Civil society actors play an important enabling role in supporting UN Member States in their responsibility for disaster risk reduction action to implement the Sendai Framework including development and implementation of relevant policies, laws, and regulations. Recognizing this paramount role of civil society and community-based organizations in promoting and implementing disaster risk reduction, UNDRR seeks to strengthen the voice and engagement of stakeholders in the implementation of the Sendai Framework through enhanced private and public collaboration and joint action.

UNDRR works with partners from non-governmental, voluntary work, community-based and grassroots organizations, organized voluntary work organizations and community-based organizations. Specific focus is placed on supporting the engagement and protection of the most marginalised and vulnerable individuals so that no one is left behind, including women, children and youth, persons with disabilities, and displaced persons, amongst others.

Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism

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To operationalize the all-of-society approach called for by the Sendai Framework in support of effective disaster risk reduction at all levels, in 2018 UNDRR established the Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism (SEM). Aligned with the UNDRR Partnership and Stakeholder Strategy, the UNDRR-SEM offers representational space for all ‘non-state’ Sendai stakeholders as set out in Paragraph (36) and (48) of the Sendai Framework.

SEM aims to leverage the voice and action of stakeholders in support of the implementation of the Sendai Framework and integration of disaster risk reduction into the broader 2030 Agenda.

As the main interlocutor between UNDRR and stakeholders, SEM works towards disaster risk reduction and resilience building through:

  • global and regional advocacy and communication initiatives, including bringing case studies, lessons learned and expertise from the ground to the attention of global and regional policy processes;
  • supporting cross-sectoral and transdisciplinary collaboration with stakeholders and CSO groups engaged in the 2030 agenda processes;
  • strengthening citizen-led and social accountability mechanisms.

SEM is governed by its Advisory Group, which comprises of self-elected representatives from all UN Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS), Civil Society Organisation Groups focusing on specific 2030 Agenda policy processes, and UNDRR groups and stakeholders mentioned in the Sendai Framework and not covered by the Major Groups and other Stakeholders, (Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies [ARISE], Science and Technology Advisory Group [STAG], International Federation of the Red Cross [IFRC], and Media). The SEM Advisory Group acts as a key interlocutor with UNDRR, and enables, leads and supports an all-of-society engagement in the implementation of the Sendai Framework at the local, national, regional and global levels.

Join the SEM


Platform on Disaster Displacement

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Forced displacement is one of the most common and immediate repercussions of disasters. As climate change is projected to increase internal and cross-border disaster displacement, other risk factors, such as rapid and unplanned urbanisation and population growth, weak governance, conflict, poverty and economic downturn are expected to amplify and intensify its impact. Recognizing the vulnerability and exposure of internally displaced persons to hazards and higher levels of risks, the Sendai Framework 2015-2030 addresses the need for cross-sectoral coordination action and mobilisation of all key stakeholders to prevent and mitigate protracted displacement and strengthen displaced people’s resilience.

In order to support Government authorities and the international community in their efforts to integrate disaster displacement and other related forms of human mobility into regional, national, subnational and local disaster risk reduction strategies, UNDRR is working closely with leading agencies and actors in the area of disaster displacement, including the International Migration Organization (IOM), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and International Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC). A key product of the partnership was the publication of the 2019 Words into Action (WiA) guidelines “Disaster Displacement: How to Reduce Risk, Address Impacts and Strengthen Resilience”, Developed in partnership with the Platform on Disaster Displacement and the Norwegian Refugee Council, with generous funding from the Government of Germany, the guide offers specific and practical guidance to improve the management and coordination of disaster displacement through prevention and planning. The WIA on Displacement is now being rolled out in countries across several regions, thereby also supporting the achievement of Target E) of the Sendai Framework.

Disability Stakeholder Group


While disasters severely threaten the well-being of people and communities, they have a disproportionate impact on persons with disabilities, whose vulnerabilities are reinforced by interrelated factors such as higher rates of poverty, social exclusion, lack of basic services, and less accessible to receive information. The Sendai Framework highlights the need for inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of disaster risk reduction, including mainstreaming disability and other at-risk groups into disaster risk reduction strategies plans and policies is therefore key to overcome and avoid exacerbating disparities.

Working closely with the Disability-inclusive DRR Network (DiDRRN), UNDRR helps building multi-stakeholders’ partnerships between Governments and other stakeholders to support and empower people with disabilities at national and local level.