‘We Just Want to Help’: engaging the not-for-profit sector

There is little evidence of long-term successful collaborations in disaster response that are not underpinned by government funding and do not take a top-down approach. Without established networks in place, there are significant difficulties for emergency management organisations to enter vulnerable communities and immediately gain trust, knowledge and motivate collective action.

A study undertaken by Dr Fiona Roberts, Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative, has found that not-for-profit organisations may be the key to entry into communities as these organisations are generally trusted and are long-term ‘gatekeepers’ of communities.

This research identified evidence of significant and constructive resilience-building actions undertaken by the not-for-profit sector. Actions include providing quick access to local assets (machinery ownership or skills, community kitchens), providing physical assistance (water, toilets, food, clean-up or shelter) through to contributing long-term recovery actions lasting years (establishing and funding Mens’ Sheds, tool libraries or community activities).

Used more effectively, and because they want to help, not-for-profit organisations could generate savings through risk-reduction measures and hasten recovery from disasters.

Read the complete article in the latest AJEM edition.
Images show Rotary Chainsaw Safety and Lions' Need for Feed initiative.

So, what's gender got to do with climate change?
The GDN Online network, managed by Prof. Maureen Fordham, featured new research with great relevance to the Australian context. Read the complete research, led by Practical Action Consulting and partners.

Key findings are:
a. Gender sensitive approaches recognise people’s different needs: when climate vulnerability assessments take gender aspects into account, they lead to development actions which are better designed because they are based on comprehensive understanding of needs, including those of the dis-empowered.
b. A gender approach should go beyond just women’s needs and address unequal decision making: If promoting women’s participation in climate resilient development is limited to mere technical issues like provision and access to basic services, this is not enough to transform unjust power relations, thus missing an opportunity for women’s development.
c. Promoting gender equality should be an explicit goal at the start of any project on climate compatible development. If not, the design and implementation may not only ignore the differences between the vulnerabilities/ capacities of men and women, but also run the risk of perpetuating existing inequalities.
d. The vulnerability of communities to climate risks and hazards is rooted in everyday inequalities and poverty. Without a gender sensitive approach, the realities of the marginalised remain ignored and an opportunity is lost in promoting climate resilience.
e. When climate resilient development projects do not use an explicit gender approach, participatory processes could still save the day, through engagement of team members who have the requisite gender sensitivity and expertise.
f . Drivers for gender sensitive climate compatible development are context-specific and multi-faceted. They include institutional commitment, gender policies, the right orientation and appropriate skills.
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The first stage of the FRRR-funded Postcard Project saw 25,000 'Fire Planning with a Gendered Lens' postcards distributed to 45 organisations across Victoria.

The map below shows the extensive coverage achieved!
Our sincere appreciation to everyone who requested and distributed the postcards.

We look forward to hearing your feedback and experience:
An invitation from Readings!

Readings Bookshop in Carlton is hosting the launch of Professor Bob Pease's new book,  ‘Facing Patriarchy: From a Violent Gender Order to a Culture of Peace’.

Dr Meagan Tyler, RMIT, will launch Bob's book on Monday 18 November, 6pm, at Readings (309 Lygon St, Carlton). You are warmly invited to attend and have your copy signed by the author! (No booking required.)

Bob is a consultant to the work of the GAD Pod and was a keynote speaker at our two previous  conferences. He was a founding member of the Victorian GADTaskforce, auspiced by Emergency Management Victoria and the GAD Pod.

The Gender and Disaster Pod YouTube Channel

We now have an official YouTube Channel, The Gender and Disaster Pod.
Watch short films, conference videos and interviews here.

You may have missed great information over the past few years, including this three-part series from Dr Stephen Fisher in 2017. Still completely relevant (sadly).
And this fascinating Q&A from 2018 on emergency management for newly arrived communities, with Dr Scott Hanson-Easey and Dr Penny Egan-Vine.

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