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Views from the Frontline 2009

Views from the Frontline is a participatory multi-stakeholder engagement process designed to monitor, review and report on critical aspects of “local governance” considered essential to building disaster resilient communities.

Views from the Frontline has let us meet with and get to know different actors in our area, even with people that it was difficult to get access to before.

 - Global Network member from Peru

The review process is designed around a survey questionnaire based on a series of “core indicators” intended to  reflect the core functions of local governance as defined by the UN  'Hyogo Framework for Action' .

The questionnaire is designed and coordinated by the Global Network Secretariat through regional nodes and administered by locally-active participating civil society organisations. These conduct a series of guided face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions with local government officials and community representatives to assess the level of progress achieved on a scale of 1 to 5.

Following an initial analysis of the survey data, a programme of consultations are held with local stakeholders to discuss the outcomes of the survey in the local context. Discussions are designed to highlight key challenges and constraints encountered by the local authorities, identify drivers of success and agree recommendations to accelerate progress at the local level. These findings, analysis and recommendations are presented in National Progress Reports which form the basis for coordinated policy advocacy and lobbying actions to accelerate local progress.

In turn, national reports  are distilled down into regional and global reports, with main recommendations amplified at regional and international levels.  Summary findings, conclusions and recommendations are presented in a Global Report (available in English, Spanish and French) and consequently form the basis for coordinated regional and international advocacy actions.  The next one will be presented at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in May 2011.

Views from the Frontline shifted the agenda at the Global Platform 2009 to focus on the implementation of national DRR policies at the local level.

Margareta Wahlstrom, UN-ISDR

Recommendations taken from the 2009 executive report

10 core recommendations:

  1. Reorient HFA implementation strategies to support a proactive and systematic deepening of engagement with at-risk communities, including participation of most vulnerable groups.
  2. Recognise the right of at-risk women, men and children to engage in decisionmaking and planning processes - participation must be clearly defined and explicitly recognised through policy, legal and institutional provisions.
  3. Undertake participatory local hazard-vulnerability assessments and associated risk mapping as strategic entry points to raising critical awareness and understanding of risk and to building relationships among different actors. Set specific time-bound targets with clear responsibilities and delegated authority in support of these assessments. Teach children to do this too, using schools as important local centres for community action for disaster risk reduction.
  4. Use local disaster risk knowledge to inform local programming and action planning of principal development sectors; risk considerations should become routine in all development investment planning and programming.
  5. Decentralise authority and resources to appropriate administrative levels in support of local multi-stakeholder partnerships (including equitable representation from most vulnerable); to coordinate and manage risk reduction, poverty alleviation, development and climate adaptation policy execution.
  6. Develop innovative financial strategies for supporting local level initiatives and partnerships, including direct local level access to disaster risk reduction and  climate adaptation trust funds and technical resources.
  7. Extend VFL’s geographical coverage and modify indicator metrics to incorporate climate adaptation characteristics ahead of Global Platform-DRR 2011 as a means to independently audit disaster risk and climate adaptation progress 3.
  8. Maximise the potential of existing traditional social networks and investigate potential of social networking and internet-based communications innovations as approaches to communicating and sharing information, raising critical awareness, building broad-based constituencies and coalitions and mobilising social demand for DRR.
  9. Invest in networks at all levels that improve the exchange of good practice and learning, promote civil society harmonisation and coordination, and foster dialogue and collaboration between state and non-state actors.
  10. Carry out reform of the humanitarian response system, making it one committed to engaging with and strengthening local and national preparedness and response / recovery capacities, and one that bases programme interventions on assessments of people’s own perceived priority needs in relation to their capacities and vulnerabilities.

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