the gender and disaster sourcebook

a resource of GDN

ICON: Good Practice: Gender And Risk Reduction  Projects Good Practice: Gender And Risk Reduction  Projects
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Non Governmental

A Women's Rights-based Approach to Climate Change


MADRE's disaster relief and recovery programs identify the specific threats that women face and the
unique contributions that women make in efforts to address the following problems associated with disasters.

Key words: MADRE, climate change, disaster, model, rights-based approach, women, relief, recovery

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute

AIDM India is a community-based action research, action planning and action advocacy non-governmental organisation. It works towards bridging the gap between policy, practice, and research related to disaster mitigation, in an effort to link the community to the (inter)national level humanitarian scenario. The overall mission is to reduce disaster risk of vulnerable communities by promoting mitigation efforts, through learning and action. Founded after the repeated 1987-89 droughts in Gujarat, AIDM recently took on a national focus and changed its name accordingly. AIDMI currently works through four security programmes and eleven activity centers adopting a multidisciplinary and participatory approach internally. DMI affiliates are drawn from fields as diverse as journalism, social work, architecture, engineering, urban planning, economics, finance, information technology, business management, political science and disaster management.

Targeting women in Local Capacity Building Cycles
which develop leadership; skills and community capacities of those living in risk environments, using participatory learning methods. Women’s trainings were held regularly in these areas:

  • Women led emergency medical response
  • Women led disaster relief and response
  • Women led disaster mitigation and preparedness, e.g.
    Seventy First Local Cycle, August 12-13, 2004, Radhanpur, Patan
    Participants: 40 community leaders from Jeevika SEWA Mandal, Child services, Health services, Nursery, Salt worker women, Gum collecting women, Saving Groups and Banaskantha DWACRA Mahila SEWA Association (BDMSA).

Experience Learning Series publications, e.g.

  • No. 18 Disaster and Vulnerability: SEWA's Response to the Earthquake in Gujarat, June 2002
  • No. 112, Importance of Women's Role in Disaster Mitigation (in Gujarati), July 2001
  • No. 110, Importance of Women's Role in Disaster Mitigation (in Gujarati)
    July 2001

Tsunami, Gender and Recovery.

16 pp, illustrated. October 2005. Produced by the All-India Disaster Mitigation Institute as a Special issue for International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. October 12, 2005. Available through GDN:

An excellent resource for specialists in tsunami recovery, policy makers and practitioners seeking direction for gender-aware approaches, and for trainers and teachers as a case study. 12 short articles are included:

  • Gender issues in tsumami recovery planning
  • Unequal impact of tsunami on women
  • The unbreakable spirit of women: believe in change makers
  • Recovery of women : issues and plans
  • Addressing gender issues in humanitarian practice: tsunami recovery
  • Lessons from earthquake affected women
  • Preparedness, risk mitigation and women
  • Emerging good practices
  • How do we support women’s capacities?
  • Gender in Sphere standards


Key words: India, NGO, cross hazard, mitigation, capacity building, development, livelihood, gender analysis, community education

Amraniye Women's Outreach Community Disaster Preparedness Project

16pp, 2002. B.U.- K.R.D.A.E. Disaster Preparedness Education Project, Final Report- by Petal, M., Ulgen, S., Okoh, G., & Alniacik, U. Final Report.

The report gives the details of the project aimed to train women to deliver basic ABCD disaster preparedness training to community members. Through the project conducted by Bosphorus University, Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute, Istanbul, Turkey, with the financial support of CARITAS and CORDAID , ten women were selected and trained for delivering basic disaster preparedness skills training to community members. The trainers reached 1077 households and delivered training to 1015 households. Furthermore 84 group meetings were conducted in public health centers, schools, association of people with disabilities, conference halls, arts and crafts seminars, and in the evenings in front of the buildings where neighbors meet informally. Upon the completion of the project a telephone follow-up was conducted 4 to 8 weeks after the training. The women who acted as trainers were clearly empowered by their systematic acquisition of knowledge, their confidence in the material they are presenting, and they enjoyed being able to make a difference in their neighborhoods. The women expressed their gratitude for being able to be part of this important project. The sustainability of the project and its long term impact are sources of concern. The program needs to be adopted by an institution for securing its sustainability.

Key words: Turkey, Bosphorus University, Natural Hazards, Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Survivors, Womenís empowerment, Community-based practitioners

Bam Zanan Group in Iran

Following the earthquake in Bam, Iran, women’s NGOs formed the group to create an enabling and facilitating environment to provide women with the support, skills, information and contacts to rebuild social, economic and community assets. Their goal was to assist victims in the short-term, to improve women’s self-sufficiency in the long-term, and to provide a transparent and accountable strategy that focuses on future risk reduction.

The Bam Zanan Group subsequently organized a Coordinating Committee comprised of 44 NGOs. Among other activities, the Committee established a Cultural Center for Women to respond to the specific needs of girls and women in emergency camps and temporary. The Committee is currently engaged in working with local women to address risk reduction by expanding women’s participation in all areas of society. The group has established mechanisms for ongoing assessment, monitoring, and evaluation.

Group email:

Key words: Iran, earthquake, NGO, women's group, emergency relief, capacity building

Centro de Información y Servicios de AsesorÌa en Salud, CISAS Nicaragua

Language: Spanish, although some English language documents available
Available at:

English synopsis of the project:

The Centre for Health Information and Services (CISAS) in Nicaragua was one of the many NGOs forced to adapt its usual activities in the aftermath of hurricane Mitch to reflect the realities of the communities in which they had been working for many years. While engaging in physical reconstruction initiatives, such as the ‘healthy communities’ project, CISAS was also active in the political sphere lobbying with the Civil Coordinator for Emergency and Reconstruction (CCER) for a reconstruction process that did more than re-build past vulnerabilities. Unlike many organisations CISAS has maintained a ‘disaster’ focus and incorporated elements of disaster risk reduction into all its gender and health related activities, the majority of which are focussed on young people. As part of this on-going commitment the organisation has complied a ‘risk management’ web site bringing together relevant materials from the region. While the documentation is not specifically ‘gendered’ it is a very useful source of information written in Spanish and the CISAS publications provide an interesting focus on young people and children. The search facility allows access to their many other documents specifically related to gender, reproductive health and rights and gender and poverty related issues. This site will be useful for those interested in wider issues of around gender, rights and development, those interested in incorporating young people into risk reduction initiatives and more generally those seeking risk reduction literature in Spanish.

Key words: vulnerability, hurricane, NGO, development, health, youth

Gender Issues and Best Practices in Land Administration Projects

R Giovarelli, S Lastarria-Cornhiel, E Katz and Sue Nicols. 2005, 78p. Available through the World Bank Group

The report is a synthesis of information from four case studies of the World Bank-financed land programs in Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Ghana and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. It focuses on the understanding of how the impact of land policies affect women and men and how to apply the knowledge gained in practical ways to World Bank supported land projects. Each case study is approached with the eye on how each project approached gender issues, what the different gender issues are in terms of projects participation and benefits and what lessons can be learned from the various experiences. It will be of most interest to researchers interested in land administration projects and policy makers and governmental groups linked to best practice principles.

