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WCDRR 2015

GNDR launched the Reality Check campaign, at the Third UN Word Conference for DRR (WCDRR) in Sendai, 14-18th March 2015. There, GNDR presented the Civil Society Implementation Plan, the Frontline programme and hosted a number of side events in Sendai.

Also at Sendai, we providedlive updates from our Global Board members and Secretariat to keep you updated on the events, discussions and outcomes from Sendai. You can read below the blogs from GNDR members and staff, follow the conversations that took place online on Storify, on Twitter and Facebook. We also used the hashtag #GNDRrealitycheck in tweets and facebook posts.

Enjoy the blogs!

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An incisive video interview to Carlos Kaiser (ONG Inclusiva) and María Verónica Bastías (GNDR) about the importance of inclusion in the new DRR successor framework and the participation of people with disabilities as agents of change. Recorded by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 00:00

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

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GNDR member and renowned academic Ben Wisner responds with his first impressions on the HFA2 draft seven targets still under discussion on March 17th, as negotiations still continue overnight into the final and closing day of the conference.
Bruno Haghebaert, GNDR Learning Coordinator, reflects on the changing DRR landscape since 2004, when John Twigg wrote the iconic "Disaster risk reduction Mitigation and preparedness in development and emergency programming" Good Practice Review book, comissioned by the Humanitarian Practice Network. Bruno outlines in this blog the main seven changes he has seen in the DRR landscape since then.
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 00:00

A journey to a disaster-resilient world

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Syed Shahnawaz Ali of Islamic Relief Philippines sets out the challenges to which the world must respond in agreeing action to build a safer world for all.
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 00:00

It’s the economy, stupid

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Whilst the negotiations over finance for DRR are deadlocked, Terry Gibson discovers from conversations with people at the frontline and Washington funders that an alternative might be direct finance to the frontline . . .
At Sendai conference, NGOs lament limited political commitment to funding disaster risk reduction plans. Sticky points linger on around targets, finance and support from the developed to developing countries as conference enters last day. Leaders given a wake-up call on importance of deal as Cyclone Pam hits Vanuatu.
Disasters are not waiting for negotiations to conclude before bringing their toll of loss and damage. A day before the Sendai meeting, nature has sent a very precise and clear message to the international community through Cyclone PamUnfortunately, this message from Pam seems not being heard by the world or maybe not well understood.
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 00:00

Ambitious targets for a safer world for all

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Every word matters when it comes to disaster risk reduction. This conference must deliver a framework that commits member states to ambitious targets that build a safer world for all. Islamic Relief's Imran Madden, Head of Humanitarian Department for Islamic Relief, reports from the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, a pivotal world conference on DRR.
At exactly the same time when tropical cyclone Pam, one of the most powerful cyclones ever, devastated the Pacific island of Vanuatu,  over 180 governments in Sendai, Japan are negotiating hard to reach an agreement to prepare for and reduce the impact of disasters. Harjeet Singh, GNDR member, reflects on how governments should be stepping up actions to deal with climate change, during a final round of talks on post 2015 disaster risk reduction framework marred by regressive stances. "If we end up with all weak targets, then the new agreement will in fact be weaker than the current Framework that ends in 2015.", says Harjeet.
Monday, 16 March 2015 00:00

Sex and Death and DRR

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Two phrases with special meaning: 'international cooperation' and 'common but differentiated responsibilities' keep the negotiations over the new framework for Disaster Risk Reduction "going round and round, going no-where" says Terry Gibson in his latest blog from Sendai.
Monday, 16 March 2015 00:00

Y hay tanto por hacer...

