Community Resilience


SSP started its women centric approach in resilience building way back in 1994, during the reconstruction phase of Latur earthquake and pioneered an innovative strategy in grassroots women-led approach in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to build resilience in vulnerable communities.

SSP mobilized grassroots women’s groups in reconstruction and local governance transforming the disaster recovery into a development opportunity in many states. SSP’s experience shows that promoting grassroots women’s leadership is at the heart of resilience building.

SSP has an integrative and holistic approach to reduce risk and vulnerabilities, raise awareness and capacities and advance long-term sustainable development localized in communities and led by organized grassroots women. It aims at empowering grassroots women to build resilient communities that withstand the increasing climate threats and disasters and advocate for more inclusive and equitable public policy and governance.

SSP has been involved in resilience building practices for many years and has established a strong partnership and network with grassroots community and NGOs across states. SSP has played a key role in bridging grassroots community and NGOs through various programmes and initiatives.


SSP has over fifteen years of time tested strategies to involve grassroots women leaders/groups/federations as architects of change. SSP’s resilience practices have evolved in partnership with grassroots women through multiple program and process innovations.

  • Introduce concepts of community resilience from a women centered approach through trainings and dialogue;
  • Position women leaders in vulnerability mapping, identifying priorities and forging partnerships for solutions;
  • Partner with local NGOs to play key roles as facilitators and allow grassroots women’s groups to take the lead in determining the milestones of resilient development;
  • Create a learning network, peer learning exchanges and platform on Community Resilience among partners;
  • Establish Community Resilience Fund (CRF) – that transform local women into managers and innovators;
  • Facilitating connections between women resilience champions, community led initiatives and local government bodies to create a policy shift.


Women’s leadership programs

SSP equips local women through intensive trainings to become facilitators of reconstruction in regions prone to disasters such as earthquakes, droughts and floods. Sakhis lead the communities in systematic, pre-planned climate resilience programs.

Collective learning

SSP promotes peer learning among Sakhis by facilitating networks that focus on promoting local innovations in community resilience building. These networks also help SSP mobilize local women to execute community centered resilience building activities.

Forming collective action networks

SSP’s model for resilience building banks on the skills of Sakhis to network, engage and take their community along, to execute planned resilience activities. The work of Sakhi networks transforms disaster recovery to opportunities for development.

Advocacy to bring systematic change

SSP’s Sakhi networks collaborate with the administrators and policy makers of the local and state governments. Engaging the local government helps us strengthen and scale up community resilience practices in disaster-hit communities.


Today SSP’s resilience building efforts have spread to include over 100,000 women in self-help group networks in 16 hazard prone districts across 4 States in India, through various dialogue forums, learning exchanges and training events to strengthen the skills of women leaders in addressing disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.


SSP seeks support to create safe and disaster resilient communities by developing local women leaders for addressing disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation at the community level.


SSP is a member of Groots International to bring community based organizations and grassroots groups to Groots India Network. Groots India Network of grassroots organizations and women leaders emerged in 2009 to facilitate and highlight the role of grassroots women in DRR. Local, regional and national events on disaster risk reduction and grassroots community have helped our network to raise women voice in many platforms, influence policy makers, explore innovative grassroots resilience initiatives and identify like-minded NGO partners.

In partnership with Misereor, SSP has created a learning platform in more than 8 states. Grassroots network have been strengthened and active in Bihar, Assam, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Through exposure and inputs, NGOs and groups work together as a cohort group to champion and lobby for development projects from the government schemes like the NREGA and NRHM to make poor communities less vulnerable. The network platform will replicate resilience building initiatives across disaster and climate hit regions

SSP is a member of Alliance for Adaptation & Disaster Risk Reduction (AADRR) which aims to create the network platform for resilience building initiatives across disaster and climate hit districts in India. As the founding member of AADRR, SSP has been leading the alliance to conduct dialogue workshops and advocacy programmes with policy makers and government officials to highlight the role of grassroots women community in disaster risk reduction.