This case study looks at how placing PWDs at the centre of DRR requires a systems approach. Systems approaches provide a holistic theoretical lens through which to identify and engage with the multiple contextualised factors and processes that collectively influence differential vulnerability and resilience patterns. Systems approaches demand multiple solutions that engage with interlinked components of the human-environment system that drive fluctuations in vulnerability and resilience over space and time.

The case study argues that disability-inclusive DRR (DiDRR) needs to be rooted in multi-stakeholder partnerships that seek change in three interconnected areas:

  1. building a strong empirical evidence base on the challenges PWDs face in disasters;
  2. developing platforms for the empowerment of PWDs; and
  3. identifying opportunities for DiDRR mainstreaming.

This case study on PWDs is part of a collection of 40 diverse case studies on co-designing participatory approaches in DRR, featured in a joint publication developed by UNISDR Asia Science Technology and Academia Advisory Group (ASTAAG), Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) and Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC).

child floodwater house bangladesh
Part of a photo gallery looking at adaptation to climate change in southern Bangladesh

The case studies reflect all levels of DRR policy and practice, from a local through subnational, national and regional level. This publication is a modest attempt to illustrate how the science, technology and academic communities can and should be developing participatory strategies to generate more understanding about disaster risk, develop solutions and effectively communicate this information to a variety of stakeholders.