Participatory Approach for Safe Shelter Awareness (PASSA)


Disaster Risk Reduction



PASSA is an important process for safe shelter reconstruction. It forms a basis for sustainable and safer construction of a community. PASSA activities empowers the community members to identify safe shelter related problems existing in the community like natural and manmade disasters – earthquake risk, flood and landslide, fire hazard, cyclone and epidemics. Moreover, PASSA makes the community capable in providing sustainable solutions to such problems through optimum utilisation of local resources, skills, and materials along with appropriation of external support. PASSA also capacitates the communities to be a part of their own development process and carry out their own development by extending their reach to various services and facilities.


PASSA is a continuous process. There cannot be a general “Formula” for implementation of PASSA that can fit in every community. This process is dependent on context and need of the community. One PASSA activity will respectively show the need of another activity and thus define series of activities accordingly As such, the conditions for PASSA to be introduced in the communities for safe shelter awareness are as follows:



For safe shelter awareness in community, PASSA can:-

  1. Contribute in identification of probable hazards, assessment of risk and damages due to these hazards and conceptualising preparedness plan.
  2. Also, it builds the capacity of the community to prepare disaster mitigation plans at local level by managing internal and external resources.


In this way, even in pre-disaster situation also, through PASSA human casualty and infrastructure damage can be minimised. However, the current practice is that the authorities are more concerned in the post-disaster activities rather than pre-disaster preparation. Therefore if use of PASSA in pre-disaster stage could be emphasized then we can minimise the damage to the vulnerable and disaster prone shelters and ensure continuity of the livelihood of the community.

During Disaster

Post disaster on itself is a difficult stage. The damage caused by a disaster on community could be devastating to a community’s livelihood. In such situations too PASSA could be very useful to provide immediate rescue, relief, and recovery activities to the most vulnerable families quickly and efficiently If PASSA could be established as a community network for disaster risk reduction at the a local level, then it will have significant impact towards long-term risk mitigation. For resilient shelter reconstruction after disaster, PASSA will empower the communities to:-

  • Identify hazards in the community
  • Identify safe and unsafe shelters in the community
  • find solutions on how to make unsafe shelters safe and disaster resilient
  • Planning for change
  • Identify problems during project execution and find its solutions
  • develop monitoring and evaluation system by the community  for effective implementation of a project

Hence, PASSA is a reliable tool for community for safe shelter construction.

PASSA activities includes:-

  1. Historical Profile
  2. Community Mapping and visit
  3. Frequency and impact of hazard
  4. Safe and Unsafe Shelter
  5. Options for Solutions
  6. Planning for Change
  7. Problem Box
  8. Monitoring Plan


PASSA in post-disaster reconstruction

For post-disaster reconstruction, ASF-Nepal in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Nepal have launched Nepal Earthquake Assistance Program (NEAP) in

  1. Ward no. 3,4,5 and 6 of Panchkhal municipality of Kavre District
  2. Ward no. 1 to 9 of Salme Village Development Committee of Nuwakot district
  3. Ward no. 6 to 8 of Tupche Village Development Committee of Nuwakot district


PASSA groups have been formed in all the working areas. Representation of various groups of the community based on location, community structure, gender have been assured in these groups making it an all-inclusive engagement. These PASSA groups had actively taken part in all the 8 activities and are working towards reconstruction of their community. PASSA has been acting as a bridge to deliver various project activities to its respective beneficiaries. Various tasks performed by PASSA in this project are as follows:

  1. Increase awareness of community members on safe shelter construction
  2. Community mapping of hazards related to shelter
  3. Identify skilled workers in community for construction of earthquake-resistant housing and recommend them for training on earthquake-resistant building technology.
  4. Provide information to beneficiaries on housing reconstruction grant and provide necessary assistance for completing the grant agreement.
  5. Identifying most vulnerable beneficiaries in a community and recommend them for additional assistance from the project.
  6. Coordinating between beneficiaries and Housing Support Service Center (HSSC) to ensure that houses are being constructed as per building codes.
  7. Arranging PASSA group meeting to resolve various problems related to reconstruction by a participatory method.
  8. Encouraging community members to reconstruct their houses on time.
  9. Selecting a community project and managing financial and technical support for executing the project.


PASSA’s achievements

  1. Strengthens Participatory decision making
  2. Effective communication within the community
  3. Leadership Development
  4. Safe shelter awareness
  5. Local knowledge, skills, and capacity enhancement
  6. Identification of community problems and emphasis on solutions through community itself


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