Community Media & Disasters

Models of Community Media for Disaster Preparedness & Risk Management is the working title for IAWRT's parallel event in the forum (NGO CSW63) associated with the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

CSW63 will begin at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on March 11, 2019. The Priority theme is: Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The Review theme is, Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session).

IAWRT's planned event will link to the CSW Priority theme and the Review theme by highlighting the role women play in preparing for any disaster; preparing for damages and loss, rebuilding and peace negotiations. More importantly, the event will show how critical community media is to sustainable development and gender equality.

The plan

IAWRT will showcase its Disaster Response Radio (DRR), established with IAWRT-Philippines in the wake of the on-going devastation of communities decimated by Typhoon Haiyan (also known as Yolanda), five years ago. A community radio handbook documenting this project and the three-decade history of Philippines community radio, is available online, Amplifying the People’s Voices: The Philippine Community Radio Experience and Challenges (2018).

Our UNCSW/International Committee is planning a gender-based discussion accompanied with a workshop on the important role of various community media in disaster recovery and preparedness.

The session will outline risk reduction and recovery, and include pre-disaster communications for warnings, evacuations and preparedness, and immediate post-disaster instructions for coping and avoiding further injury from damaged infrastructure, and responding to critical community needs.

The plan is for the event to be an interactive hands-on workshop with community media professionals and other stakeholders.


The discussion/workshop aims to create awareness of the important role and effectiveness of community media as an empowering medium for saving lives and restoring individual dignity and community cohesion after a disaster. The objective is to act as a call for the strengthening of media infrastructure with governments, NGO’s, and the corporate media sector, to garner support that will allay the impact of environmental catastrophe on people’s lives in the future, thus strengthening community media as critical infrastructure for social development.

The IAWRT UNCSW / International Committee members: Abeer Saady IAWRT Vice President (Egypt), Sheila Katzman (USA), Greta Gober (Poland), Archana Kapoor (India), Bibiana Piene (Norway)