Thematic Areas

Reflection-Action Lenses

AoA - Vulnerability analysis

AoA - Vulnerability analysis

Vulnerability analysis involves identifying the disasters people are most vulnerable to (for example, floods, conflict, drought, earthquakes, landslides and loss of productive ecosystems or natural resources); the groups that are most affected in such situations; their problems; and institutions that can help them.

Participatory tools for vulnerability analysis

  • Seasonal calendarA seasonal calendar can be used to look at seasonal vulnerabilities faced by the community members.
  • Vulnerability mapA vulnerability map can be used to look at the different vulnerabilities faced by people in different parts of the community.
  • Problem treeA problem tree can be used to analyse the cause and effects of different disasters and crises.

Some key questions for vulnerability analysis

  • What exposes people to vulnerability in this context?
  • Is this location exposed to floods, conflict, drought or earthquakes? If so, how are people’s rights affected when these occur?
  • What types of violations do women face in different situations in any of these disasters?
  • For the key rights violations you have prioritised, analyse:
    • where violations happen
    • when they started and how often they happen
    • who experiences violations most severely (men, women, boys, girls or the elderly?)
    • who is/are the main perpetrator(s) of the violation(s)?
  • What impact do these violations have on you or on women in your community? What have you, as a community, done in the past and what are you doing now?
  • What have other people or organisations done, or what are they currently doing, to address the problem?
  • Who do you think is responsible for resolving the issue?
  • What do you think they should be doing to resolve the issue?
  • What structures are in place to resolve this problem?
  • Do you have access to and support from these structures?
  • Are the services working or not? If not, why not?
  • What actions can be taken to respond to the causes and effects of the violations at community, national and international level?
  • How do we assess progress of the actions?
  • Whose responsibility is it to monitor progress and who should the progress be reported to?
  • What has been the nature of climate change in the area? How has it affected people? And what impact has this had on women specifically?



Here you can download some useful resources.

Tools in this toolbox

Access and control matrix

To analyse who has the power to access and control different resources and who is denied this.The Access and Control Matrix encou…

Body map

To explore issues around health and sexuality, women’s rights and violence against women.Steps in the processDraw the outline of …

Flow chart

To help make sense of different processes or complex systems - to explore cause, effect and inter-connections.Flow charts can be …

Helping relationship spiderweb

To explore the web of people and organisations that can support a person in a difficult situation and to identify what makes a he…


To present local information, problems and opportunities in a clear, visual way. A basic map of a local area can be overlaid with…

Problem tree

To explore cause and effect.A tree can be used to explore cause and effect or problem and solution. The various elements of a tre…

Seasonal calendar

To help participants to analyse the distribution of agricultural work / crops / illnesses / etc. over the year.Cross referencing …


To track changes or document the history of a community or organisation.By capturing the chronology of events as perceived and …

Transect walk

A transect walk is a systematic walk along a defined path (transect) across a community to explore conditions by observing, askin…

Transparency board

To share information about government or NGO projects and programmes.Transparency Boards are used to share information about proj…