Children as Agents of Change in Disaster Risk Reduction

Here is a publication that may be of interest to this community:

Children as agents of change for Disaster Risk Reduction: Lessons from El Salvador and the Philippines


Disaster management has been dominated by top-down relief efforts targeted at adults, who are assumed to be attuned to the needs of their families and the wider community, and to act harmoniously to protect their immediate and long-term interests. This paper challenges the associated assumption that children are passive victims with a limited role to play in communicating risks or preventing and responding to disasters.

The paper considers a history of youth empowerment through children’s active participation in decision-making forums; it also looks at whether the international human rights systems provide for children’s right to protection from disasters; and finally, it asks whether children can be effective as communicators of risk within their own households and communities. Through research in El Salvador and the Philippines, the conclusion is that children are well-suited to the role of DRR advocates, as communicators of disaster risk – but an important questions must then be addressed, such as: is that desirable?

Author: Tom Mitchell, Thomas Tanner, Katherine Haynes

Partners: Institute of Development Studies

Countries: El Salvador, Philippines