Community of Practitioners' Site

Managing Disasters in small steps

Community-based Landslide Risk Reduction

The Landslide Risk Problem

Many areas of the world are at risk from landslides and their consequences. Rainfall-triggered landslides particularly affect developing countries in the humid tropics.

Rapid urbanization and the associated growth of unauthorized and densely populated communities in hazardous locations (such as steep slopes) are powerful drivers in a cycle of disaster risk accumulation. Frequently, it is the most socio-economically vulnerable who inhabit marginal landslide-prone slopes—thus increasing their exposure to landslide hazards and often increasing the hazard itself.

The Vision

MoSSaiC (Management of Slope Stability in Communities) is an integrated method for engaging policy makers, project managers, practitioners, and vulnerable communities in reducing urban landslide risk in developing countries.

MoSSaiC was developed and initiated by Anderson and Holcombe in St Lucia in 2004 with the idea of combining research, policy, and humanitarian interests to address rainfall-triggered landslide hazards through community-based implementation of surface water management measures in vulnerable urban communities.

The Flexible Blueprint

The book "Community based landslide risk reduction - managing disasters in small steps" by Anderson & Holcombe (published by the World Bank in 2013) and freely available for download on this website, is a flexible blueprint for policy makers, project managers and practitioners in developing countries. In reflecting and seeking to communicate the breadth of author experience, this is neither a conventional policy book nor an explicit field manual. Readers will find that the purpose of the book is to take them into the most vulnerable communities. Community residents are not just seen as those ‘at risk’, but as the people with the best practical knowledge of the slopes where they live. In this book, ‘community-based’ means engaging and working with communities to find and deliver solutions to landslide risk together. This leads governments to develop new practices and policies for tackling landslide risk. This book provides the ‘flexible blueprint’ for understanding and addressing rainfall-triggered landslide hazards in the most vulnerable communities. It aims to establish the scientific basis, community-base and evidence base which underpin the Mossaic vision.

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