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Empowering inter-generational climate and disaster resilience building teams in urban slums communities in the Philippines

Intergenerational community resilience teams will be estabished to assess and tackle climate risks in 4 urban communities in the Philippines

Photo of Clodagh Byrne
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

The Philippines has one of the largest proportion of urban dwellers living in slum conditions in Asia. Many of these slums are disaster prone. Climate change is exacerbating the risks people living in these areas face due to increasing flood and extreme weather exposure. Up to 40 percent of slum families in metro-Manila are made up of older people and they are among the most vulnerable to these risks. In addition, they are often socially isolated from their communities increasing their vulnerabilities to climate stresses and natural disaster further. The project will build the resilience of at risk slum communities and groups within them through age and vulnerable responsive inclusive community based Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction planning and implementation. This will involve strengthening forming an intergenerational resilience team from members of older people’s organisations and children and youth associations within four slum communities to undertake resilience assessments in order to identify social, environmental, economic and infrastructural vulnerabilities in the community and to develop a community resilience plan consisting food security, health access and environmental micro-projects to address the needs of the most vulnerable groups within the community. Buddy systems will be established between older people and young people to implement the resilience plans.

WHO BENEFITS?

The project will target 4 hazard urban slum communities in Metro Manila. At the local level, 80 Older Persons Organizations (OPO) members, and 80 youth and children’s associations members will lead the project but it is anticipated that the wider community and other at risk groups (indigenous people, women, men, people living with disability) will also benefit from the resilience plans and resulting resilience micro-projects, information exchange and strengthened community organisations.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

Older people and youth within these communities will receive training to assess the different hazards and risks which are being caused by climate change and to identify the specific vulnerabilities exist in the community which are making them vulnerable to these risks. They will receive training and information on climate change and will be supported to develop climate and disaster resilience plans to identify innovative solutions to these plans. Through taking a inter-generational, and multi-sectoral approach to identifying climate and disaster risk and planning responses, it is anticipated that the communities themselves will increase their adaptive capacity to climate change. They will also increase their engagement with community leaders and local government officials to communicate risks identified and advocate for local government support for their resilience plans.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for two or more years

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • Yes

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am working with HelpAge International and their partner in the Philippines, Kose. Together, we have been working with older people's organisations and other at risk groups to develop innovative and sustainable approaches to building resilience across the Philippines.

IS THIS A NEW OR RECENT IDEA FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION? HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY DOING?

This is the first time that Cose and HelpAge international will be forming inter-generational resilience teams within urban communities. We have experience already of working through older people's organisations to develop disaster risk reduction plans and have found this to be a very effective and sustainable approach to address disaster and climate change at community level. But we feel an inter-generational approach will be a powerful way to identify climate and disaster risks in community in addition to come up with innovative solutions as each member of the team, whether young or old, will bring different ideas and strengths to the planning and delivery of the resilience plans.

HOW IS YOUR IDEA DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SIMILAR INITIATIVES? WHAT ARE YOU DOING DIFFERENTLY? WHAT UNIQUE ADVANTAGES DO YOU HAVE?

The project will be piloted in four communities at high risk of disaster (PNR in Taguig City, Baseco in Manila City, Roxas in Quezon City and Santolan in Pasig City) The basis for the project will be forming inter-generational teams - these teams will be inclusive of older people, children and youth, and persons with disabilities. The participants in the teams will be representatives of the most vulnerable groups in the community and very well placed to identify how climate change is generating risks for the community. They will be trained to perform risk assessments and empowered to identify innovative solutions - based on their own ideas but with support from the HelpAge, Cose and Amplify teams. They will contribute their own skills in the implementation of the small scale climate resilience actions which they have prioritized such as awareness raising, emergency preparedness, tree planting and food security initiatives, rainwater harvesting, small scale resilient livelihood initiatives. Buddy systems between older people and younger people in the community will be formed to implement activities - this will help maximize the knowledge and skills sharing between the generations.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR IDEA?

We are very keen to find out whether the prioritise of older people and younger people within the community will be similar or whether there will be big differences in priorities. We will develop a risk assessment and planning tool which will support the generational teams to identify risks and plan actions in a way which will be accessible while still documenting the priorities of different groups. We are also curious to see which innovative solutions will be identified and what difference will there be between communities. We are keen to engage local government in assessments and resilience plans to increase support to the community but still will have to see how much support they can give

WHY DO YOU THINK THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HASN'T BEEN SOLVED YET?

Many of the solutions which are being proposed to address resilience problems within the urban slum communities are coming from outside the community - this means that often there is no real ownership of the solution by the community or that the solution will not identify and address the needs of the most vulnerable within the community . We hope that by empowering the different vulnerable groups within the community to assess and address their own needs, the solutions will be much more sustainable. There is still a need for technical support and the community will benefit from external ideas- but the analysis, planning and implementation should be led by the community themselves.

HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BASED ON FEEDBACK FROM YOUR COMMUNITY?

The team undertook a focus group consultation with a group of young people and older people within one of the target communities who would like to engage in the project. The discussion was very dynamic. The community group were very supportive of the of the idea of inter-generational climate resilience planning as currently they have no action plans in their communities and minimal support from local government to undertake activities and develop plans to combat the impact of climate change. They shared some of the main issues they would like the project to prioritise in addition to what had been included in the original plan: They also would like to include skills training and small scale livelihoods diversification in their resilience plans The communities where the inter-generational resilience teams would be formed are increasingly prone to flashfloods and typhoons. They would like to include awareness raising and community mobilization to improve their preparedness for floods and typhoons, including establishing an early warning system to alert people if a flood or typhoon if likely to happen (making sure that the warning signal was accessible to older people and people living with disabilities through the inter-generational buddy system). The inter-generational focus group also said that heatwaves were a major issue in their community that was causing illness - and that they would like to include tree-planting and environmental solutions to address this.

WHAT WOULD YOU ULTIMATELY LIKE TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS IDEA? WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP TO GET THERE?

A community which can identify their own risks and develop their own action plans to combat climate change

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Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Clodagh,
Below is feedback from our experts. We're looking forward to reading your responses?

What steps will be taken to ensure community level resilience plans are linked up to city level DRR planning? Will communication and collaboration between local communities and relevant local authorities be supported?

One challenge will be what to do with the community resilience plan once it is developed: will the community have the capacity, contacts, to discuss the plan and its implementation with the local authorities or other stakeholders?

Very strong idea! Have you thought about the resource requirements, as well as other technical partners, that would be needed in order to implement?

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