chapter  1
18 Pages

A Theoretical and Practical Exposition of ‘Participatory’ Research Methods

This research was encouraged by the growing concern at the increasing vulnerability of rural communities to natural hazards such as earthquakes, especially in the context of developing countries such as India and Nepal. Various initiatives towards earthquake preparedness, mitigation and rehabilitation in rural areas by public, semipublic and non-governmental agencies have failed to produce significant difference in their vulnerability situation. The research aimed at exploring the potential role of local knowledge, resources and strengths of rural communities in India and Nepal for formulating long term planning and mitigation measures to reduce their disaster Milne lability, especially to earthquakes. The past and present status of local knowledge, skills and capacity of rural communities were investigated to understand the key issues and challenges for their role in reducing disaster vulnerability, which is seen not only as a pre-disaster condition but also as a continuous process, which is influenced by the overall development context and various response decisions taken during the post-disaster situation.