Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

DRR refers to the actions we take before a hazard or disaster occurs to reduce the impact of such an event. DRR involves disaster management, disaster mitigation and disaster preparedness, and is also part of sustainable development. DRR aims to avoid, lessen or transfer the adverse effects of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods, droughts and cyclones through activities and measures for prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

People with disability are often at disproportionate risk from disasters.

Disproportionate risk refers to when one person is at far greater risk than another person e.g., a child with disability is likely to be at greater risk than a child without disability. A child with a disability out of school will most likely be at even higher risk. The multiple barriers that people with disability face results in disproportionate risk.

DiDRR aims to enable people with disabilities and their representative organisations (OPDs) to become active agents of change in their communities. People with disabilities have important lived experience of adapting to and overcoming barriers, and have diverse perspectives and capacities to bring to community DRR activities and systems.

DiDRR is about more than disaster preparedness; it aims at building inclusive communities in which all people can prepare for, cope with, and adapt to the impact of hazards and disasters, so that development gains are protected and greater inclusion and equality is achieved.

CBM Global Inclusion Advisory Group (2022) Our Lessons: disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction report

The Asia-Pacific region has the highest rate of natural hazard events in the world. Communities across this region need to be prepared for disasters. Within this region one in six people have a disability. Although the Sendai Framework recognises that people with disabilities are crucial contributing stakeholders, people with disabilities across Asia and the Pacific continue to be systematically excluded from disaster preparedness activities, which places them at greater risk. A total of 506 people from across Asia and the Pacific completed an online survey to share their experiences of disability and disasters. An additional 80 people participated in virtual focus group discussions and key informant interviews in the South and East Asia regions. 274 people participated in face-to-face focus group discussions and key informant interviews in five Pacific Island Countries. Drawing upon these consultations, this report highlights the stories and experiences of people with disabiliti

Robinson (2017) Disaster Risk Reduction: Disability inclusion and disaster risk: principles and guidance for implementing the Sendai Framework

Disability inclusion and disaster risk is a set of guidelines designed to help DPOs engage in the implementation of the Sendai Framework. That is, to fulfil our responsibilities as right holders in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities the SFDRR. It builds on the recognition that without the full active participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of DRR our efforts cannot and will not become inclusive of and accessible to all. Simultaneously, the publication offers practical and tested advice to mainstream DRR actors and duty bearers, who want to make their work more disability-inclusive or who wish to support DPOs in building their capacity as strong DRR agents.

Pradytia Pertiwi, Gwynnyth Llewellyn & Michelle Villeneuve (2019) People with Disabilities As Key Actors In Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction

The contribution of people with disabilities to DRR has been overlooked. This resource describes the experience of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) in Indonesia leading disaster preparedness programmes funded by the Disability Rights Fund. It found that for successful DRR programs, collaboration between DPOs, communities, and disaster management organisations (DMOs) is essential to including people with disabilities. It highlights three essential elements which enabled the DPOs to effectively lead DRR activities (key to the disability-rights principle of ‘nothing about us, without us’): 1. Adequate funding of DPO-led programmes and activities to support DPO capacity building and resources; 2. Strengthening the confidence and competence of DPO members in leading processes (particularly regarding data-driven advocacy); and 3. Providing opportunities for DPOs to connect with external supports, i.e., DRR experts, as skilled mentors.

CBM (2019) Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (iDRR) application

i-DRR aims to contribute to improve the quality and effectiveness of DRR programmes. The i-DRR App is designed to work without an internet connection, and provides step-by-step practical guidance on inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction, specifically: • How to ensure persons with disabilities can access and participate to all DRR programmes and actions with dignity. • How persons with disabilities can actively participate in developing, implementing, and monitoring DRR programmes, improving their quality and effectiveness. This internet-free inclusive DRR toolkit covers all stages of DRR, organizing key information and tips into core sections (for easy navigation), including; preparedness, prevention and mitigation, risk transfer, early warning systems, risk assessment, Covid-19, and more.

DFAT 2021 Strengthening Disability Inclusion in Community-based Disaster Preparedness: Thematic Guidance Note

In 2020, an independent, comprehensive evaluation of disability inclusion within the DFAT-funded Disaster READY program was conducted. Based on the findings, practical guidance has been developed for disability inclusion within disaster preparedness activities. This suite of thematic guidance includes: - Influencing government-led disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction - Partnerships to enable disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and - Using evidence to inform and monitor disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction. DFAT’s Thematic Guidance Note identifies 7 priority areas to strengthen disability inclusion within Community-based Disaster Preparedness.

CBM and Pacific Disability Forum (2019) Disability Inclusion Key Messages for Post-Disaster Needs Assessments

This key messages document was prepared by the Pacific Disability Forum and CBM Australia, together with national disabled people's organisations across the Pacific. The document gives advice about how to ensure post disaster needs assessments (PDNAs) are inclusive and accessible. It is crucial to remember the full diversity of the affected population, and ensure that: the process of the PDNA is adapted to make it inclusive and accessible; the PDNA tools are adapted to ensure the needs data collected can be disaggregated by disability (as well as sex and age); and the PDNA tools are adapted to add specific disability-focused questions which will allow information on the specific needs of people with disabilities to be collected.

