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Gendered Vulnerability Analysis

Socio-economic Impacts of Natural Disasters: A Gender Analysis

Sarah Bradshaw for United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, 2004.

Serie Manuales 32 (English translation of original Spanish document) On line PDF document. Available through ECLAC:

This report was written as a guide to how best to include gender in post-disaster impact analysis drawing on the experiences of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. It begins with a consideration of some basic gender concepts including exploration of the household as a site of unequal gender power relations. The report then considers the direct and indirect impact of Mitch attempting to quantify the largely unrecorded losses that accrued to women specifically, such as destruction of patio or backyard cultivation and impact of reproductive activities. The secondary or indirect impacts of events such as Mitch are then discussed, focussing on the emotional impact of such events, the implications of the resultant rise in male migration for household structure and survival, and the impact of such violent ‘natural’ events on gender based violence. There is also consideration of the impact of such events on political processes, exploring in particular the role of women and women’s movements in the formulation of national plans for reconstruction. The impact of reconstruction projects on the lives of women and men are then considered, highlighting that these, if done badly, can have more serious and long term effects than the events themselves. The report ends by summarising the key findings and presenting recommendations for those interested in including a gender perspective in post-disaster impact evaluation.

Key words: Households; psychosocial; violence; womenís movements; impact analysis

Guidelines for Community Vulnerability Analysis: An Approach for Pacific Island Countries

Luc Vrolijks with the South Pacific Programme Office of the United Nations Department for Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, SPDRP (RAS/92/360), March 1998, ISBN 982-364-003-3.

This document provides guidelines for community vulnerability analysis and action planning to reduce natural disaster impacts in communities in Pacific island countries. These guidelines can be used by national and local mitigation programmes, and in community development prorgrammes. Guidance is provided for ways in working with the community to analyze its disaster vulnerability, identify priorities, and plan actions to improve the community profile. The guidelines also focus on developing a community capacity profile. The guidelines focus on understanding all aspects of the community, with attention to areas used by men’s groups, women’s groups, and children. The vulnerability/capacity assessment provides scoring tables to identify livelihood and subsistence economic activities and community assets. The Annexes provide forms and formats for community situation analysis and action planning, including trend identification, seasonal calendars, schedule of daily activities, building classifications, construction types, economic activities, formats for a vulnerability and capacity profile, a format for identifying options for disaster reduction, a format for identifying options and resource needs, and an example action plan format. Step-by-step guidance is provided for facilitation teams.

Key words: Community Planning, Vulnerability Assessment, Capacity Building, Practice Guide, Public Education, Pacific Island countries

Working With Women at Risk: Practical Guidelines for Assessing Local Disaster Risk

94 pp. 2003. International action research project by Elaine Enarson, Marta Gonzáles, Lourdes Meyreles, Betty Hearn Morrow, Audrey Mullings, and Judith Soares The document includes a methodology for assessing community vulnerabilities and capacities from the perspectives of different groups of women trained as community researchers. Included in the step-by-step project guidelines are Guiding Research Questions for exploring vulnerabilities and capacities with grassroots women in risky environments, and producing and using community profiles based on this local research. The project was developed and field tested in the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Dominica, and El Salvador.

Section 1: Using the Guidelines.
Section 2: Where to Start.
Section 3: Conducting the Workshop.
Section 4:
Analyzing Vulnerability Data.
Section 5: Moving from Knowledge to Action.

The document contains tips for organizing a grassroots disaster vulnerability assessment project working with women’s or other community groups. Included are workshop guides, agenda and training materials as well as ideas for using the research as a tool for social action.

Available in Spanish and English through the Gender and Disaster Network: w Women English .pdf

Key words: vulnerability analysis, capacity building, women's groups, grassroots, cross hazard, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Dominica, El Salvador

Half the world is women but empowerment and environmental progress are lacking

Starre Vartan. 8 pp. 2004 Feature article from that provides a good international overview of how the everyday living conditions of women and particularly their roles as environmental resource users and managers fosters increased vulnerability to natural hazards and disasters. A good introductory piece written in a casual tone with concrete examples for use in community education or the college classroom. Available through E Magazine:

Key words: Public education, vulnerability, gender analysis

Can vulnerability be understood?

1998. Mihir Bhatt. Pp. 68-77 in John Twigg and Mihir Bhatt (eds.) Understanding Vulnerability: South Asian Perspectives. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Intermediate Technology Publications, Duryo

Key words: Research, vulnerabilty assessment, narrative, Asia

Rising From the Ashes: Developing Strategies in Times of Disaster

1989. Mary Anderson and Peter Woodrow.. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Key words: Community, capacity building, recovery, development, gender analysis

Gendering vulnerability analysis: Towards a more nuanced approach

2004. Maureen Fordham. In G. Bankoff, G. Frerks, & D. Hillhorst (Eds.), Mapping vulnerability: Disasters, development, and people (pp. 174-182). London: Earthscan.

Key words: vulnability, gender analysis, research