Community empowerment definition of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre
According to the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC 2004), "the community is at the frontier of any kind of natural hazard and disaster. Empowering the community by internalizing the tools and methods of disaster risk reduction is a good way to deal with potential future risks. Community empowerment is a type of capacity development where its members decide on the goals and strategies for disaster risk management, contribute some, if not all, of the resources needed, and monitor their performance". Taking into account a specific case (Chittagon City, Bangladesh), the ADPC specifies: "To help a community face disaster is a challenge that requires empowerment. While relief funds and goods will always alleviate suffering, their effect is temporary. There is also a danger that a community will not learn to help itself. The experience in Chittagong of repeated heavy flooding could have been enough to make people feel helpless. However, the community empowerment approach for disaster management helped create a more proactive stance and attitude among the people. Community empowerment is a type of capacity development where its members decide on the goals and strategies for disaster risk management, contribute some (if not all) of the resources needed, and monitor their performance. Rather than outsiders managing a community's risk on their behalf, the members instead struggle to understand why they are at risk to flooding disasters, try to build consensus on the ways to reduce their risk, set priorities, and then participate in the measures needed to keep their risk low. Some of the inputs can come from outside donors, including the government. However, the community members should realize that they must put in their own time and money, even to the point of sacrifice.
Note: See source document for full reference.
Hazards: Natural hazards
Disaster Phases: Preparedness
Types of Actors Concerned: Non-active citizens