Disaster Watch aid grassroots women's collectives to exchange learn and evaluate disaster response initiatives and the performance of government and aid agencies.

First held in Gujarat in February 2002, a year after the earthquake, when a team of women from disaster sites in Turkey and India travelled there to monitor institutional support for women communities.

Developed and tested in the rescue and recovery phases of four major disasters in three countries, Huairou’s disaster–to-development strategy leads to social innovation, efficient use of local resources, transformation of social and political agendas, and the deepening of a participatory government.

Its strategy, piloted by Swayam Shiksham Prayog and hundreds of grassroots women’s organizations in India, is simple: Engage the full partnership of local people who tend to be intimately knowledgeable about community needs and resources. Grassroots women are particularly valuable to this practice.

Huairou's process, refined in Maharasthra, India; Marmara, Turkey; Gujarat, India; and on the north coast of Honduras, is empowerment:

* grassroots women gather
* they identify their problems
* they work together, with others in the community and with other grassroots groups to create solutions
* they negotiate partnerships
* they implement solutions
* they continue assuming new roles of leadership and responsibility
* they teach other groups what they’ve learned

The Huairou process has a lasting effect. Grassroots women become social and politically integrated into positions of greater responsibility and authority in the local community and its governance, while the community as a whole develops a culture of resourcefulness.

"The Lull after the storm" January 2005

An assessment report on Tsunami affected Tamil Nadu region by community women leaders with similar experience after the Latur and Gujarat earthquake.

The area covered Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts of Tamilnadu , India on January 17 th - 20 th 2005. Facilitated by By Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) and Covenant Centre for Development (CCD).

 "Turkey-India Exchange" December 2004

This exchange and disaster watch held from 18 th - 25 th September 2004, six years after the earthquake in Marmara region, Turkey. A team of five women from SSP visited Turkey.

"Gujarat Exchange" August 2004

The Community-to-community exchange programme organized by Swayam Shikshan Prayog in Ahmedabad, Gujarat , August 27, 2004.

Over 20 grassroots women who have faced the Gujarat Earthquake have shared their experience with women from Latur, Maharashtra . They have discussed on how assessment of damage was done; what they did after the earthquake and what is required to be done by government, CBOs and agencies.

"Turkey - Iran Exchange Note / Suranjana Gupta" June 2004

In June 2004, a team of Turkish women leaders visited the earthquake-affected areas of Bam in Iran with members to transfer their insights on organising women around childcare and income generation activities.
"Gujarat Watch" 2002

In February 2002, the Huairou Commission team, consisting of Foundation for the Support of Women's Work ( FSWW), Turkey and grassroots women leaders who survived the 1999 Marmara earthquake in Turkey and women federation leaders with previous experience of the Latur quake (1993) travelled to six villages in Gujarat India to observe the post earthquake recovery progress.



Disaster Watch is an initiative by the
Huariou Commission and GROOTS International
to support grassroots women to build community resilience.

Co-ordinated by Swayam Shikshan Prayog, India

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