Engaging with communities: Guatemala and Honduras

Guatemalan rural women’s groups engaging with authorities to scale up DRR. © Irene Enriquez / Mercy Corps, European Commission DG ECHO, CC BY-ND 2.0

Guatemala, Honduras

In Guatemala and Honduras, Fundacion de Guatemala and Comite de Redes de Honduras supported rural women’s groups to engage in effective collaboration partnerships with local and national authorities to initiate and scale up strategies to reduce vulnerabilities to disaster and climate change in their communities, the project also supported peer-to-peer learning so that the communities could share strategies across countries.

The project focus then shifted toward strengthening the partnership with local authorities in effective partnership to scale up solutions for disaster risk reduction. This led to a formal acknowledgement of the public role of grassroots and rural women’s groups in resilience programs. Several members were certified as development managers in disaster risk reduction by the respective national disaster management agencies of the two countries. The women trained local authorities on how to partner effectively with community groups organizing to improve the safety and quality of life in high risk communities.

As a result of this collaboration, the Honduran and Guatemalan women’s groups created a methodology that teaches mayors and local authorities how to implement the Hyogo Framework for Action in their local territories and also how to launch their municipality as a Resilient City in the UNISDR Resilient Cities Campaign with real engagement of women’s groups and other grassroots local organizations with strong incentives to cooperate to reduce risk and vulnerability.