Empowering women through participatory action research in community-based disaster risk reduction efforts

Ruszczyk, Hanna A., Upadhyay, Bijay Krishna, Kwong, Yim Ming (Connie), Khanal, Omkala, Bracken, Louise J., Pandit, Sushil and Bastola, Rajat (2020) Empowering women through participatory action research in community-based disaster risk reduction efforts. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 51. p. 101763. ISSN 2212-4209

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101763


The role of women in community-based disaster risk reduction efforts (CBDRR) is an area of limited academic research and continues to be a thorny issue for policy and practice. This research paper describes a comparative case study of participatory action research (PAR) in CBDRR conducted in one rural and one urban tole (neighbourhood) of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. PAR is not a method, rather it is a set of principles guiding research. The “Empowering Women through CBDRR” PAR was motivated by the National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal's (NSET) desire to learn how to effectively empower women in disaster risk reduction on a local level and to enhance resilience to everyday hazards and risks as well as earthquakes. The hazards identified by residents in rural Bhainse were the supply of drinking water and landslides while the supply of drinking water and earthquakes were the perceived hazards in urban Tajhya Tole. The small-scale mitigation activities chosen and implemented by the female led disaster risk management groups in partnership with the local authorities and NSET addressed everyday risks (fire) that were important to the community or were related to livelihood concerns (landslide and drainage pipe). While there is clear evidence of women's empowerment and capacity building, sustainability of initiatives is particularly dependent on the commitment of local authorities to incorporate the initiatives into local policies and actions. A gap remains between aspirations to practice empowerment of women and implementation. In many ways, ‘doing’ empowerment remains problematic in CBDRR.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Funding for the NSET participatory action research titled "Empowering Women Through CBDRR" was provided by Durham University's Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience. This research was motivated by NSET's desire to learn how to more effectively engage with women and to learn how to address a broader understanding of perceived risk rather than a focus on one hazard. Special thank you to Jordana Ramalho who shared her pre-publication work with us and to Ksenia Chmutina for her careful commentary on a draft of this paper.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Participatory action research, CBDRR, Empowerment, Gender, Nepal
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
L700 Human and Social Geography
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2021 09:54
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 10:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/47211

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