Jesus Cordero-Salvado

Jesus Cordero-Salvado

Members presentations


In the first months of the pilot the participating organisations prepared for the tasks ahead by meeting community leaders and other key stakeholders in the communities to set goals and parameters for the pilot phase of Action at the Frontline. Community meetings took place where people started to reflect on the risks they face and what challenges they have in tackling them.

Georgia Pakistan_erosion   Picture1_Uruguay


After a few months, small groups of pilot participants presented their activities to each other at online meetings which were facilitated by the GNDR secretariat. The questions and challenges were then discussed by the participants and a summary report created for further reflection. The individual presentations give valuable insights into the challenges and questions communities face but also demonstrate how communities with the support of local Civil Society Organisations tackle their own risks. 

AFL meeting: Senegal and Togo - 28 October
Summary report: English ; Spanish ; French 

View individual presentations: Senegal and Togo

Based on cross-cutting issues, the following questions are suggested for reflection and sharing:

How to get the involvement/support from local government in activities initiated by local people?

  • Invite local government officials to community meetings
  • Explore who/which line department in local government is responsible for the issue at  stake in the community
  • Explore if adjacent communities experience the same everyday risk of flooding and find  out if they want to join lobbying activities at local government

How to ensure that  Local Action Plans recognize multiple views in community?

  • Arrange separate informal meeting with different social groups in the community – particularly with those  which do not easily speak in large meetings
  • Recognize different views on the same event and find out why different groups have differing risk priorities. 



AFL meeting: Chile and Uruguay – 29 October

Summary report: EnglishSpanish ; French  

View individual presentations: Chile and Uruguay

Based on cross-cutting issues, the following questions are suggested for reflection and sharing:

How to get the involvement/support from local government in activities initiated by local people?

  • Invite local government officials to community meetings
  • Explore who/which line department in local government is responsible for the issue at  stake in the community (natural resource management, mining, DRR, agriculture, education) and make contact

How can local knowledge be used to strengthen DRR policy and scientific knowledge

  • Encourage the involvement of  key stakeholders in joint case studies to understand  the issue (e.g. Uruguay: aside of being users of data, farmers can be involved to make sense of data collected by students and link this to action: what needs to be done to mitigate/adapt to pending drought
  • Recognize that different perspectives exist on the issue which together may lead to new insights and new questions
  • Findings of case studies can be shared to influence  government’s DRR policy and practice  



AFL meeting: Georgia and Pakistan – 1 November

Summary report: English; Spanish ; French 

View individual presentations: Pakistan and Georgia

Based on cross-cutting issues, the following questions are suggested for reflection and sharing:


How to engage with local government or powerful actors (e.g. landlords) to get support for community issues?

The AFL in Pakistan and Georgia differs in the way underlying causes are addressed: in Pakistan people are supported through a learning process to re-work power relations and change people’s beliefs  (social and political dimensions of disaster vulnerability). In Georgia AFL focuses on strengthening  livelihood (economic dimension of  disaster vulnerability) by addressing primarily the immediate causes through technical solutions. The challenge in both cases is to engage with local government or powerful actors to get support for community issues.

Suggested actions:

  • Identify brave community leaders and develop their skills and confidence to speak out in community meetings or when facing powerful actors (Pakistan)
  • Deepen vulnerability assessment by asking why is drainage system not in place, why was road rehabilitation incorrectly done? When these questions are answered, you ask again why? till you arrive at the underlying social. and political causes of why people are vulnerable to disasters. This may reveal new strategies and actions that can be considered by the community as next steps.

AFL meeting: Indonesia and Sri Lanka – 8 November


Summary report: English , Spanish ,  French


View individual presentations: Indonesia and Sri Lanka

Based on cross-cutting issues, the following questions are suggested for reflection and sharing:

How to create public space/people’s participation in the decision-making of public budgeting?

  • It is YEU’s experience that when legislative  representative is present, discussions with district government are smoother than when he is absent. District only listens to voters.
  • In Sri Lanka, information is shared with communities and space provided to consult people about large scale projects, but not in everyday decision-making. New government policy is launched to adopt community hearings (Garam Saba) to involve local people in village development plans. It is much more difficult to do this in the urban setting where people are relying on the initiative of ‘outsiders’ e.g NGOs to coordinate the process.
  • Initial step is gathering information to show local people that they have rights – DM laws, public info, local DRM regulations, democratization law etc. These highlight people’s rights and responsibilities of government
  • When policy, regulations are not implemented in practice, we set clear advocacy targets
  • We build capacity of local government about HFA, DRM agreements within ASEAN, and other binding laws. We share this info in clear and objective way but doesn’t attack individuals.
  • YEU does not want to put government in corner, but tries to be constructive without losing critical  thinking as being part of civil society

What are the appropriate strategies to improve the awareness of government that they are duty bearer and that the community has rights?

Unfortunately, time was limited and the three questions below remain unanswered.  The questions will be taken up in subsequent online discussions:

  • What are the ways of strengthening/enhancing community learning ? What is the  organizational role in it?
  • What are the holistic development tools /approaches that enhance DRR such as disaster sensitive land use planning?
  • What are appropriate community mobilization tools in the urban setting where often communities seem to rely on outsiders to initiative and coordinate actions? 

AFL meeting: Burundi and Haiti  – 11 November

Summary report: English , Spanish , French 

View individual presentations: Burundi Butere , Burundi Muyinga , Haiti

Based on cross-cutting issues, the following questions are suggested for reflection and sharing:

Instead of one big question “how to build community resilience?” it would be helpful to divide this question into smaller more concrete questions. For instance:

  • What are effective strategies to build trust with the community, and between local people and authorities?
  • What are effective strategies to organize and mobilize communities to take action?
  • Why are people vulnerable to disasters and what are underlying risk factors?
  • Who are relevant stakeholders which should be involved to solve risk problems of local community? What are effective strategies to engage them in the AFL process?

The AFL learning approach differs per context and organization - as shown through the various summary reports of the online events. Contact other AFL participants or secretariat to exchange ideas on approaches and methodology.

AFL meeting: Cameroon, Jordan and India – 21 November


Summary report: EnglishFrench Spanish coming soon

View individual presentations: Cameroon , Jordan and India 

Based on cross-cutting issues, the following questions are suggested for reflection and sharing:

“How to deal with expectations from communities regarding AFL support?” 

  • Communities expect from AFL that NGOs and government will provide services to relief their situation (Cameroon). The essence of AFL is to engage with multiple stakeholders and learn how to mobilize resources from government and other stakeholders for DRR work locally (Jordan and India).
  • Engage communities with other stakeholders: interactions and communication (exchange of different kinds of knowledge) is a way to manage community expectations and to influence government practice.
  • There are resources within government (for reforestation, poverty reduction, compensation of crop losses, etc). We should support communities to access these resources. AFL aims to learn from and document these processes so they can be replicated and shared.
  • Possibly working with ‘communities’ in urban contexts differs a lot from rural communities. This is a learning issue for AFL

“How to ensure effective participation from local government in AFL?”

  • Involve local government officials in risk assessment and learning process. In this way they hear local people’s stories and views on government’s assistance. In India, this resulted in a local leader to include a DRR measure in next year’s development plan.
  • