to the function of society; entrepreneurs need to protect themselves and their workforce by staying in business through disaster. Thus, business continuity management – the maintenance of resilient businesses – is considered a vital apparatus through which societies can prepare for, manage and recover from major crises.

Produced in response to requests from business associations across a range of sectors, the Guide is designed to train businesses on how to prepare for crisis, how to keep heads above floodwater when disaster strikes, and how the impact of subsequent cataclysms can be minimized.

The user-friendly model is aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It provides step-by-step instructions for business continuity management from preparation and activation along the whole risk cycle, including preparedness, prevention, response and recovery.

Somewhat unique in the field of disaster management, the model places a strong emphasis on preparation, addressing the difficult questions what to do prior to the occurrence of a likely disaster, as well as the options for response.

The Guide is accompanied by a training module developed by ITC Turin and will be used initially in the Asia-Pacific region.

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