CBM (2018) The Gaibanda Model: 5 ways to ensure strong local approaches to disability inclusive disaster risk reduction

Based on CBM's experiences working with local government, communities and disabled people's organisations in Bangladesh, the "Gaibanda model" has been developed to ensure that people with disability are included as local responses to disaster risk reduction are being developed. The full report (52 pages) is summarised in a one pager which emphasises the key principles: supporting the development of Disabled People's Organisations, advocating with local government on disaster risk management; ensuring there is accessible infrastructure, liaising with schools, and supporting livelihood development.

Nossal-CBM (2017) Disability Inclusion in Disaster Risk Reduction

Through surveying nearly 650 households in Vanuatu to examine their experiences following Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015, the project generated much-needed recommendations for agencies and communities, in a region frequently affected by natural disaster. Some key findings included: -78% of adults with disabilities need crutches or other assistive device. -74% of women with disabilities had problems accessing evacuation centres compared to 50% of men with disabilities. Some key recommendations included: -Mainstream disability inclusion throughout DRR. -Leave no one behind, by ensuring households and communities are prepared to safely evacuate all community members including people with disabilities along with any assistive device they may use. -Strengthen the organisational capacity of all actors by training staff and through establishing effective partnerships with persons with disabilities and their representative organisations.

Samant Raja D and Narasimhan N (2013) Inclusive disaster and emergency management for persons with disabilities: A review of needs, challenges, effective policies, and practices

This report, prepared by the Centre for Internet and Society provides an overview of the needs of persons with disabilities during disasters and emergencies, describes the challenges they face at different stages of the response and recovery process, and offers examples of effective practices and initiatives. Examples and case studies of inclusive humanitarian action are provided across the different stages of the disaster management cycle: • Mitigation/risk reduction and prevention stage – undertaking an accessibility audit of multipurpose cyclone shelters in India. • Preparedness stage – creating a registry of persons needing assistance during disasters in Japan (challenges associated with such registries are also considered). • Response stage – using SMS technology for emergency messaging, and provision of accessible transport for evacuation during floods. • Recovery and reconstruction stages – integrating accessibility into re-building.

CBM International Inclusive post-disaster reconstruction: Building back safe and accessible for all 16 minimum requirements for building accessible shelters

This resource outlines 16 minimum requirements to build back better, safer and accessible shelters. The 16 requirements address four components of the chain of movement from a user perspective: 1. How to reach an area, site or structure 2. How to enter the structure and its parts 3.How to circulate inside the structure 4. How to use the structure and its facilities. There are technical guidelines and specifications. There are also some visual examples.

Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation (2013) Fiji Disability Inclusive Community Based Disaster Risk Management Toolkit

This resource provides a comprehensive overview of why and how to include people with disabilities in all aspects of DRR from planning to search and rescue in Fiji. Topics include: 1. Factors underlying inclusive approach 2. Vulnerability and capacity assessments 3. Community risk management planning 4. Inclusive early warning systems 5. Search and rescue and first aid task forces 6. Shelters 7. Household and self preparedness 8. Stockpiling

CBM (2012) Inclusion made easy: a quick program guide to disability and development. Part B: Disaster management chapter

This chapter provides brief programming guidance for including persons with disabilities in disaster management, including during preparedness, response and reconstruction activities. It also includes case studies and checklists. This resource has been designed for implementing partners, particularly program managers/officers within international development agencies. It is also useful for organisations involved in disaster management program review. (Note: Part A of this resource provides an overview of disability inclusive development principles).

Disability inclusion DRR Network for Asia and Pacific (DiDRRN) (2013) Disability and DRR policy primer

The DiDRRN was formed by key international NGO and CSO partners committed to the advocacy and implementation of inclusive DRR policy and practice. This policy piece provides an introduction to disability and disability risk reduction in the context of key policy initiatives and international frameworks. The document could be used to inform briefings to government or policy makers on the international and policy context. This one page brief will need to be supplemented by additional resources to support transition from policy to practice.

DiDRRN (2013) Disability inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network

DiDRRN is a consortium of like-minded disabled people's organisations (DPOs) and 'mainstream' and disability-focused development and relief organisations. The network aims to secure the active participation, and meaningful contribution, of people with disability in DRR policy and practice post-2015. They work closely with the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and support the implementation of Article 11, on risk and humanitarian emergencies, of the UNCRPD. The website hosts a collection of key resources and provides a forum to communicate key events and relevant media messages.

his is an overview of the experience of CBM and its partners the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) and Gaya Unnayan Kendra (GUK), working in the Gaibandha District in northern Bangladesh. Together, they implement disability-inclusive, community-based disaster risk reduction programs in some of the most flood-affected communities in the country. The report outlines a model for putting people with disabilities at the centre of disaster risk reduction. These DRR principles can be applied in other contexts. Communities can prepare for disaster in a way that includes people with disability. The model proposes developing strong self-help groups that include people with disability, who work with local government, schools and community structures to inclusive disaster preparedness and response plans. Download full report, summary and infographic.

CBM Global Inclusion Advisory Group (2022) The Importance of Disability Inclusive Disaster Preparedness - CBM Australia

An approach to disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction from consultations with people with disabilities in the Asia and Pacific regions.

CBM Global Inclusion Advisory Group (2022) Our Lessons from Disability Inclusiveness Disaster Preparedness Plan [IS] - CBM Australia

People with disabilities in the Asia and Pacific regions discuss the impact of disability and disasters, as well as the importance of disability-inclusive disaster preparedness.

A Self-Help Group in Bangladesh is working together to prepare for and plan for disaster events that are inclusive and accessible. They are pictured sitting around a circle talking.


A Self-Help Group in Bangladesh is working together to prepare for and plan for disaster events that are inclusive and accessible. Copyright: CBM