Key words: gender, best practice, land administration projects, and land rights, communication

Gendering Sphere

Following on the recommendations of users, the standards and practices proposed by the international SPHERE project were revised and made more gender sensitive. More attention is now paid in every section to cross-cutting social groups such as people living with disabilities or HIV/AIDS and to older people and women. In addition, the human rights of women and men are an explicit foundational perspective. Gender is seen as a cross-cutting issue and gender analysis proposed as mean to assess gender vulnerabilities, impacts, needs and capabilities to achieve gender-fair practice throughout the emergency relief and long-term rehabilitation process.


Key words: practice guide, gender analysis, emergency management

Health Workers Fly to Aid Female Katrina Survivors, Rebecca Veleley.

As a Louisiana network scrambles to replace battered women's shelters devastated by Hurricane Katrina, ob-gyn nurses are flying to the Gulf Coast, Planned Parenthood is supplying contraception and the Ms. Foundation is raising relief funds.


Key words: Grassroots, health, hurricane Katrina, NGO


The Commission on the Advancement of Women within InterAction, an advocacy coalition of over 160 development and relief NGOs based in the US and active worldwide in emergency relief, represents the commitment of InterAction to gender equality in emergency relief.

Workshops and publications such as Weaving Gender in Humanitarian Assistance (previously cited) are now complimented by organizational development tools such as Building Organizational Capacity for Gender Sensitive Development. Piloted and tested over five years to help member organizations assess their progress toward mainstreaming gender equality in relief work, these materials include guides to organizational self-auditing and a five-day training course for gender audit facilitators, as well as regional documents with best-practice materials from the field on gender mainstreaming.

Key words: Practice guide, INGO, aid agencies, emergency response

Intermediate Technology and Development Group-South Asia Gender Projects

The alternative development approach to disasters (Duryog Nivaran) consistently emphasizes the cross-cutting and specific gender dimensions of disaster risk management with emphasis on developing women’s leadership skills and capitalizing on their local knowledge and insight.

Practical Action (Formerly ITDG South Asia) publications and initiatives are uniformly gender sensitive, for example their publication on Traditional Wisdom of Rainwater Harvesting, Livelihood Centered Approach to Disaster Management, Meeting the Challenge of Disasters: A Collection of Best Practices,  Field Experience on Community Centered Disaster Management, and tsunami-related recovery planning documents. 

Practical Action (Formerly ITDG-South Asia) also undertakes a number of specific gender projects.

Publications, e.g.

South Asian Women Facing Disasters, Securing Life, Priyanty Fernando and Vijitha Fernando. 1997.Colombo: Practical Action (Formerly Intermediate Technology Group) Publications for Duryog Nivaran.

Gender Dimensions in Disaster Management; A Guide for South Asia, by Madhavi Malalgoda Ariyabandu and Maithree Wickramasinghe, 2004. Practical Action (Formerly ITDG South Asia), Colombo, Sri Lanka. Available at Practical Action - UK  (ITDG) and Practical Action  South Asia programme:  


Also available through Zubaan Publishers, New Delhi  (Distributed in India only).

How to mainstream gender into disaster management and responses – addressing gender issues in post-tsunami reconstruction. 2005. Report prepared for workshop conducted for bilateral donors, INGOs, NGOs and policy makers of state agencies working on post-tsunami reconstruction. Available at Practical Action (Formerly ITDG South Asia), Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Chapter 4, Paying attention to women’s and gender issues in responding to the tsunami crisis, pp. 10-15 in Practical Action's (ITDG) Guidelines for Planning in the Rebuilding Processs; Resource Pack. 

Videos, e.g.

Facing Disasters, Making Decisions: The Gender Dimensions of Disaster Management. ITDG, 15 min, 2005. produced by YA TV with support from the Canadian International Development Agency for  Practical Action (Fromerly Intermediate Technology Group-Sri Lanka). Highlights the importance of gender issues in disaster management and attempts to raise awareness amongst those engaged in [tsunami] relief and recovery.

South Asian Women: Facing Disaster, Securing Life
. 60 min. Profiles women in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka responding to armed conflict, displacement, epidemic, and natural disaster. Produced by Duryog Nivaran, an alternative disaster and development agency in Sri Lanka with a strong gender focus, and available for purchase through their website:

Presentations, e.g.

Building capacities of women and community groups. 2004. Power point presentation prepared for the Gender Equality and Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop (Honolulu, HI). Conference proceedings [presentations]:

Gender issues in disaster management—a glimpse from South Asia, 2004. Power point presentation prepared for the Gender Equality and Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop (Honolulu, HI). Conference proceedings [presentations]:

International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies

Among their other documents are these written to promote gender-sensitive humanitarian assistance:

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society: The Recruitment of Female Volunteers to Respond to Disasters
17 pp. 1999. Presents the strategy adopted by the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society on recruiting female volunteers in its disaster management programme.

Working With Women in Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation Programmes. Field Studies Paper 2.

22 pp. 1991. Highlights the particular needs of women who have experienced various violent situations such as rape and armed conflict. Offers a brief background and some basic recommendations useful in both planning and running of relief and rehabilitation programmes.

22 pp. 1995. It is not usually women who generate the fearful, violent climate that prompts people to flee their homes. Yet, more women are forced out than men. This brochure, produced to coincide with World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, focuses on various situations in which many women find themselves: rape, detention, coping after disasters, displaced and maimed. Contains photos and quotes from women who are in these situations.

Key words: IGO, cross hazard, practice, emergency rseponse, women professional, public education

International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM)

The International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM) philosophy is to promote international standards and world best practices in risk management through continued mutual sharing towards professional excellence in developing countries. IDRM works on principles of continuous learning, organizational and individual professional development. IDRM specialists and partners are committed to appropriate, user-friendly, innovative and cost-effective solutions for the promotion of community safety, self-reliance and sustainability.

Established in 1998 at the request of the Philippine Government, IDRM International is a uniquely self-reliant, not-for-profit organization. IDRM effectively transfers knowledge and expertise to its development partners by working with people to help build their capacities and confidence in implementing sustainable Risk Management programs and projects in their communities. IDRM conducts training and work in the South and Southeast Asia regions, including work with gender and disasters in Afghanistan. With partners in Australia, IDRM offers a series of disaster risk management certificates and training programs.


