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The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 recognizes women, persons with disabilities, older persons, children, indigenous populations and other under-represented groups as important stakeholders and encourages DRR actors to engage with these groups and their representative organisations.

Participation is ensured by actively promoting an environment in which underrepresented groups effectively and fully participate in all phases of DRR including in community assessment and risk mapping, design of accessible early warning systems and emergency preparedness activities, without discrimination and on an equal basis with others and are included as members of DRR committees and related decision-making bodies.

To promote meaningful participation:

  • Identify barriers to participation and make plans for addressing these barriers in consultations with persons with disabilities, older people and other at-risk groups as well as their representative organisations.
  • Reduce physical barriers to inclusion in DRR by providing accessible meeting venues and transportation for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility.
  • Ensure inclusive communication and provide DRR information in diverse and accessible formats.
  • Tackle attitudinal barriers by sensitising staff, volunteers and community members and raising their awareness on the importance of including persons with disabilities and other at-risk groups in DRR.

Persons with disabilities and their family members may have a variety of negative attitudes about participation to overcome related to past experiences, fear, or low self-esteem. House visits by community mobilisers may help to reduce anxiety and reluctance to participate in community meetings. A personal visit can be used to explain the process and why participation is important, address concerns and overcome logistical or communication difficulties.