Hanna Berkel presents on micro enterprises' disaster preparedness at IGC event

On 23 November 2023, the International Growth Centre (IGC) in Mozambique organized a half-day event entitled ‘Recovery and Resilience of Firms in the Face of Crises in Mozambique’ at Hotel Avenida, in Maputo. The event featured recent research by IGC, the World Bank, and the Institute for Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (IPEME) on the impact of different shocks on Mozambican enterprises, with special focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and explored policy solutions for resilience and recovery of small and medium-sized enterprises in the country.

Hanna Berkel, UNU-WIDER Research Fellow and Resident Advisor in the Inclusive growth in Mozambique programme (IGM) based at the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) of Mozambique, presented an ongoing study on the disaster preparedness of micro enterprises in Mozambique.

According to the researcher, results of this forthcoming study show that information on the preparation for disasters did not significantly impact disaster preparation of firms, and that additional/other type of information may be more useful; e.g., success stories from other business owners who prepared themselves and information on the causes and consequences of climate change. Furthermore, dissemination of information might be more successful if local community leaders are involved in mobilizing communities to increase preparation for disasters.

Hanna Berkel’s presentation prompted a lively discussion on the best way and time to communicate about disasters and climate change, on the need to take into account the altitude and geological conformation of the firm locations when targeting the sampled area and planning interventions, on the challenges of firm relocations, and on the importance of involving the local communities in such initiatives, as well as on the importance of evidence for effective policies in general.

The event gathered a wide audience consisting of relevant governmental institutions, business associations, academia, and development professionals.