GNDR Global Conference, The Hague, 20-21 March 2013

There is no translation available.

"Don't live with it - deal with it."

More than 130 delegates, coming from 70 different countries, joined together in The Hague for this
global GNDR conference, which had 5 objectives:

  1. Explore the latest from Views from the Frontline
  2. Formulate recommendations for a post-HFA framework and develop a joint advocacy strategy to share these recommendations
  3. Establish the next steps for the Views from the Frontline programme and launch the Action and Learning research programme
  4. Present the new GNDR governance structure to strengthen regional and national activities
  5. Provide an opportunity for active GNDR members to connect together

The conference was designed to be informal and inclusive, seeking to generate ideas, questions, challenges, to share different experiences and perspectives and to enable participation from all delegates – which included a diverse range
of people from grass-roots leaders and practitioners active at the local level, national and international NGOS, academics, UN and other international agencies and donor governments. 

The conference was broadcast live via the GNDR website enabling people who were unable to join in person, to follow proceedings. 100 hits on the web streaming were recorded over the two days.

Download the conference summary report here
Descargar el informe final de la conferencia aquí
Télécharger le rapport final de la conférence ici
List of conference participants

View all the video streaming footage here 




HAG_CONF__0014 Marcus Oxley, GNDR Executive Director, welcomed everyone to the conference highlighting the efforts that many had made to be there – some as far away as the Pacific Islanders had set off 4-days earlier to be there – and inviting everyone to make the most of this opportunity to achieve the key objectives. 

link webstream 0- 8 min

 HAG_CONF__0032 Rob Swartbol, Director-General International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands then gave a Dutch welcome and formally opened the conference. He highlighted the commitment of the MOFA to disaster risk reduction and the critical role of civil society networks such as the GNDR.
link webstream 9-16 min


Terry Gibson, GNDR Operations Director, briefed the conference on the purpose of VFL, the development of the programme and its growing impact since 2008. Participants were reminded of the headlines from the 2009 and 2011 reports

link webstream (14:13 min) link webstream (6:13 min) link webstream (11:52 min)

Download the Powerpoint


Plenary presentation after VFL 2013 regional group discussions

link webstream



Recommendations for a post-HFA framework

Perspectives on a post-HFA framework were shared in a lively plenary discussion on the afternoon of Day 1, which provided the opportunity for different, sometimes opposing views to be shared. Marcus Oxley, GNDR Executive Director, and Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction opened up the discussion following which various participants raised questions, offered ideas, and provided challenges.



Marcus highlighted that the origins of GNDR lay in the 2005 Kobe conference, Japan where the value of having a coordinated civil-society perspective on HFA was identified. The subsequent development of the VFL programme has focused on providing a clear local-level perspective on the extent of the impact of HFA on those people most affected by disasters, what can be done to enhance that impact, and how local-level impact can be more effective.

link webstream 0- 48 min

Download Powerpoint here

Margareta Wahlström provided an insight into the challenges of developing HFA beyond 2015 and encouraged GNDR to continue developing the VFL programme as an important means of reflecting the local perspective on HFA. She observed that differing perspectives are converging around the same issues now: how can natural hazards be mitigated and how this can be done at the community level?

link webstream 48 - 130 min

Plenary discussion

Following plenary questions and challenges, participants broke into regional groups to explore and articulate key themes felt to be important for post-HFA framework thinking.

lWatch the full presentations and plenary questions (2 hours 5 mins)

Regional perspectives

Regional perspectives on post-2015 framework (6 min 57 secs)

Regional perspectives on post-2015 framework (7 min 32 secs)

Regional perspectives on post-2015 framework (5 min 25 secs)


Civil Society Recommendations for Post-HFA thinking

Work overnight by the GNDR Steering Group and conference team then integrated these themes with those emerging from network members through recent online discussions and regional workshops in Nairobi, Potchefstroom, San Salvador and Yogyakarta. A list of 19 themes was provided to regional groups to tackle in the morning and each group invited to seek to prioritise their top 7 from the group and/or highlight themes that were missing. Following compilation of the outputs from each region a plenary perspective was provided to draw on areas of consensus.

Collated regional perspectives on post-HFA priorities

Each region then nominated a representative to join a small drafting committee who, with the goodwill of the conference through applause and wishes of good luck, were tasked with pulling together a list of core recommendations representative of the conference. Following intense work by the drafting committee 10 recommendations and themes were distilled and presented back to the conference.

Using the individual voting handsets, all conference delegates were then invited to rate their level of agreement or disagreement with each of the recommendations and to provide a sense of the extent to which these themes and recommendations should form a unified civil society position on post-HFA thinking.

Subsequent work by the GNDR Steering Group to clearly articulate these recommendations took place immediately after the conference with a final draft of recommendations achieved.

Headline recommendations:

Communities that are resilient to extreme shocks and stresses of any type


1. Prioritise the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalised people

2. Ensure the scope of the framework includes all types of natural and human-derived disasters - including small-scale recurrent “everyday” shocks and stresses 

3. Prioritise tackling the causes of vulnerability and exposure

4. Strengthen and resource local risk governance

5. Place rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders at the core of the framework

6. Establish clear goals, standards, baselines, targets and indicators

7. Institutionalise the role and strengthen the capacity of civil society

8. Demand clear commitment from the private sector to strengthening community resilience

Conference Recommendations
Recommandations de la conférence
Recomendaciones de la conferencia



Reflections on advocacy


Maria "Malu" Fellizar-Cagay, Deputy Executive Director, Center for Disaster Preparedness and Lead Convenor, DRRNetPhils shared valuable insights, experiences and challenges from the Philippines.

link webstream

PowerPoint Slides

 HG2_4274 Takeshi Komino, Head of Emergencies, CWS-Asia/Pacific, provided reflections from his experiences in supporting the establishment of a National DRR Platform in Afghanistan.

Action at the Frontline


A key part of VFL over the coming months is Action at the Frontline. Terry Gibson, GNDR Operations Director presented the headlines followed by an informal discussion:

link to webstream 0 - 8 min

Download Powerpoint


The evolution of the GNDR network over the past 5 years, the increasing membership, the greater stability offered by government funding, and the growing expectations from members for VFL and related activities has led the GNDR steering group and trustees to focus on seeking to establish a stronger, more representational governance structure.  A governance sub-group has been looking into this challenge and Marcus Oxley, GNDR Executive Director and Vishaka Hidellage, GNDR Steering Group member, presented the headlines and thinking so far.  A passionate exchange ensued highlighting the importance of prioritising governance as a key topic to be resolved. 

link to webstream - 8 - end 

Download Powerpoint 


Next steps and Close

The conference closed with an invitation for all participants to individually reflect on the conversations, discussions, ideas, questions, challenges raised during this event – both inside and outside the conference room.  Participants were invited to identify one activity that they will be undertaking as a result of the conference and to share that on a post-it note with the wider network.

link to webstream


Participants next steps - English/ Français/ Español


“I am excited - there is a lot of consensus here.  We have made tremendous progress.


Many different views have been shared and there has been a positive healthy discussion. I am very very positive and I think we have made a step in the right direction. We had a lot of objectives to cover in 2 days and we have all worked hard. It has been a positive experience and I am very inspired and committed to be working with this network. 


Thank you to each and every one of you.”



Marcus closed the conference with some reflections on progress over the two days


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Charlotte Floors  - Partners for Resilience - sings "Don't live with it" at the conference social evening


Download the conference summary report here


Descargar el informe final de la conferencia aquí - Proximamente!


Télécharger le rapport final de la conférence ici - a venir!

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