Stakeholder engagement.

The AADMER also requires ASEAN MS to ensure that their national DRM systems include national stakeholder engagement.

For the study purposes, “stakeholders” were defined as non-government domestic stakeholders (national, local and community), in line with the AADMER provisions – understood as affected communities, National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies, civil society and the private sector. This was also presumed to include gender and social inclusion as part of the commonly understood meaning of the term “stakeholders”, so the analysis also looked at inclusion of women and women’s organizations as well as vulnerable or marginalized people.

National stakeholder engagement proved a complex area to research as a desk study. This is because “stakeholders” are defined and described in many different ways in the national laws and policies, and there is essentially a continuum in the ways stakeholders can be engaged. This complexity was reiterated by participants in the Regional Consultation, who also emphasized that social protection measures related to gender/women and inclusiveness are regulated under law and policy frameworks outside the DRM system, but applicable to it.

Based on the desk review, therefore, some general observations only are offered, and these are based on analysis of the national DRM laws, without going to policy documents or other sectoral responsibilities.

More than half the DRM laws made mention of or provided for consultation with Red Cross or Red Crescent, civil society, the private sector or affected communities. These were mostly general statements of an aspirational nature. Three DRM laws were identified that also provided for representation of stakeholders in DRM decision-making bodies, and these may be of interest for other AMS – Lao PDR, the Philippines and Thailand.

Stakeholder engagement example for peer learning - the Philippines

The Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act takes the most inclusive approach among all the ASEAN MS laws. It provides for representation of stakeholders in the DRRM institutions at both national and local level (sections 2, 6 and 9). Under the DRRM Act:

Stakeholder groups:

  • The role of the National DRRM Council requires it to ensure “multi-stakeholder participation” in the development, updating, and sharing of a national risk mapping process
  • The Act provides for representation in both the National DRRM Council and the Local DRRM Councils as follows: Philippine Red Cross; 4 accredited CSOs members; and 1 private sector representatives.

On the question of gender, the Act

  • Includes the policy objective to, “ensure that disaster risk reduction and climate change measures are gender responsive, sensitive to indigenous knowledge systems, and respectful of human rights;”
  • Requires the Office of Civil Defence conduct early recovery and post-disaster needs assessment that institutionalize gender analysis as part of them
  • The Chairperson of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women is a designated member of the National DRRM Council, and the Head of the local Gender and Development Office is a member of each Local DRRM Council.

Social inclusion and equality

The AADMER also requires ASEAN MS to address principles for social inclusion and equality, including requirements for either consultation or representation of those recognized as starting from a position of social inequality.

  • Social inclusion and diversity principles were almost absent from most national DRM laws, although half recognized in general terms that vulnerable or marginalized groups may require special measures.
  • Half the laws did not address women or gender at all, although some recognized that women at times have special needs and vulnerabilities in disasters.
  • None required monitoring or evaluation of gender equality in disaster risk management.

As an exception, Lao PDR and the Philippines laws were the only ones to require representation of women in decision-making roles in DRM system institutions. The Philippine DRRM Act also has a provision on ensuring immediate delivery of basic necessities to women (and children) during emergencies.