Connecting You(th) on Water Issues!

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

Young people have a significant role to play in engaging in DRR planning at all levels, driving innovation and acting as the communicators and translators of new technology to the needs of the most vulnerable. The DRR team have three objectives in line with the WYN Mission and objectives:


  1. Promote networking, knowledge sharing and collaboration among young practitioners and researchers within and across generations, on water-related DRR;


  1. Collate, share and support innovative youth-led initiatives from local to global levels on water-related DRR;


  1. Support meaningful, science-informed youth engagement in water and DRR related policy design, implementation, monitoring and review through the UN Major Group of Children and Youth (link).


Figure 1: WYN DRR Team Objectives


Networking, knowledge sharing and collaboration

The WYN DRR team organized and collaborated on various networking, outreach and knowledge sharing events and sessions in 2017 including:

  • Future Earth Emergent Risks and Extreme Events, Knowledge Action Network, Tokyo, Nov 2017 – see more info here.
  • Strengthening DRR across the Americas – Regional Summit on the contribution of Earth observation, Argentina, Aug 2017 – read about WYN activities here.  
  • Interactive workshops in Integrated Flood Risk Management, UN MGCY Youth Forum, Global Platform on DRR, Cancun, May 2017 – see details here.
  • Capacity Building Workshop – Seeds for a Safer Tomorrow Toolkit, UN MGCY Youth Forum, Global Platform on DRR – see webinar and toolkit here.
  • Youth engagement at the International Conference on Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems – see details here including poster and publication.
  • Young Scientists session at the United Kingdom Alliance for Disaster Research (UKADR) conference, London, Jan 2017.
  • Creative Disasters Networking Event with RADIX, London, Dec 2017 – read more here (link coming soon).  

Furthermore, we support youth-led scientific research and publications which share our knowledge to a wider audience. For example leading a collaborative publication on The Power of Networks  (link), contributions to the UN MGCY Science Policy Interface Publications – Urban Edition and DRR Edition (link), a poster at the MIT Water Summit 2016 (link), and a book chapter on DRR including Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) (link).


Supporting innovative youth led initiatives

We strive to collate existing youth initiatives and give them the recognition and support they deserve through our interactive YouKnow platform.

We have supported the following competitions that give young people opportunities to share and further their innovative ideas:

  • Global competition for youth led projects: Flood and Drought Special , see further information about the winners here.
  • Youth for Water and Climate, Global Water Partnership COP 22, see further information here.  
  • Urban Deltas competition for Habitat III, see further information here.  

The team has also supported local capacity building workshops on DRR, see example here for a workshop on flood and drought risk management conducted by Water for Life Cameroon

We also support youth led research projects at the local level. Read about the research conducted on the impacts of the El Nino in Kenya here.


Support meaningful, science-informed youth engagement in water and DRR related policy

The WYN DRR team have engaged in numerous policy related events and activities in connection with the United Nations Major Group of Children and Youth (UN MGCY).

  • WYN DRR team member acted as the co-chair of the UN MGCY Youth Forum at the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction organising committee  – see final report here and video here .  
  • Youth island at GSTIG 2018 Connecting technological innovation to decision making for sustainability – read more about WYNs engagement here.
  • The WYN acted as one of the co-chairs of the Children and Youth Forum at the 3rd UN World Conference on DRR, see UN MGCY report here and journal publication here.
  • Supported establishing the UN MGCY Young Scientists Platform on DRR to enable stronger engagement of young scientists in DRR policy implementation, monitoring and review, see concept note here and young scientists roadmap here, launched at the UNISDR Science and Technology Conference.
  • WYN organised a youth consultation to support the HABITAT III process for the New Urban Agenda  and a session on DRR and CCA during the Children and Youth Assembly of the HABITAT III Conference for Sustainable Urban Development (link).

Furthermore WYN has engaged in the Conference on Youth (COY 13) in Bonn – read more about our session on ‘Youth actions for combating climate change and water challenges’ here.


DRR Coordinator

Nhilce Nahomi Esquivel Gomez

Nhilce was born in a small Caribbean city in the Southeast of Mexico called Chetumal. Regarding her studies, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters degree in Flood Risk Management.  Though at the beginning of her professional career she started working in the construction sector, soon later she had the chance to work as a junior hydraulic engineer in the private sector and then for the federal government. These experiences fostered her interest in hydrometeorological phenomena, risk management and hydrology and made her realize that the water sector was where she fancied to work. From 2014 to 2016 she lived in Europe while studying the Masters and got to know enthusiastic young people who wanted to empower other young professionals and build a better work. They all were part of WYN, so soon after finishing her master in 2016, she enrolled in the IWRM and DRR groups. Currently Nhilce is working as external hydrologist consultant for the National Water Commision in Mexico, and collaborates as Regional Focal Point in the Americas for the UN MGCY. Nhilce loves travelling, practicing yoga, writing and telling stories.

Her LinkedIn profile can be found here and his email address is



DRR Co-coordinators

Javed Ali

Javed was born in a small village in the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, India. He always found himself attracted to nature and this love of nature led him to pursue a career in water resources management. He is currently working as a Researcher at CNRS – Institute for Geosciences and Environmental research, Université Grenoble Alpes in France. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering (specialization in Water Resource Engineering) and an Erasmus Mundus Master’s degree in Flood Risk Management. He worked with Resurgence (London) and GFDRR, World Bank as an Open Modelling and Urban Flooding Consultant on a project “Design for Impact Framework: Integrating Open Data and Risk Communication for Decision Making”. He worked as Research Lead on OpenDRI Initiative Projects and Risk Modelling and Communication Projects and he was Lead Author for Risk Modelling, Visualization, and Communication Projects. He worked with Climate-KIC (the EU’s main climate innovation initiative) in the Netherlands as Research Lead on a project in Municipality of Bunnik. He also worked as a Technical Advisor at Empresa Mixta Valenciana de Aguas S.A., Global Omnium, Valencia (Spain) during August-September 2017. He is an active member of the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and IWRM Thematic Groups of the Water Youth Network since February 2017. He has been involved in various knowledge sharing and advocacy projects such as the YouKnoW! Project as Focal Point of Database Management and has co-organized many international events with WYN. Javed loves travelling, reading, hiking, capturing photos and making people laugh.

His LinkedIn profile can be found here and his email address is


Lako Mbouendeu Stephane 

Lako is a Cameroonian Water Engineer used to water service and resources management with experience working in rural and urban areas for drinking water, sanitation, Irrigation and hydro-climatic risk projects. He is an Agricultural Engineer with Master in IWRM, MSc in Water Management and he is pursuing a PhD in the same field with focus on climate change and urban wetlands management at the University of Dschang (Cameroon). After working for several national NGOs (SNV, ERA-Cameroon), he co-founded a national NGO in 2014, Water for Life Cameroon, to work towards sustainable access to water for all (human, animal, plant and nature). Since then he has been coordinating several local projects in climate, WASH and Water resource management.

As such he engaged in Water Youth Network in January 2018, and has been contributing to several international events as panelist, facilitator, session designer and reporter (World Water Forum 8, Stockholm Water Week 2018 and 2019, 1st international forum on water scarcity in Agriculture). He collaborated with AFPM and WMO to reinforce capacities of youth to act for hydroclimatic risks assessment and management in Cameroon.

As an active DRR member dedicated to enhancing youth participation to flood and drought management and related issues at local, regional and global level for all fields, he is the WYN Focal Point for the Global framework on water scarcity in agriculture in a changing climate (WASAG) and represents WYN in the “Drought preparedness” working group as well as “Water and Migration”. He likes scientific research, writing and communication as well as field and collaborative work.

His LinkedIn profile can be found here and his email address is