Introducing CUIDAR: A child-centred approach to disasters



The CUIDAR project began as a response to a timely call by the European Commission’s Secure Societies theme within its Horizon 2020 programme for culturally sensitive disaster management plans. So we argued that children and young people should be considered as a cultural group whose perspectives and insights were overlooked in the adultist cultural worlds of emergency planning and disaster risk management (DRM). This was a risky step, perhaps – clearly there are many ‘cultures’ and ‘subcultures’ among ‘children and young people’, just as there are in societies at large. Although perhaps a risky concept to use, culture allowed us to shift the strong ‘naturalist’ narrative that exists around disasters and that is used in the field of DRM. Employing the phrase ‘cultures of disaster resilience…’ allowed us to speak of disasters as comprising troubling entanglements of nature and culture, and of a variety of logics and ways of understanding and making sense of disasters. And ‘cultures of disaster resilience’ also allowed us to denaturalise another important concept, ‘resilience’, and view this in its social context.

Mort, Maggie, Rodríguez-Giralt, Israel, & Delicado, Ana (2020). Introducing CUIDAR: A child-centred approach to disasters. In Mort M., Rodríguez-Giralt I., & Delicado A. (Eds.), Children and Young People’s Participation in Disaster Risk Reduction: Agency and Resilience (pp. 1-14). Bristol: Bristol University Press.

Maggie Mort (Lancaster University)

Ana Delicado (Universidade de Lisboa)