Key words: Development, public education, emergency management, NGO, capacity building

Malteser in Iran

The German organization Malteser is doing work with traumatized women and children in Iran since the earthquake in Bam. Together with local relief organizations, Malteser provides workshops and training in the fields of management and administration to women. Language: German. For more information:

Key words: Iran, earthquake, training, children, trauma

Middle East and North Africa Gender Communication Network, IFRC

The Middle East and North Africa Gender Communication Network is an initiative of the Middle East Regional International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies. Representatives from eleven MENA National Societies have created a gender network to promote related training and planning in the region. Countries participating include: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunis, and Yemen. The network will foster communication and knowledge sharing, and publicize training opportunities across the region. It will produce a web-based human resources data base, and a review of existing programs in the region from a gender perspective. Other goals include identifying practical ways of doing gender sensitive programming and how to consider the needs and capacities of both men and women in Red Cross Red Crescent activities. The site has a link for the IFRC Gender Training Package which has case studies, including case studies on disaster preparedness. Languages: Arabic, Farsi, English.   For more information:

Key words: training, IGO, Middle East, Red Cross Red Crescent, practice


A leader in gender-sensitive approaches to development and relief, Oxfam continues to take the lead toward gender mainstreaming in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Among their many useful resources, see:

The well-known Oxfam Handbook of Development and Relief, Vol 1-3 with chapters and subsections on gender;

Development and Gender journal with special issues related to women, the environment, emergencies, humanitarian work, and climate change;

Links, a gender and development newsletter which often offers practical field guidance about gendering relief and development work;

A Little Gender Handbook for Emergencies (Or Just Plain Common Sense)

Pacific Islands Energy and Policy Plan

South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) Pacific Island countries project.

Policies for energy development specify developing and strengthening the energy sector through gender mainstreaming and public awareness. Energy is recognized as an area of vulnerability, especially in disaster situations, and policies have been designed to specifically include women in the energy sector.

Key words: Pacific Island countries, Policy, Gender Mainstreaming, Vulnerability, Public Education

People in Need

This Czech NGO partnered with German Agro Action to finance the development of five centres for girls and women hit by the Bam earthquake in Iran, with psychosocial support, workshops, computer courses and other resoruces for young girls and women aged 12-18. The NGO also works with and for women in Afghanistan.

Key words: NGO, Cqech Republic, Iran, earthquake, recovery, community, capacity building

Putting Safety In People's Hands: Promoting Safer Building Practices

Swayam Shikshan Prayog. Workshop report by Upmanyu Patil and Prema Gopalan, 2002. 7 pp. Source: Proceedings - Regional Workshop on Best Practices in Disaster Mitigation: Lessons learned from the Asian Urban Disaster Mitigation Programme and other Initiatives, 24 –26th September, 2002, Bali, Indonesia, Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre and USAID. Available from: ADPC, P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand, Tel: +66 2 524 5354, Fax: + 66 2 524 5360, Email:,

Further discussion of SSP’s work with women in post-disaster reconstruction is provided by Prema Gopalan, 2001, 'Responding to earthquakes: people's participation in reconstruction and rehabilitation'. Paper prepared for the Expert Working Group meeting, Ankara, Turkey. Available through the UN Division for the Advancement of Women:  

This well-known grassroots movement for Indian women’s empowerment has been increasingly involved in disaster response and reconstruction issues.

Quoting the website: “SSP initiated a community-led disaster response project in Latur and Osmanabad following the earthquake in September 1993. Between 1994 and 1998, SSP was appointed consultant to the Maharashtra Government to promote community participation in rehabilitation under the World Bank-supported project. . .After the earthquake struck Gujarat in 2001, SSP along with the local women's federations shared insights and experiences from Maharashtra with affected communities in Gujarat with lesser level of government collaboration. SSP's resource pool for transferring lessons consists of community and technical teams and 300 leaders of federations who have worked actively for post-earthquake rehabilitation in Maharashtra . In many villages, especially in the underdeveloped Kutch region, post-earthquake activities effectively became entry-points for SSP to set up and nurture SHGs that later played a key role in village development and governance initiatives. . . In the aftermath of South Asia Tsunami (Dec 2004), SSP outreach extended to a total of twenty-five tsunami affected villages in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts of Tamil Nadu. SSP has facilitated grassroots women to transfer innovations to strengthen community response for preparedness by undertaking risk reduction measures that address vulnerabilities - disaster safe shelter, sustainable and alternate livelihoods, access to health, water and sanitation, to address psychosocial issues, strengthen social networks to respond and intervene with priorities in mainstream rehabilitation programmes.”

SSP organizes events uniting women symbolically and politically for safer communities, for example:

December 2001: Sakhi Melava (“Women’s Gathering”). This meeting brought together more than 200 women survivors of the Gujarat earthquake with women from 25 villages affected by the 1993 Latur quake. Local women were not simply participants but facilitators and teachers who also learned about new quake-resistant building techniques and developed their confidence as leaders and speakers.

September 2001: Candle lighting ceremony uniting 4588 women from hundreds of quake-struck villages in remembrance of the Latur quake. Participants called for increased participation of women in meaningful ways in governmental disaster management programs and for linking sustainable community development, gender equality and disaster risk reduction.

Many publications are available through SSP describing their disaster reduction initiatiatives, for example:

Lessons From the Epicentre: Mainstreaming Women’s Initiatives in Disaster and Development, a document outlining the experiences learned by disaster-affected women and the development of the GROOTS peer learning model.

Women at the Epicentre of Transformation, a document describing the collaboration of SSP (India) and the Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work (Turkey) in cooperation with the NGO GROOTS (Grassroots Organizations Operating Together in Sisterhood).

Margin to Mainstream: Rebuilding Communities in Gujarat, a document describing woman-to-woman peer exchanges between women affected by earthquakes in India and Turkey and the efforts of SSP to train local women as community researchers, activists, environmental educators and home builders.

Status of Life in Temporary Shelters, Tamil Nadu , India - Study July 13-17, 2005. The study on the status of life in temporary shelters in Tamil Nadu covered a total of 2048 temporary shelter units in 11 villages in Nagapattinam and Sirgali talukas. The study found that the major problem faced by the communities in temporary shelters was of severe heat in summer and leaking of the structures in the rains. As far the shelter sites are considered, the impact of wrong site selections and negligence to undertake correct ive measures were seen as a major short coming.

The Lull After the Storm
, Community assessment by women leaders February 2005. Women leaders who participated in post- earthquake development work in Latur and Gujarat visited Tsunami-affected Tamil Nadu region and prepared an assessment report. Facilitated by SSP and Covenant Centre for Development (CCD), the report covered reconstruction activities in Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts.

