the gender and disaster sourcebook

a resource of GDN

ICON: Good Practice: Gender And Risk Reduction  Projects Good Practice: Gender And Risk Reduction  Projects
> Women's Initiatives
> Organizational Section

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