Participation of the Most Vulnerable in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Decision-making and Action
Author: Bob Alexander, Cecile de Milliano and Chandra Sekhar Bahinipati
Size: 7 pages (5.4 MB)
This chapter explores the extent to which the most vulnerable victims of natural hazards are, or can be, included in DRR and CCA decision-making and action. Drawing on case studies from the Maldives, Indonesia and India, it highlights the importance of including the most vulnerable, such as the poor in general and youth and women in particular. Obstacles to such participation include power relations within and across social systems, individual capacity levels, and lack of public awareness. Overcoming these challenges involves planning and working for equity within a community, planning for the needs of the most vulnerable at the local level and transferring knowledge from national to local level.
The three case studies used qualitative methods to explore the visions and experiences of community sub-groups that are most vulnerable to climate change and disaster vulnerability. For example:
Although the participation of different vulnerable groups was demonstrated as important, the case studies also revealed some of the challenges of achieving participation. These challenges include power relations within and across social systems, individual capacities, and lack of public awareness.
The visions, experiences and capacities of the most vulnerable can provide valuable contributions for DRR and CCA policy and practice. Overcoming participation challenges involves enabling the most vulnerable to voice their perceptions and expertise regarding what is needed and to communicate this with actors from outside the community. Scenario-based iterative knowledge mapping is one tool that could help to achieve this. In addition, it is important to:
Alexander, B., de Milliano, C. and Sekhar Bahinipati, C., 2010, ‘Participation of the Most Vulnerable in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Decision-making and Action’ in Setiadi, N., Birkmann, J. and Buckle, P. (eds), Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaption: Case Studies from South and Southeast Asia, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), No. 14/2010, pp.54-61