An Intersectional Approach to Emergency Response

How can development organizations use an intersectional lens to respond to disasters? That was the theme of our latest 3-day workshop at Visthar. We received very positive feedback from the participants, and we are glowing in that now. The 30 participants came from across the country and were senior managers from development organizations.

Traditionally, disaster response is framed from a “welfare” / “helping” perspective. Organizations pat themselves on the back for helping people affected by a disaster. That outlook is changing. We need to see disaster response also from a rights and justice framework. Communities affected by disasters have a right to humanitarian assistance. And that assistance need to promote justice. That’s the approach this workshop took, building on the ideas laid out by international standards and guidelines like Sphere, IASC Gender Guidelines, etc.

The workshop followed an intersectional approach from the first session foregrounding inequalities of gender, caste, class, disability, sexual and gender identity, etc. “The need to address Strategic Gender Interests in disaster response was my biggest learning”, shared Prashant Misal, one of the participants.
We will also be releasing a training manual on this theme. Stay tuned!

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