Our Life, Our Film
(25 minutes) 2004. Directed by eight grassroots women belonging to quake-ravaged villages of Kutch in Gujarat , this visual narrative walks the road with women and children in their struggle to rebuild their lives. The film received rave reviews in Indian media. To get a copy of the film, please write to us at:

Women Builders 2003, 'Breaking barriers in earthquake torn villages' is an account of women rebuilding habitats and restoring livelihoods after disasters. It tells how women's groups take the lead when there is space to take part in rehabilitation and development, with help from the government, donors and NGOs. To get a copy, please write to us at:

Key words: India, earthquake, housing, womenís self help groups, community management, guidelines


Sustainable, Environmental and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS) is a Delhi-based non-profit and collective endeavor of young professionals drawn from development related fields. It originated as an informal group of like minded persons, getting together for the purpose of creative research projects of academic interest. The group was later formalized in early 1994 and has been active in the field ever since. It is involved in research activities in Community Development, Disaster Management, Environmental Planning, Transport Planning, and Urban and Regional Planning. Activities are carried out on behalf of government, semi - government and international development agencies. Independent programs on vital issues are also taken up. "

SEEDS has been a consistent supporter of the need for gender equality in disaster risk reduction. Their publication of this report is one example.

Women’s Participation in Disaster Relief and Recovery (summarized by a reviewer for ELDIS) effectively “ explores the gender-differentiated effects of natural disasters. It aims to fill a gap in understanding issues such as women's losses relative to men's, how women's work time and conditions change, both in terms of care-giving and income-generating work, or how disaster-related aid and entitlement programmes include or marginalise affected women. Similarly, there is a lack of information on how affected low-income women can participate in post disaster relief and recovery and secure decent housing, livelihoods, and the restoration of basic services for themselves and for their families. The study also examines the roles that NGOs and government policy and procedures play in facilitating (or impeding) women's involvement. The paper uses detailed case studies from three earthquake-stricken areas in India and Turkey to highlight how postdisaster situations can be opportunities to empower women at the grassroots level, build more resilient communities, and initiate long-term social change and development. They show how low-income women who have lost everything can form groups and become active participants in the relief and recovery process, such as being involved in housing, creating businesses, mobilising funds, and providing crucial community services. They also illustrate how NGOs can focus on facilitating and partnering to leverage resources and thereby stimulate affected women's groups to scale up and sustain their energy and organisation over the cycle of relief to reconstruction.” The work profiles the experience of many of the organizational members of the international coalition of women’s groups GROOTS and their Disaster Watch project.

Key words: NGO, research, gender analysis, grassroots, community, practice

The Jeevika Project: Building Institutional Capacity for Disaster Preparedness of Women , Disaster Mitigation Institute

This was a Livelihood Security Project for Earthquake Affected Households in Gujarat initiated by the Gujarat-based Self-Employed Women’s Association. It built on existing organizational partnerships and village-based networks to promote gender and development goals and objectives holistically through disaster recovery, with attention to livelihood resilience, social development, capacity building, and microfinance. In addition the disaster preparedness component focused on: earthquake resistant housing, drinking water, drought proofing through integrated land and water management, and capacity building training for disaster resilience.

The partnership work of the project is described in this report:

Key words: India, mitigation, preparedness, capacity grassroots, women's groups, NGO

The Livelihood Options for Disaster Risk Reduction (LODRR)

South Asia regional project funded by CHAD-DFID, September 1999 to June 2003. Coordinated by Practical Action (Formerly ITDG-South Asia) and implemented in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka through partners (Disaster Mitigation Institute, Ahmedabad, India; Practical Action (Formerly ITDG-Nepal); Practical Action(Formerly ITDG-Bangladesh); Journalists resource Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan and also the Asian Disaster Preparedness centre, Pathumthani, Thailand.

Project documents available from Practical Action (Formerly ITDG-South Asia), 5 Lionel Edirisinghe Mawatha, Kirulapone, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka, Tel: +94 11 2829412, Fax: +94 11 2856188, E-mail:

Project Proposal 37pp, Project Brief, 6pp, and Project Completion Report 43pp.

The above documents outline the aims, objectives, activities and outcomes of the LODRR South Asia project. The project was formulated against the backdrop of escalating disaster and vulnerability in South Asia. It builds on the findings of work on “Disasters and Vulnerability in South Asia, South Asia Initiative on Disaster management’, implemented by Practical Action (Formerly ITDG-South Asia) through the Duryog Nivaran network (see full reference). The project adopted a sustainable livelihoods conceptual framework and aimed to explore the impact of disasters on livelihoods and assess needs and opportunities, develop concepts and understanding on risk and vulnerability, identify and demonstrate livelihood options to enhance disaster risk management capabilities of communities, advocate and influence decision-makers and planners, and build national capabilities for implementing alternative risk reduction programmes. Gender issues were incorporated in all stages and project activities (research, pilot demonstrations, advocacy and influencing). The Project Proposal sets out the ‘justification for new work on addressing gender issues in disasters’ as lack of conceptual analysis on the subject, lack of knowledge and information on ground level practical aspects of addressing gender issues in disaster mitigation and management, and the absence of any tools and guidelines for analysis and practical action. The project proposed the following I) Research activities on gender in disasters to include in-depth research and case studies; exploring concepts in analysing gender concerns in disaster situations; differential impact of disasters on the age cycle of women (girls, young girls, mothers, older women); differential impact of disasters on different occupational groups; gender audit in disaster mitigation and relief planning operations in order to make assessments of gender awareness in mitigation and relief planning and make recommendations on how to Improve gender sensitivity - the expected outcome being a planning tool. II) A regional workshop to discuss and present findings of the research, targeted at planners and practitioners. III) Development of guidelines for gender sensitive disaster mitigation based on research, case studies, workshop output. The project outputs (see individual references) include:

LODRR Case Studies: “Drought in Tharparkar”, 2000; “Gender Issues in Livelihood and Flood Disaster: Case Studies of Karra and Kort Murad Villages, Jhang District, Punjab”, 2001; “A Study of Gender Aspects of Communities Living with Drought and Landslides in Sri Lanka”, 2001; “Hameeda’s Story – From Flood Risk to Flood Preparedness”

Community Based Disaster Management: A Guide for Trainers. A specific framework for gender disaggregated risk and livelihood analysis that has been incorporated into CBDM training programme modules.

The “Disaster Communication: A Resource Kit for Media” which highlights how women are usually portrayed as helpless victims and used evidence from research and pilot demonstrations to show women’s capacities in disaster situations.

A guide book “Gender Dimensions in Disaster Management: A Guide for South Asia”, to introduce the subject of gender issues in disasters and to provide practical guidelines for addressing issues of gender in planning and implementing disaster management for policy makers and practitioners.

Key words: South Asia, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, regional project, disaster mitigation, livelihoods, vulnerability analysis, gender analysis, case studies, research, gender guidelines

The Mother Child Education Foundation (ACEV): Projects

The Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV), was founded in 1993 through the initiative of founding President Aysen Özyegin, and in light of the scientific research of Prof. Dr. Çigdem Kagtçibasi and Prof. Dr. Sevda Bekman.

Between 1982-1986, Prof. Dr. Sevda Bekman, Prof. Dr. Çigdem Kagitçibasi and Prof. Dr. Diane Sunar conducted a research project in order to assess the situation of early childhood education in Turkey. After uncovering a vast and critical need in this area, they set out to develop an alternative, home-based preschool education program entitled the Mother Child Education Program and started its pilot implementations soon after. After evaluations of the program, it was discovered that both mothers and children were benefiting significantly. As a result, it was decided that this program should be implemented more widely. In 1993, AÇEV was founded in order to increase the implementation of this program and to make a significant contribution to the area of ECD in Turkey.

