World Reconstruction Conference 4

The World Reconstruction Conference is a global forum that provides a platform to collect, assess, and share disaster reconstruction and recovery experiences and take forward the policy dialogue for an effective international disaster recovery and reconstruction framework.

The Fourth edition of the World Reconstruction Conference (WRC4) will take place in Geneva on May 13-14, 2019. The WRC4 theme is “Inclusion for Resilient Recovery.”

WRC4 will be held in conjunction with the 6th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR, May 13-17, 2019).

WRC4 will bring together leaders, experts, policy makers, and practitioners from government, international organizations, NGOs, academia, and the private sector from both developing and developed countries.

WRC will also build on lessons learned from the previous conferences.

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Theme: Inclusion for Resilient Recovery

Social inclusion is defined throughout Inclusion Matters as both "the process of improving the terms for individuals and groups to take part in society" and, more specifically, as "the process of improving the ability, opportunity, and dignity of people, disadvantaged on the basis of their identity, to take part in society."

Inclusion in disaster recovery and reconstruction is a key condition for the people’s resilience. A more inclusive recovery fosters equal rights and opportunities, dignity and diversity, guaranteeing that nobody from a community is left out because of their age, gender, disability or other factors linked to ethnicity, religion, geography, economic status, political affiliation, health issues, or other life circumstances.

The international frameworks set up by the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate change all advocate for an increasing focus on resilience and inclusion.


The overall goal of the WRC4 is to build consensus and to renew and accelerate efforts towards realizing inclusive recovery processes. To this end, the conference will discuss the challenges and inherent biases in the process of recovery and the reasons for which certain population groups are systematically excluded.

The conference will have the following specific objectives:

The WRC4 will further contribute to the international discourse on inclusion by raising awareness, facilitating discussion, sharpening the thinking, and setting the agenda for future engagement.

  • Identifying effective ways to ensure inclusive recovery and reconstruction processes for governments, international organisations, NGOs and civil society groups to create opportunities for active and meaningful participation of the communities in recovery to make this process more inclusive.
  • Building consensus on gender responsive approaches to promote shared recovery benefits. Due to pre-existing gender inequalities, women are generally hardest hit by a crisis and remain a marginalized group in most society, even more so when gender-based discrimination intersects with other forms of vulnerabilities such as physical disability, belonging to minority groups, etc. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) underscores the importance of empowering women in disaster risk reduction and recovery, emphasizing that women’s participation is critical to effectively manage design and implement gender-sensitive disaster risk reduction strategies and recovery policies, plans and programs.
  • Enhance inclusion of people with disabilities in recovery and reconstruction. Constraints in accessing natural resources, risk warnings, information on coping and responding, transportation and emergency shelters, in addition to socio-cultural barriers which limit participation and movement, are worsened by disasters and other crises. People with disabilities, who make up 15% of the world population, are disproportionately affected by those impacts, given their specific livelihood circumstances, their socio-political isolation (perpetuated by stigma, discrimination and exclusion), and related information asymmetry and constraint in decision making processes due to lack of access to these processes and lack of meaningful inclusion.
  • Fostering inclusion in disaster preparedness and response. To be effective and equal, disaster preparedness and response must be participatory and inclusive so to address the needs of all groups. It is, therefore, critical to engage the affected population in determining such needs and priorities.


The WRC4 is expected to bring together experts, practitioners and stakeholders from various institutions and community-based organizations (associations active on gender equality and/or women’s empowerment, disabled people’s organizations, indigenous peoples’ rights, ex-combatants, youth participation, and migrants integration).


The traditional WRC partners (EU, UNDP, World Bank) will have the opportunity to renew and expand their partnership with UNISDR for a common platform on the two events.


A common registration webpage is set up for the Global Platform for DRR and the World Reconstruction Conference 4. Register now on the Global Platform page.

Preliminary Agenda

MONDAY, MAY 13, 2019 | Geneva

8:00 – 9:00


9:00 – 10:30

OPENING CEREMONY: Leave no one behind – making inclusion a reality

10:30 – 11:00


11:00 – 12:30

Financing mechanisms for more inclusive recovery

BBB in infrastructure: making it stronger and accessible to everyone

Ensuring the inclusion of displaced persons in recovery

Women as leaders in recovery

12:30 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:30

PLENARY: Inclusion for people with Disabilities

15:30 – 16:00


16:00 – 17:30

Making recovery inclusive through technology

Social protection for greater inclusion

From local government to civil society, from urban to rural settings: making recovery inclusive. The Case of Indonesia

Addressing cultural biases for inclusive recovery

18:00 – 20:00



TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2019 | Geneva

8:00 - 9:00


9:00 – 10:30

PLENARY: Inclusion vs exclusion - drivers, biases and means of action

10:30 – 11:00


11:00 – 12:30

Green recovery through inclusive practices

Sustainable Energy solutions for recovery

Lessons from South Asia: inclusion towards vulnerability reduction

Ecosystem based-recovery: the case of Kerala floods 2018

12:30 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:30

Conflict Sensitivity and Social Inclusion: Tools for Effective Reconstruction in Contexts Affected by Fragility, Conflict and Violence

Community-led recovery

Inclusion starts with preparedness

How can disaggregated data support inclusion? 

15:30 – 16:00


16:00 – 17:30

CLOSING PLENARY:  Inclusion as a right for all

Proceedings from previous conferences

WRC3 | 2017

Proceedings from World Reconstruction Conference 3 in Brussels, Belgium, which focused on “building back better in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction,” Priority 4 of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

WRC2 | 2014

Proceedings from the 2nd World Reconstruction Conference, which took place in Washington, D.C. in 2014. The sessions centered on the theme, "Resilient Recovery: An Imperative for Sustainable Development."

WRC1 | 2011

These proceedings cover the inaugural World Reconstruction Conference, which was held in Geneva in 2011. This first-of-its-kind event covered a wide variety of topics with an eye to recovering and reducing risks after natural hazard-induced disasters.