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Kaluarachchi Nartallo, Y., Thayaparan, M., Mendis, K., 2021.

Impact of disasters on the livelihoods of vulnerable community groups, with special focus on women and the disabled, in Sri Lanka

Output Type:Chapter in a book
Publication:Micro Human Efforts in Disaster Resilience: Lessons Learned, Re-learned or Lost?
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Group, Routledge

Promoting inclusive livelihood assistance hasten long-term economic and social recovery of women and people with disabilities in post-disaster settings. Despite the international community's efforts to embrace resilience and inclusion, vulnerable groups, especially women and people with disabilities and their needs are often overlooked during the post-disaster rebuilding processes in Sri Lanka. This Chapter aims to investigate the impact of disasters on the livelihoods of women and people with disabilities and their families in Sri Lanka and builds on previous research done on gender and disability inclusion in post-disaster development Build Back Better programmes. The research adopts a qualitative approach and an extensive literature review including published and unpublished reports and case studies was conducted to establish theory as well as place the study in the current context adhering to PRISMA methodology guidelines. Primary data was gathered through stakeholder interviews and qualitative content analysis method was utilised to analyse the gathered data.
The study findings reveal that, despite the government's provision of livelihood aid in the aftermath of disasters in Sri Lanka, the practical constraints experienced by women and people with disabilities are disregarded. There is limited community participation in the decision-making process and as a result, many rebuilding programmes are not as effective as intended, especially in support of vulnerable community needs. The study recognises the importance of mainstreaming and incorporating gender and disability needs in post disaster development policies, strategies, and initiatives that are implemented. The research identifies barriers and opportunities in promoting livelihood options for these two community segments and propose strategies that can help them become more self-sufficient in post-disaster contexts. The lack of data and information on the subject is a major challenge and knowledge generated by this study has significant implications for all stakeholders related to post disaster management and development in South Asia. The recommendations from the study are relevant to international development and aid agencies working globally to improve gender and disability inclusion in the post-disaster development context.