AÇEV’s mission is to make a lasting contribution to society and to improve the quality of individual’s lives through education. In its two main areas of expertise, early childhood and adult education, AÇEV develops and implements various training programs and projects both within Turkey and abroad.
AÇEV is guided by three fundamental beliefs:

  • equal opportunity in education for all,
  • learning is a lifelong process that must begin in early childhood
  • the child as well as his/her immediate caregivers must be educated and supported.

Training Programs / Post Earthquake Activities
After the devastating Marmara earthquake which took place on August 17th 1999, AÇEV was actively involved in the post-earthquake relief efforts in the area.

Izmit Rehabilitation Center (IRC)
AÇEV’s largest contribution to the post-earthquake relief efforts was through the establishment of a rehabilitation center in the region. The aim of this center which is realized with the contributions of native and foreign institutions (such as Project Hope) is to treat physical, psychological and social trauma after earthquake. At the same time, IRC, for the past 2 years served as training center where locals could attend AÇEV’s Mother Child Education Program, Father Support Program and Functional Adult Literacy Program.
The Municipality of Izmit and Kocaeli University are local partners of IRC. The building which was constructed by Metro AG was built on land donated by the Municipality.
In IRC there is a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation. It is a health center which integrates physical, psychological and social rehabilitation units. Psychiatrists, physiotherapists, psychologists and prosthesis and orthesis technicians are continually working as a team to provide patients with a comprehensive treatment approach.
Since it opened, more than 1000 people have received care at from the psychology and psychiatry unit, 3400 people have received care from the rehabilitation unit and 600 people have been given care through the prosthesis and or thesis unit.

Teacher Training
After such a devastating earthquake which resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and homes, there arose an urgent need for psychological intervention. Especially children in the region were in need of support to recover from the psychological trauma. As a result, a ‘Psychological Support Program for Students’ was developed by AÇEV. Through this program, 1000 teachers were trained in order to help children living in this area to cope with the aftermath of this event and to start functioning normally again.

Teacher Support Handbook/ Family Support Booklets
20.000 copies of a handbook entitled “Post-Disaster Psychological Support Program for Students” was published by AÇEV and distributed to teachers via the ministry. Additionally, 10.000 booklets featuring information about the psychological effects of earthquakes on children and its solutions were published by AÇEV.

“We are getting ready for the earthquake by Baris” Book
In September 2000, with the contribution of Lale Manço, wife of the legendary Turkish artist Baris Manço, and Prof. Dr. Ahmet Mete Isikara, a leading seismologist, a book named “We are getting ready for the earthquake with Baris” was prepared and published by AÇEV. This book was distributed to primary school students for free.

Key words: Turkey, research, education, children, capacity, earthquake, health, mitigation


Antalya Woman Assembly: Women And Work Group

One of the first activities of Women and Work Group’s is to visit victim women of earthquake and to answer their needs. They also arranged handy craft courses for those women. Learn more through their website:

Key words: Turkey, women's group, relief

BRAC in Afghanistan

The Bangladeshi NGO BRAC [Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee] has implemented innovative work in Afghanistan addressing gender relations and women’s empowerment in the areas of governance, development, and natural disasters. The annual and audit reports for 2003 and 2002 are found on BRAC’s website. These provide detailed descriptions of their programs in Afghanistan and how they have integrated gender, disaster management, and political and economic empowerment in a challenging environment. BRAC also publishes an informative newsletter about their work worldwide that is available on their website.

To access these resources, visit the BRAC website:




Key words: Afghanistan, drought, livelihoods, employment, training

Chemonics Quick Impact Project on the Shomali Plain, Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Shomali Plain has experienced 20 years of war, food security crises, and a severe water shortage, and most recently, a five-year drought. The AQIPS program responded with infrastructure improvements, employment and job training for women and men, and programs to build the capacity of local NGOs, in particular women’s NGOs. According to the final report, the 17-month project, completed in November 2003, brought ‘tangible relief, sustainable change, and hope to this agricultural region and its people’. The final report is a portfolio of stand-alone fact sheets. The fact sheets offer multiple messages, lessons learned, good practices, and guidelines, including those related to gender, for a variety of audiences. The project was an initiative of Chemonics International, a global consulting firm promoting economic growth and higher living standards in developing countries.

Key words: Afghanistan, employment, livelihoods, training, infrastructure, NGO, womenís group

Community Conversations Help Healing and Recovery

A project undertaken in tsunami-impacted communities in Malaysia by UNICEF with UNFPA and local NGOs. Facilitators select affected women for participation in informal dialague building to more formal conversations with the broader community to highlight gender and related issues and possible solutions. A model for women helping women: “In one village, we found that it was the first time that the women had gathered to talk about their tsunami experiences. It is, in a way, a form of group therapy.”

Key words: IGO, recovery, grassroots women, narrative, training

CRID [Regional Disaster Information Center]

With support from PAHO, ISDR and other organizations, CRID maintains an excellent resource library which is user-friendly and includes gender as a dedicated search term. It is an outstanding source of bilingual (Spanish-English) documents and actively solicits more gender-focused contributions for the CRID library.

Key words: Public education, training, research, all hazards, Latin America

Disaster Management, Poverty and Gender in the Caribbean

Concept paper under development by the Caribbean Sub-regional Resource Facility [SURF] in support of the work of the Barbados Country Office. The paper will examine how poverty and gender affect vulnerability to disasters, and influence the outcomes and the effectiveness of recovery efforts in small islands of the Caribbean.

The UNDP began with an extensive information gathering phase in which submissions were solicited and received from UNDP offices around the world on good programmes, projects or other initiatives taking account of both poverty and gender in all phases of disaster management, and guidelines to aid in implementation. Information was solicited particularly about these issues in the context of small island economies. The summary of responses from UNDP staff around the world can be obtained by contacting Daniela Jodhan of the UNDP Gender Network ( or Misaki Watanabe of the UNDP’s Crisis Prevention and Recovery Program ( The original query was initiated by Nadine Bushell of SURF (

Key words: Barbados, development, gender analysis, vulnerability, IGO

Gender and Natural Disasters: A Study of Gender Components in UNDP's Disaster Management Programmes and Projects in South Asia

Anisa Tabassum Draboo, August 2004, 36pp. Source: UNDP India. Available at: UNDP India, Office of the Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), UNDP New Delhi, India

A 1997 review of gender mainstreaming in 20 UNDP country offices by the Gender in Development programme unit indicated gender mainstreaming was neither uniform nor smooth and identified a number of weaknesses and gaps. This more recent study reviews the UNDP’s current disaster management related practices in South Asia once again from a gender perspective. The aims of the study are to formulate a gender framework for analysis of gender dimensions within UNDP’s disaster management activities at different levels; to capture how gender concerns are integrated within disaster management projects/programmes of UNDP Country Offices in South Asia; to identify the gap between UNDP’s programme formulation and implementation from gender perspective; to analyze the relevance and implications of these gender components for disaster reduction; and to recommend means and mechanisms for making gender interventions gender sensitive through the operations of UNDP country offices. The study reviews programmes and projects of UNDP country offices of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The study identifies gaps and also points at certain overlooked gender issues, which need to be made a part of disaster management in future. The report comprises of country office case studies, a checklist for incorporating gender sensitive issues at different project/programme levels (formulation, implementation and monitoring) and specific recommendations. Although analysis and recommendations are focused on UNDP programmes and projects, the paper has wider relevance on gender mainstreaming.

