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Oxfam’s participatory capacity and vulnerability analysis (PCVA) tool is a risk analysis process designed to help staff and partner organisations engage with communities in contexts where natural disasters are significant drivers of poverty and suffering. PCVA has its roots in two proven social development methodologies. First, it stems from capacity and vulnerability analysis (CVA) methodology. This has long enabled development and humanitarian aid workers to design programmes based on a community’s capacities as well as its vulnerabilities. It recognises that vulnerable people have capacities to cope with adversity and can take steps to improve their lives, however difficult their situation may be. Second, it is rooted in the belief that enabling communities to genuinely participate in programme design, planning, and management leads to increased ownership, accountability and impact, and is the best way to bring about change. PCVA draws on a wide range of participatory learning and action (PLA) techniques and tools that are designed to channel participants’ ideas and efforts into a structured process of analysis, learning, and action planning, with the overall aim of reducing a community’s disaster risk.

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