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"Las jornadas se suceden veloces e intensas. Los texts y mensajes van y vienen anunciando actividades, presentaciones, reuniones, fotografías... Es absolutamente imposible presenciar todo, así que marcamos las prioridades para que estas horas aquí sean productivas y satisfactorias.", escribe Graciela Salaberri, representante de la Junta Global de GNDR para Sudamérica, en su blog sobre cómo está enfocando su participación en Sendai en los temas de mayor interés para Latinoamérica.
Mave Bastías gives an account of some of the interventions today from Latin American representatives of civil society organisations and indigenous communities, in particular those from José Ramón Ávila from ASONOG (Honduras) and Adolfo Millabur, mayor of Tirua (Chile) and one of the main indigenous Mapuche Lafkenche leaders. Mave found a common voice in both interventions, as they highlighted the gap between the commitment and capabilities of the people at the frontline and the need to tackle politically at national and global level those underlying risk factors caused by current development strategies that communities cannot confront themselves.
Rex Horoi and Stu Solomon report on regional dialogue discussions today between South East Asia and the Pacific Islands groups, under the GNDR and the Frontline programme banners, to strengthen inter-regional cooperation. The outcome was several proposals to strengthen coherence in policies, implementation and monitoring on the post 2015 frameworks, to create shared knowledge and learning spaces for the regions,  and to identify ways that civil society can work together to support the monitoring process at both the national and local level.
Monday, 16 March 2015 00:00

Will our Tachibana Deal Build Back HFA Better?

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Adressing the major groups, the Chair and Co-chair of the negotiation committee briefed us on progress: one key issue not yet agreed on is the target on international cooperation and the means of implementation. Looks like this is the real deal; agreeing on a bold target for global financial commitment. There is palpable fear and even intentional manoeuvres to avoid financial commitments. But among the somehow apprehensive and saddening conversation, there is hope down the road to continue lobbying and partnering with our governments for bold and accountable commitments. After the negotiators crawled back into the Tachibana Hall, it is time for CSOs to ramp up our advocacy strategy to ensure we get a better deal for the target on international cooperation!"
"What do you call a plan with no agreement on how to finance it?" is the question that Scott T. Paul, Senior Humanitarian Adviser for Oxfam America is asking us at the start of this blog written from Sendai. Incomplete, incoherent, perhaps irresponsible? In his piece, Scott writes about the reluctance of wealthy countries to commit more money to DRR in the negotiations during the 3rd UN WCDRR in Sendai, Japan, the world's biggest event in over a decade aimed at tackling the devastating impacts of disasters on lives, livelihoods and economies.
Sunday, 15 March 2015 00:00

Masters of the Universe

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Having attended the GAR 2015 report launch and the GAR for Tablet app that allows for colourful infographics and visualisations of disasters and impacts, Terry Gibson felt we are still "surrounded by dinosaurs" who talk about 'natural disasters'. But no disaster is natural, only weather events are. And while we "still hear people talking as if the only disasters of concern are the large scale events", says Terry, GNDR's "own data, GAR's and others' shows that a large majority of disasters are small scale, recurrent, resulting from the complex interaction of many factors." The knowledge everyday heroes hold of the everyday disasters they face "is the missing piece without which big data and 3D visualisations won't make a difference to the billions of people most affected by disasters."
Sunday, 15 March 2015 00:00

Words falling off the framework text

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Oenone Chadburn writes from the negotiation room on how, for a non-binding agreement, the negotiations on wording seem to be tying themselves in knots. And it is not just merely semantics. Faith Based Organisations, Climate Change, International Co-operation are terms that have dissapeared altogether from the draft or still under negotiation. She is at Sendai today to ensure continued international commitment to a culture of safety, and yet she is worried that it seems we are starting all over.
Sunday, 15 March 2015 00:00

Can 6,000 people really make a difference?

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Are the millions of dollars spent in bringing 6,000 people together to Sendai really worth the investment? I wonder though what a vulnerable community member would think and say if they were to attend this event. But 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. And we will see over the next few days if 6000 people can really make a difference!
The critical questions in events always seem to be postponed to the next conference in AddisEspecially around financing DRR, the hot topic of this event and avoided by the Western Governments. A missed opportunity!
Sunday, 15 March 2015 00:00

CSOs can laymanize early warning information

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GNDR Global Board representative for South East Asia, Lorna Victoria, reflects on the role that CSOs can play "to interface with the scientific community and national/local governments in 'laymanizing' early warning information", but she believes "the first step is to include the community in the design of the early warning systems."
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