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Responding to critical gaps in knowledge sharing - the Women’s Resilience to Disasters Knowledge Hub

Jeff Roach (Australia) and Paivi Kannisto (UN Women) introduced a joint UN study highlighting a gap in the sharing of tools and guidance for gender-responsive disaster and climate resilience between UN agencies.

27 February 2022

Critical gaps in knowledge sharing

A joint UN study presented to Member States on 28 February 2022 highlighted a gap in the sharing of tools and guidance for gender-responsive disaster and climate resilience between UN agencies. The study, “Beyond vulnerability to gender equality and women’s empowerment and leadership in disaster risk reduction: critical actions for the United Nations system” was led by UN Women, UNDRR, and UNFPA and involved a wider Task Team of 25 United Nations entities.  It confirmed that although gender mainstreaming tools and guidance were being developed or used by UN entities - these were not widely shared between agencies.

Similarly, the external stakeholders’ survey for the joint UN study found that 45 percent of the respondents had not used United Nations tools. Since many of the tools and guidance are intended for country and external users, this highlights a communication gap – including the dissemination and accessibility of tools – and a functional gap between what is needed and what is provided.

Centralising knowledge and resources

The Australian Government and UN Women firmly believe that quality data and evidence supported by tailored and accessible tools, have the power to inform and transform the way we build resilience. This is why in February 2022, we launched the Women’s Resilience to Disasters Knowledge Hub, a one-stop-shop for knowledge and resources for countries and key stakeholders to: understand gendered risks, interests and needs; build enabling gender-responsive systems; and realise women’s disaster and climate resilience.

The Women’s Resilience to Disasters Knowledge Hub facilitates knowledge and resource sharing within the UN system and with external stakeholders working on disaster and climate resilience. It does so by:

  1. Bringing together existing evidence and expertise to inform policy and programming;
  2. Providing a platform for elevating women’s voices and perspectives on disaster risk reduction and resilience; and
  3. Initiating research and tool development - designed to suit the needs of the intended end-users - to fill important gaps in the knowledge base.

We are thrilled to share this new platform with the disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, risk-informed development, resilience, gender equality and social inclusion communities for facilitating gender-responsive decision making and action.

Mr Jeff Roach is the Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Australia to the UN in Geneva. Mr Roach has previously served overseas as Australia’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, as Counsellor (Policy/Media) at the Australian Embassy in France (with accreditation to Algeria and Mauritania), and Second Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Laos. Mr Roach has held senior positions within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra working on the Pacific, European affairs, and international disarmament. Mr Roach has led Australian Government Crisis Response Teams to Nepal, Burkina Faso, Niger and Cyprus/Lebanon.

Ms. Paivi Kannisto is Chief of the Peace, Security and Humanitarian Section at UN Women headquarters in New York. Prior to joining UN Women, Paivi worked in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as Senior Adviser in Gender Equality. Before that she worked for 15 years with the United Nations’ entities including UNDP, UNEP, UNAIDS, UN-OCHA in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Switzerland in conflict and crisis as well as in pre- and post-conflict settings, and in coordination and external relations. She holds a Masters’ degree in Economics from the Turku School of Economics in Finland and a diploma in women’s leadership.