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PASSA Participatory Approach for Safe Shelter Awareness

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1. Presentation of PASSA

1.1 What is PASSA

Participatory Approach for Safe Shelter Awareness (PASSA) is a participatory method of disaster risk reduction (DRR) related to shelter safety. It is a variation of Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST), which has been used by many Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies in water and sanitation programmes since the late 1990s.

The aim of PASSA is to develop local capacity to reduce shelterrelated risk by raising awareness and developing skills in joint analysis, learning and decision-making at community level.

PASSA is a process, facilitated by volunteers, that guides community groups (called PASSA groups in this manual) through eight participatory activities which enable the participants to do the following progressively:

  • Develop their awareness of shelter safety issues in their community

  • Identify hazards and vulnerabilities that create risk related to shelter

  • Recognize and analyse causes of shelter vulnerability

  • Identify and prioritize potential strategies to improve shelter safety

  • Make a plan to put those shelter safety strategies into place, based on local capacities

  • Monitor and evaluate progress.

It is important to bear in mind that PASSA is a tool to help communities analyse, plan and monitor, and not a tool for Red Cross Red Crescent to do the same. However, community plans for improving shelter safety that are produced as a result of PASSA may be used as a basis for a shelter programme.

Designed as a shelter risk reduction tool, PASSA can also be regarded as a tool to progress from the shelter relief phase to more long-lasting and sustainable reconstruction solutions, empowering people to communicate their demands and to understand the impacts of each of their choices.

In both pre-disaster and post-disaster settings, technical support is required not only to recommend disaster-safe construction but also to steer the plans of actions towards realistic and sustainable outcomes.