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BRIEF October 9, 2020

Inclusive Resilience in South Asia

South Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. Inclusive Resilience aims to build awareness and share knowledge on how Disaster Risk Management investments can be designed to better advance social inclusion.

World Bank Group


In South Asia, the World Bank strives to better advance social inclusion in disaster and climate resilience projects by addressing the varying needs of people with different backgrounds. Through advisory services, knowledge development and sharing, this initiative provides practical inputs and support for Governments and practitioners to mainstream inclusive resilience in their projects; thereby translating well-established social inclusion concepts into practical on-the-ground action. 

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South Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

South Asia, alongside Sub-Saharan Africa, is identified as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate-induced consequences, such as increased poverty, agricultural prices, spread of disease and child mortality. Social exclusion exacerbates these impacts, as vulnerable populations are often poor and disproportionately exposed to hazards while often lacking access to information and resources to adequately respond to and recover from disasters.

In South Asia, social exclusion – often due to gender, disability, age, economic and education status, as well as caste, religion and ethnicity – is deeply entrenched and has a significant influence on disaster outcomes. Those who are at the intersection of multiple exclusion factors – such as, a disabled elderly woman – are even more vulnerable and face compounding disaster impacts. Yet, it is important to note that marginalized groups are not only victims of disasters, they have unique abilities to contribute to the resilience of their communities.

To build resilience that is truly for all, it is critical to integrate social inclusion in resilience investments.

The World Bank’s South Asia team has developed project specific social inclusion action plans that include a set of recommendations outlining feasible entry points for DRM projects across a variety of DRM topics to more inclusively address the needs of excluded populations. The menu of actions will keep growing as we learn more. This project aims to elevate innovative solutions and the emerging best practices from the local, regional and international levels on inclusion in disaster contexts. This platform aims to highlight the truly resilient society that DRM and Social Development practitioners are building and scaling across the SAR region.

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"To ensure climate and disaster resilience interventions truly benefit all people - inclusive resilience approaches must address the unique ways in which disasters affect socially excluded groups and individuals as well as empower the unique abilities of socially excluded groups to contribute to DRM and the resilience of their communities."



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Advisory Services:

This initiative also provides advisory supports through subject-matter experts for government counterparts and task teams.

  • Entrepreneurship Development for Persons with Functional Limitations in Earthquake affected areas in Nepal: As part of the livelihood recovery for persons with functional limitations/disabilities in Nepal being supported under Earthquake Housing Reconstruction Project, the Training of Trainers was conducted to foster trainers who can help persons with functional limitations to start own business. ToT handbook was developed, and training was carried out in 15 districts. Participants were trained to jointly identify suitable business opportunities for specific individuals with different functional limitation, given the talents and functions that the individual can maximize. The training was inaugurated by the CEO of the National Reconstruction Authority, and the Government is considering future scaling up as its own initiative.
  • Making Multi-purpose cyclone shelters accessible to all in Bangladesh: The standard designs of the multi-purpose cyclone shelters were reviewed to make possible improvements for enhanced accessibilities for users, particularly with limited functional and cognitive challenges. The proposed suggestions were reflected in architectural designs of ongoing or new shelter constructions under ongoing Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project.
  • Early warning delivery for people with visual and hearing difficulties in Sri Lanka: The action plan exercise helped the Government of Sri Lanka to design innovative early warning message system that can deliver messages to persons with visual and hearing impaired, as part of the Climate Resilience Multi-phase Programmatic Approach. A disability expert was hired to identify user needs of these groups of people and translate the user needs into design requirements of early warning message delivery system.
  • Women-Men Joint Ownership of lands and assets in Sri Lanka: The action planning exercise encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to promote women-men joint ownership of lands and assets as part of part of the Climate Resilience Multi-phase Programmatic Approach for the community to be relocated due to the project. This specific action made the CRes MPA to contribute narrowing the gender gap in one way.
  • Community Needs Survey on Flood Preparedness in Bangladesh: A survey is planned to better understand the experiences of flood-affected communities in specified districts before, during, and after the floods, with an emphasis on the communities’ needs and concerns throughout the recurring floods which tend to displace the people for longer durations of two to three weeks, as compared to cyclones which are only for a few hours. The finding of the survey will be utilized to strengthen Citizen Engagement activities under ongoing Bangladesh Urban Resilience Project as well as Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project.
  • Community Needs Survey on Flood Preparedness in Bangladesh: A survey is planned to better understand the experiences of flood-affected communities in specified districts before, during, and after the floods, with an emphasis on the communities’ needs and concerns throughout the recurring floods which tend to displace the people for longer durations of two to three weeks, as compared to cyclones which are only for a few hours. The finding of the survey will be utilized to strengthen Citizen Engagement activities under a proposed Resilient Infrastructure Building Project.

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CONTACTS

•Keiko Sakoda: Disaster Risk Management Specialist (ksakoda@worldbank.org)

•Bandita Sijapati: Senior Social Development Specialist (bsijapati@worldbank.org)