Key words: South Asia, IGO, policy, gender mainstreaming, gender analysis, research, practice guide

Gender and Risk Management in South Mexico

The LMR project is working in almost one hundred rural villages, mostly in the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico), integrated 140 emergency plans at municipal, village and community based organisation's levels, increased 72 projects: resilience vis a vis disasters, elaborated three policy proposals in main investment programmes for the south or México and trained 24 local experts as well as 260 risk management promoters.

The LMR project has from the starting point both gender and intercultural focus. Some of the gender sensible good practices are:

  1. LMR project operates at micro regional level through local teams, integrated both with local men and women. During their initial working stage, they follow the project’s “risk management diploma”, including gender theory and methods. 40% of micro regional experts are women.

  2. All the project methodology, from the risk vulnerability analysis to the group and community emergency plans, were built and continuously updated already with a gender equity approach. UNDP invested up to 10% of total project budget to specific gender oriented tasks (advisory, training, educational materials).

  3. In first stages, the risk prevention actions start with group and/or community appraisals. Due to local unequal conditions, problems’ and solutions’ analysis are done separately by men and women (and some other internal sectors, such as elders and infants). This ensures priorities from women perspectives are picked up by the future emergency plans. Such practice has been key to involve women in latter stages, such as their integration in local risk management structures.

  4. Project prioritises strengthening local institutions, but inserts some modifications, such as integrating women in the existing (or newly formed) village emergency committee and its’ brigades. Despite unequal gender conditions in the region, 80% of local emergency committees in Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo states have women occupying decision making positions.

  5. The regional early warning systems have been modified following women’s interests, including oral warning messages in indigenous languages, promotion of preparedness measures involving women’s common tasks (such as pig and chicken rearing, horticulture, aromatic and medical plants management, traditional embroidery and hamacs’ sewing. This proved to be especially useful during the warning protocols applied during EMILY hurricane in 2005.

  6. During the damage assessment period, the information collection instruments take into account questions addressed to women’ needs (as individuals, and both considering their productive and reproductive roles).

  7. In the following stage of supply management, the personal and family “help kits” were designed including clothes, sanitary goods and other specifically needed by women. Such proved to be better suited to local needs during the recent WILMA hurricane stroke.

  8. Most of the disaster safe shelters have proved to be better managed by women leaderships, due to their efficient and transparent styles to organise current food preparation, cleansing and other internal tasks, as well as their capacity solve internal conflicts without violence. This was key during the hurricane IVAN evacuation procedures in 2004.

  9. After a disaster occurs, the project teams at every micro region advice local authorities, village groups and NGO to develop project proposals, seeking that at least half of them are addressed to women. After WILMA stroke in 2005, some of those projects include reconstruction of animal rearing units, agro-industry workshops, improvement of kitchens, specialised advice on up-scaling and strengthening their existing economic enterprises (marketing, accounting), as well as empowerment for political participation.

Key words: Research, community, capacity building, development, vulnerability analysis, preparedness, emergency relief, practice, Mexico

Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) on Gender in Humanitarian Action

This was formerly the ASC Task Force on Gender. Among the many publications produced by the Task Force with input from a wide range of UN organizations are the following:

Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings [2005]

Gender and Humanitarian Assistance Resource Kit, 1999 (included many documents and guidelines referenced in the Checklist section of the Sourcebook)

Key Gender Issues in the South Asia Earthquake Response

A Handbook On Gender Mainstreaming In Humanitarian Action

Key words: IGO, practice guide, gender violence, policy

International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction [IDNDR]

The IDNDR spearheaded the UN’s growing attention to the gender dimensions of disasters and particularly to the ways women and children can and do contribute to risk reduction at the local level. Among others, see:

Summaries and Analysis: Report on 1995 Day for IDNDR: Women and Children: Key to Prevention. Available from the Department of Humanitarian Affairs, 1996.

Stop Disasters —Women and Children: Keys to Prevention. A widely cited compilation of short statements from the field (see Gender and Disaster section and foundational papers).

IDNDR director Sávano.Briceño speaks out on gender issues, for example in these venues:

Gender mainstreaming in disaster reduction. 2001.Statement for the UN Commission for the Status of Women [46th session) panel discussion on Environmental Management and Mitigation of Natural Disasters: a Gender Perspective. Available through DAW:

Gender equality and disaster risk reduction. 2004. Statement to the UN Commission on the Status of Women for International Women’s Day.

The IDNDR helped develop and promote the 2001 UN DAW Expert Working Group meeting on gender and disaster risk reduction as well as the 2004 Honolulu workshop on the topic.

In addition to previously cited publications on the gender page, see Natalie Domeisen, IDNDR Promotion Officer, 1997: The Role of Women in Protecting Communities from Disasters

Key words: Practice, IGO, gender analysis, cross hazard, children

International Labour Organisation

The ILO is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. It is the only 'tripartite' United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting Decent Work for all. This unique arrangement gives the ILO an edge in incorporating 'real world' knowledge about employment and work.

Key words: IGO, livelihood, complex emergency, cross hazard, gender analysis, practice, policy, research

International Strategy for Disaster Reduction [ISDR]

UNISDR is the secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. It was created in December 1999 and is part of the UN Secretariat with the purpose of ensuring the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction

Key words: IGO, cross hazard, conference, gender analysis, practice, policy, emergency management

Iranian Red Crescent Society

The Iranian Red Crescent Society is engaged in a variety of activities in order to increase women’s participation in community decision-making. In addition to the provision of health care, social services, and health education to women, they also train women to assume roles in disaster preparedness and disaster response. They have carried out these activities in the provinces of: East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Ilam, Boushehr, Tehran, Chaharmahal-e-Bakhtiyari, Zanjan, Sistan Balouchestan, Qom, Kurdestan, Markazi, Hamedan, and Yazd.

For more information, visit their website at:

Key words: Iran, training, health, relief, preparedness, community

ISDR Africa and UN Habitat: Gender and Disaster in Africa

An inter-agency colloboration made this action-oriented policy review at the national emergency managment level possible. Based on empirical research in Kenya supported by Soroptimists International and the Kenyan Red Cross.

