Translating disaster law to community messages

Laws sometimes get a bad reputation for being inaccessible. But knowing the rights, roles and responsibilities provided in law is crucial, especially when it comes to community-level disaster risk management. Last week Vietnam Red Cross (VNRC), with support from IFRC Disaster Law Programme and Community Engagement and Accountability, progressed its development of community-level dissemination modules through a wide stakeholder consultation of key messages drafted of the 2013 Natural Disaster Prevention and Control Law.

To ensure that messages were clear and accessible, two roundtables were held – one at national level and one at provincial level. The national roundtable, attended by Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, the Disaster Management Centre (assigned to implement the CBDRM), Women’s Union, Partner National Societies and NGOs, discussed and trialled key messages, also looking at possible communication channels and materials to reach community-level stakeholders.

The key messages were revised based on feedback from the national roundtable and trialled at the roundtable held in Thanh Hoa province, attended by the Sub-National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Women’s Union, the Disabled People’s Association, the Elderly Association, student and teacher representatives, as well as six VNRC district branch representatives.

Possible communication outlets and opportunities for disseminating the key messages were also discussed, for instance the Women’s Union’s weekly meeting at the market was identified as a good opportunity to reach local women. The 3Rs Lego game, which has been adapted for the Vietnamese context, was also tested at the provincial roundtable. The game outlines key stakeholders in disaster risk management and asks participants to identify the rights, roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders through the different phases of the disaster risk management cycle. Based on feedback, the key messages, materials and modules will be revised and finalised by the end of the month and accompany the Training of Trainers in disaster law community-level dissemination to be held in October 2017.

Email: Coordinator for Asia Pacific Disaster Law Programme, Gabrielle Emery at


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