[by Rod Snider | 3rd WCDRR Sendai | 15 March 2015 | Day 2]
There is quite a buzz here at the WCDRR. It is always exciting being part of such a large event, sharing ideas and learning from others experience. We just came out of a multi-stakeholder dialogue, where one of the participants complimented the excellent work of the GDNR, particularly the work and concrete recommendations in the "Reality Check" publications. I wonder though what a vulnerable community member would think and say if they were to attend this event. Are the millions of dollars spent in bringing 6000 people together really worth the investment? Are we really moving the needle on making communities and households more resilient by gathering so many people to just talk about how to reduce disaster risks?
Sure we will have a global framework that will influence policy and hopefully dedicate more resources needed to build stronger, more resilient communities. Sure there are many intangibles that come out of networking, connecting and establishing new relationships. But I am not sure that community member that struggles with everyday risk would agree and think this is the best process though. I am personally struggling with this debate –is this just more business as usual or will we actually see new and better approaches after a week of so many formal and informal events that will actually result in a measurable impact in reducing disaster risk.
I do believe that GNDR has brought a stronger civil society voice to the discussion that has been missing and has definitely influenced the process. GNDR has established a key role in their efforts to galvanize this large network of networks, in bringing the voices of those living at the frontline to these high-level meetings. I hope that we, as a network though, continue to challenge existing conventions that are not working well and push policy makers to develop a framework that produces results that actually mean something to those at the frontline. We will see over the next few days if 6000 people can really make a difference!