Key words: IGO, Africa, Kenya, policy, vulnerability, cross hazard, research, emergency management

Izmit City Assembly

City Assembly, that is composed of the representatives of the local, the central administration and the NGO 's, aims to co-ordinate the efforts of institutions providing public services and NGO 's. It also aims to facilitate participation of citizens in all the levels of city administration.

Women Platform of City Assembly:
Women Platform formed within the City Assembly is planning to work on 10 basic problematical fields such as under education, violence against women, health, maltreatment, disregard of women's in policy-making, non-participation of women in social life, oppression of women in the name of chastity, unemployment, lack of political identity, low rates of formal education among women.

One year after the earthquake, “Earthquake and Women" workshop was organized with the collaboration of KA.DER and Association for Supporting Contemporary Living. The aim of this workshop was to make the problems experienced by women after the earthquake visible and seek for the solutions.

Key words: Turkey, policy, women's group, recovery, earthquake

Izmit Metropolitan Municipality

With collaboration of national and international NGOs, lzmit Metropolitan Municipality is building physiotherapy and psychotherapy centers which give service to women and children. These centers are planned to provide free services to the victims of earthquake from lzmit and its periphery.

Key words: Turkey, earthquake, children, health, recovery

Kocaeli Public Education Centre And Art School

Aim: To provide psychological help according to the needs of the victims after the earthquake and to help them to join the courses held in the Public Education Centre.

Projects in Izmit:

Apart from the psychological help service for mothers and children, following projects are being held.


  • Reading and writing, tailoring and sewing, English, computer courses.
  • Education Programs: Different education programs are conducted with the coordination of the Ministry of National Education and Mother and Child Health Care Foundation (MCHCF). The respondents, who are “training of trainers” of MCHCF. Thereafter these respondents have been working as trainers in the projects of MCHCF. The following trainings are given to the victim of the earthquakes in this scope:
    • Educator Mother (Mother and Child Education)
    • Mother Educator Project
    • Father Educator Project

Key words: Turkey, recovery, health, community, children

Ley de Gestión Integral de Riesgos Socionaturales y Tecnológicos (Law on the Comprehensive Management of Socio-Natural and Technological Risks)

Published at the Gaceta Oficial de la Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela. 9 January 2009.



Key words: law, technological risks, Venezuela

Masai Women in Drought-Busting Water Project

Nairobi. 27 September 2002. This is a two-year project in Kenya being implemented by UNEP in response to recommendations made in a UNEP and Government of Kenya report "Devastating Drought in Kenya: Environmental Impacts and Responses". The project engages Masai women in a pioneering anti-drought initiative that involves rainwater harvesting. For More Information: Eric Falt, Spokesperson/Director of UNEP's Division of Communications and Public Information, on Tel: 254 2 623292, Mobile: 0733 682656
E-Mail: or Angele Luh, UNEP Regional Information Officer for Africa, on Tel: 254 2 624294, E-Mail:

Available online:

Key words: Kenya, drought, IGO, grassroots, gender analysis

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort. 

OCHA's mission is to:

  • Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies.
  • Advocate the rights of people in need.
  • Promote preparedness and prevention.
  • Facilitate sustainable solutions.
OCHA has a strong and growing interest in gender-sensitive relief and takes a lead role on the UN’s Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Force on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance.

Key words: IGO, emergency response, cross hazard, capacity building, mainstreaming

Pan-American Health Organization

The Gender and Natural Disasters fact sheet produced by PAHO is widely cited and used. Available through GDN in Spanish and English:

The Virtual Disaster Library (VDL) is an initiative of PAHO´s Disaster Preparedness Program and provides electronic documents on health issues in disasters through CRID (Regional Disaster Information Center), among them many documents about gender and disaster.

Key words: Cross hazard, IGO, practice

Prospects for Women in Meteorology: Experiences in Africa and in Nigeria in Particular

The text from a speech given by Dr. Kema Chikwe, Minister of Aviation, Nigeria. at the Second World Meterology Organization (WMO) Conference that establishes the relationship between promoting the professional development of women in a highly technical field related to climate forecasting and risk reduction programs for women at the grassroots.

Available through WMO:

Key words: Professional women, climate forecasting, risk reduction

Risk management with a gender perspective: concepts and methodologies

UNDP, Mexico. This document analyzes gender relations in the context of risk management, both issues understood as development problems. It offers useful concepts and methodologies to promote risk management with gender equity in policies, programs and projects planning, promoted by Federal and State Governments and by UNDP Mexico.
Contact: or Itzá Castañeda []

Key words: IGO, Mexico, gender analysis, emergency management, vulnerability assessment

Saraybahce Public House: Projects

Projects in Izmit:
  • After August 17; such services as establishing tent-cities, providing health order; hygiene and food are tried to be given to the victims of the earthquake. Saraybahce Public House is continuing its activities in the region with new projects.
  • New Living House Project: The target of this project, which is held in cooperation with the Municipality of Bremen, is to establish a society centre from which the citizens can benefit and which can be governed by themselves. In the scope of the project, it is planned to establish a "Women Room", by which women can earn their own life and gain economic independence.

Key words: Turkey, NGO, earthquake, recovery

Statement by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women on the 2004 Tsunami

1 page. Adopted by CEDAW at its 32nd session, January 28 2005. Strong call for the protection of the “safety and dignity of survivors” with special attention to prevention of gender-based violence. Also calls for a UN reolution on gender equality in disaster response and humanitarian assistance.

Key words: IGO, gender violence, gender analysis, practice, human rights

Survey on Households Affected by the Tsunami with special Focus on Women and Children

This example of action research funded by UNIFEM is described on the website of the Sri Lankan Centre for Women’s Research, CENWOR. The Centre is coordinating the collection of information in seven of the eight tsunami-affected districts under a project funded by UNIFEM. Despite the large number of surveys and needs assessments that have been undertaken there is a lack of gender disaggregated data and information. This survey is being undertaken to fill this gap in the availability of information relating to women and children. The Agromart Foundation (Galle district), CENWOR (Hambantota district), Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum (Ampara district), Sarvodaya (Matara district), Suriya Development Foundation (Batticaloa district), Women and Media Collective (Trincomalee district), and Women’s Development Foundation (Jaffna district) are engaged in data collection and analysis.

Key words: Research, IGO, children, tsunami, Sri Lanka, gender analysis

The City Directorate Of Social Services And Child Care (ASSCC)

Aim: To give psychological and social consultation service alter the earthquake

Projects in Izmit:

In the 24 society centers which are bound to this association, child care and youth centers, laundry, tailoring and sewing studios are established.

Reading and Writing Courses:
At the end of these courses, which continue for 3 months, certificates of Public Education Center are given to the respondents.

