Way Forward Chennai

Advocacy effort for inclusive and credible responses to urban disasters.

In the last few years, several cities in India have experienced major disasters following heavy rains and droughts that have caused enormous damage and loss of life as well as paralyzed cities’ economies. Climate change and global warming coupled with poor city planning, governance failure, inadequate disaster preparedness and management, illegal construction, and the destruction of the natural ecosystem in the form of waterways, streams, rivers, mangroves, marshland, etc. have amplified the impacts of these disasters. When Chennai was hit by flooding in 2015, more than 650 people died and 25,000 crores worth of business were lost. The reasons behind the deluge were debated; not one could agree on the reasons behind it. 

Way Forward Chennai (WFC) was created as a platform focused on bringing together individual practitioners and organizations to develop a strong understanding of the urban floods and droughts and to advocate for inclusive and credible responses to urban disasters. It was a multi-partner; multi dimensional and multi stage inter institutional /organizational voluntary citizen initiative to work on the phenomenon in order to develop an understanding in the areas of:
1) City planning and development
2) Disaster preparedness and management
3) Protection of ecological and natural features
4) Post-disaster relief and rehabilitation
5) Governance



The platform produced a documentation of during and after Chennai floods which included interviews with activists, academics and practitioners as well as curated media reports on the topic to enable citizens to improve their understanding of events surrounding the floods and capturing approaches for risk mitigation.


Action Aid, Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG), with CAG functioning as the Secretariat for the platform.