Peer Visit: Steps to Strengthen the Inclusion of Disabilities in Disaster Risk Reduction

The environment for organizational implementation needs to be focused on improving the management standards inside it. The current imperfection of the organization can be overcome as long as the human resources in it have the desire to learn, including from other organizations/places. Peer visit activities are a way to learn about good practices used by other organizations in the past and to receive feedback from the visiting process.

The programme of Implementing Humanitarian Inclusion Standards and Guidelines in Disaster Preparedness through Institutional Capacity Building (PASTI Programme), is part of a consortium in eight countries. Asia is represented by three of these nations: Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Peer visits are one of the activities carried out by Asian countries that are part of the programme. The three were represented by Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) Indonesia & The Philippines, Center for Disability in Development (CDD) Bangladesh, and Malteser International Myanmar to learn from each other about good practices from each organization, especially those related to the issue of disaster risk reduction (DRR) are more inclusive.

These three organizations conduct peer visits with different objectives. First, CDD Bangladesh undertook an eight-day peer visit to ASB Indonesia & The Philippines in Indonesia to observe and research best practices in institutionalising the inclusion of people with disabilities, research innovations in enhancing capacity and accessibility, and exchange learning regarding the project implementation process. Second, for five days, ASB Indonesia and the Philippines visited CDD Bangladesh in reverse. Studying innovations to lower obstacles in the inclusion process, observing and studying strategic planning and best practices connected to humanitarian response, and exchanging lessons learned from implementing the DRR Consortium project were the goals of the visit. Third, Malteser International Myanmar undertook a six-day online peer visit to ASB Indonesia and The Philippines to observe the DRR program, develop and implementing humanitarian response assistance and disaster preparedness, as well as expanding the partnership network between organizations of people with disabilities (OPDis) and humanitarian organizations other at a regional level.

This peer visit process is also a method to see differences in programs carried out or not carried out by each country concerned. For example, Indonesia has a program to develop an inclusive disaster management training curriculum for people with disabilities and disaster management assistants, while Bangladesh’s representation has not done so. In contrast, Bangladesh has programs to strengthen climate-resilient livelihoods for citizens (such as supporting sewing, raising poultry and livestock, or small businesses), while Indonesia’s representation has not done so.

This peer visit approach’ inclusion of colleagues with disabilities is one of its distinctive features. Three people with disabilities, including two with physical disabilities and one with a vision impairment, represented ASB Indonesia and the Philippines. In order to amplify the views of disadvantaged groups, the topic of DRR inclusion needs to be encouraged. Being involved in this process allows people with disabilities to have a stronger voice when expressing concerns about the inclusion of DRR. It is also hoped that they will be able to learn as much as they can from the countries they visit, which can then be developed into a variety of forms, such as programs that facilitate the inclusion of people with disabilities or strengthen innovative programs for finding solutions.

Differences in learning from each country during peer visits, as well as efforts to make peer visits an inclusive method, are of course a valuable source of learning for organizations to further refine further movements related to disaster risk reduction. In addition, this is also an impetus for organizations to formulate programs that are better prepared to solve existing problems, with reference to recommendations given by organizations in related countries.


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