Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Empowering Women through Participatory Action Research in Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts

Ruszczyk, H.A.; Upadhyay, B.K.; Kwong, Y.M.; Khanal, O.; Bracken, L.J.; Pandit, S.; Bastola, R.

Empowering Women through Participatory Action Research in Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts Thumbnail


B.K. Upadhyay

Y.M. Kwong

O. Khanal

L.J. Bracken

S. Pandit

R. Bastola


The role of women in community-based disaster risk reduction efforts (CBDRR) is an area of limited academic research and continues to be a thorny issue for policy and practice. This research paper describes a comparative case study of participatory action research (PAR) in CBDRR conducted in one rural and one urban tole (neighbourhood) of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. PAR is not a method, rather it is a set of principles guiding research. The “Empowering Women through CBDRR” PAR was motivated by the National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal’s (NSET) desire to learn how to effectively empower women in disaster risk management on a local level and to enhance resilience to everyday hazards and risks as well as earthquakes. The hazards identified by residents in rural Bhainse were the supply of drinking water and landslides while the supply of drinking water and earthquakes were the perceived hazards in urban Tajhya Tole. The small-scale mitigation activities chosen and implemented by the female led disaster management committees in partnership with the local authorities and NSET addressed everyday risks (fire) that were important to the community or were related to livelihood concerns (landslide and drainage pipe). While there is clear evidence of women’s empowerment and capacity building, sustainability of initiatives is particularly dependent on the commitment of local authorities to incorporate the initiatives into local policies and actions. A gap remains between aspirations to practice empowerment of women and implementation. In many ways, ‘doing’ empowerment remains problematic in CBDRR.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 9, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 4, 2020
Publication Date 2020-12
Deposit Date Jul 21, 2020
Publicly Available Date Aug 4, 2021
Journal International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Print ISSN 2212-4209
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Article Number 101763
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations