Founded in 2012 at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, the DiDRRN seeks to provide a voice for people with disabilities and promote their active participation and the development and implementation of the post-2015 global risk reduction framework – the HFA2. The network was a response to the lack of inclusion of people with disabilities and the disproportionate impact on them of disasters.
The DiDRRN philosophy is that by working together, different stakeholders can overcome institutional barriers and foster understanding, as well a challenge stereotypes and provide practical, disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction solutions. The network taps the experience of national and international organisations, working alongside regional networks, and draws on the expertise of disability and disaster risk practitioners alike. As the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction looms, DiDRRN is collaborating with key disability stakeholders such as the International Disability Alliance, Rehabilitation International and the Nippon Foundation to ensure strong representations of people with disabilities at the global gathering, and beyond. Demystifying disability is a core aim of DiDRRN, which follows a whole-community approach in its work and questions traditional approaches which draw on medical or social definitions. Key solutions the network pushes for include access to life-saving information, and ensuring that every member of the community can evacuate and find safe refuge, whether independently or through collaboration with others. DiDRRN has directly contributed to the implementation of disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction in 12 countries – Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Myanmar, Pakistan, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Vanuatu and Vietnam – and provided capacity building training for over 700 members of disabled people’s organisations.
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