An inclusive approach to disaster preparedness saves lives. Inclusion engenders community resilience and promotes equity and human rights.
But in reality, certain groups of people are often left out due to their inherent characteristics such as age, disability, gender, religion, and social status. As a result, these people become more vulnerable to disasters. In disaster preparedness, the participation of women, children, older people, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and other minority groups and sectors is important because they are the most vulnerable against disasters. Inclusive disaster preparedness provides technical and logical frameworks that assimilate the most vulnerable sectors in a community and enhances their capacity against future disasters.
Give2Asia and the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) are implementing a two-year program called “NGO Disaster Preparedness Program Phase II: Deepening Disaster Resilience”, a follow-on to the initial grant program that started in 2014. The current program builds on the experiences of the Phase I program and further expands the network of community-based nonprofits in Asia, as well as international donors, focused on disaster preparedness. The program includes preparedness, capacity building, and partnership development aimed at:
1) creating a network to connect Community-based Organizations (CBOs) in South and Southeast Asia;
2) learning from and sharing information on best practices with peer organizations in the region; and
3) building an educated donor network that is engaged and understands how to support communitybased disaster preparedness efforts.
This program works closely with local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) (called Community of Practice (CoP) Members) in eight countries in Asia: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.
To build the capacity of CoP members on inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), this guidebook on Facilitating Inclusion in Disaster Preparedness: A Practical Guide for CBOs was produced. This guidebook aims to:
Enable partner CBOs to delve into strategic planning, approaches and tools on Inclusive DRR;
Provide alternative learning avenues for sectors to shift paradigm: from looking at excluded groups as “the recipient, or an object” into a more equitable gender-fair and humane categorization, such as intervenors or pro-actors;
Provide samples of standard platforms and protocols on inclusive disaster risk assessment, structural framework, gender-mainstreaming and paralegal support systems; and 4. Develop a community of learning (COL) in sharing inclusion on rights, advocacy, livelihoods, and entitlements.
IIRR and Give2Asia hope that this guidebook will help CBOs in Asia make their disaster preparedness programs more inclusive and sensitive to the needs of vulnerable groups in communities.