Tailoring and Sewing Courses:
Certificates were given to the women who have joined these courses by Public

Education Centre. And to help them for gaining income, agreements are made with Colgate and women made bags for this firm

Key words: Turkey, capacity building, earthquake, psychosocial, recovery, education

Tshwane Honours Women

One page newsletter account of this 2005 event. The Tshwane Disaster Management Centre of Pretoria, South Africa hosted a tea specifically for women at the invitation of Michelle Fouríe, Acting Director of Pretoria’s Emergency Management Services Department. The event was dedicated by Fouríe to women’s sacrifices in disasters with the intention of more fully involving them in community based preparedness.

Key words: GO, practice, South Africa, emergency management, preparedness

Tsunami survivors start over: women used UNDP "cash for work" earnings for businesses

A story from Banda Aceh, Indonesia of how the right amount of cash in the right person’s hand can make a real difference in the early days after a major disaster. In this case the project profiled was one conducted by UNDP.

Key words: tsunami, livelihood, recovery, IGO, Indonesia

UN Division for the Advancement of Women UN DAW


In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.


In doing so, UN Member States took an historic step in accelerating the Organization’s goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It will merge and build on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system which focus exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:

  • Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
  • International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
  • Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
  • United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

The main roles of UN Women are:

  • To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms
  • To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
  • To hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.

In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

In doing so, UN Member States took an historic step in accelerating the Organization’s goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It will merge and build on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system which focus exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:

  • Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
  • International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
  • Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
  • United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)



In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.


In doing so, UN Member States took an historic step in accelerating the Organization’s goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It will merge and build on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system which focus exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:

  • Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
  • International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
  • Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
  • United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)



In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.


In doing so, UN Member States took an historic step in accelerating the Organization’s goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It will merge and build on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system which focus exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:

  • Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
  • International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
  • Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
  • United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

The main roles of UN Women are:

  • To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms
  • To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
  • To hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.


Key words: IGO, conference, cross hazard, policy

UN Family Planning Agency

Eight short features profile the UN Family Planning Agency’s areas of work six months after the Indian Ocean tsunami. Their work is consistently gender-focused and emphasizes early and consistent attention in the recovery process to the health needs of girls and women and reproductive health concerns.

  • Reproductive health for the displaced
  • Restoring basic services
  • Family planning
  • Hygiene kits
  • Psychosocial counselling
  • Skills training for women
  • Census
  • "We don't know what to do"

These short profiles let women speak for themselves, identify key issues, and describe planned responses on these and related topics.

Available through UNFPA:

Key words: IGO, tsunami, health, children, research

UN Food and Agriculture Organization

With its strong gender and development focus, the FAO has shown leadership in the gendering of humanitarian relief work in complex emergencies and disasters.

Examples include:

 Field level handbook of socio-economic and gender analysis (SEAGA) Programme. Available through FAO:

Gender perspectives on the conventions on biodiversity, climate change and desertification. Gender and Development Service. UN
FAO, Gender and Population Division:

Emergency and rehabilitation programmes: does gender matter? 6 pp summary of FAO activities in this area with valuable profiles, links, project descriptions, and recommendations. Available through FAO:

Passport to mainstreaming a gender perspective in emergency programmes: key analytic questions for designing gender-sensitive humanitarian operations. Available through FAO:

Guidelines on socio-economic and gender analysis in emergency and rehabilitation programmes. Available through FAO:


Key words: IGO, livelihood, food security, cross hazard, capacity building, practice, policy


UNICEF’s role in humanitarian situations includes special attention to sexual exploitation and abuse of girls:

For example, see the UNICEF report on Sexual and Gender Based Violence Against Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Guidelines for Prevention and Response.

Key words: IGO, gender violence, girls, practice


In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. In doing so, UN Member States took an historic step in accelerating the Organization’s goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact.

UNIFEM’s proactive gender approach is illustrated in the case of the Indian Ocean tsunami, for example in this strong statement by Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer: Women Must be at the Heart of Rebuilding Shattered Communities

See also the attention accorded gender approaches to tsunami relief and recovery in the four papers posted on the UNIFEM website (UNifem Affairs, July 2005)

Mainstreaming Gender in Unstable Environments is an early contribution from UNIFEM to gender mainstreaming in disaster response and recovery

Key words: IGO, gender analysis, practice, policy

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life

Many projects exemplify the strong gender equality programs undertaken by UNDP to help prevent and respond to natural disasters.

Two examples from Mexico are:

  • Gender and Natural Disasters: A Study of Gender Components in UNDP’s Disaster Management Programmes and Projects in South Asia (cited earlier)
  • The Construction of Risk from A Gender Perspective: Concepts and Methodologies (cited earlier)

 From South Asia:

  • Gender and Natural Disasters: A Study of Gender Components in UNDP’s Disaster Management Programmes and Projects in South Asia (cited earlier)

Key words: IGO, practice, cross hazard, research

Web Mapping (GIS) project

Access through the Civil Coordinator for Emergency and Reconstruction (Nicaragua) in Spanish and English.

This innovative and informative project initiated by the Civil Coordinator for Emergency and Reconstruction in Nicaragua in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch works from the premise that maps are capable of disseminating a lot of information very quickly and easily. Accordingly an interactive Web-based Geographical Information Systems (GIS) has been developed and used by the Civil Coordinator to disseminate information from the various research and Social Audit projects they have undertaken. The web based maps can be interrogated to find information by region or theme, including damage and reconstruction post-hurricane Mitch, and wider issues such as perceptions of violence, security, corruption and poverty. The resource will be useful to all those interested in GIS and those seeking information about, the impact of disasters and about Nicaragua.

While the Civil Coordinator has a number of projects running on their web site of particular interest will be:

Hurricane Mitch Damage and Reconstruction Indicators by Municipality – based on data mapped from the Social Audit II project (1999) including gender-disaggregated data and information related to gender based violence.

Risk and Vulnerability to Natural Threats by Municipality - Estimations of communities vulnerable to flooding and other natural hazard risks.

Also available is information around poverty change and local development information, the perceptions of the poor on poverty in Nicragua, and basic information on NGO and Civil Society Organisations and Services by Municipality.

Key words: Reconstruction; violence; poverty; damages; Nicaragua; maps; GIS, research, hurricane Mitch

World Food Programme

The world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.

Women beneficiaries speak out. Anna Shotton for the World Food Program, Southern Sector OLS Programme, Nairobi. 21 pp. Reports on participatory research done with disaster-affected women about the projects and approach of the World Food Program. The document is useful both for the findings and for the approach that is modeled. Guides for participatory rural appraisal, institutional commitment statement and other materials are appended.

Key words: research, IGO, emergency relief, practice

World Health Organization

See the WHO dedicated gender page with links to academic resource and reports and links to related resources and agencies. In particular see the materials below:

Gender and Women’s Health: Women and Disaster

Gender and Women’s Health: Gender-based Violence in Disasters

Challenges to Reproductive Health in Emergencies


Key words: IGO, health, gender violence, reproduction, practice guide, cross hazard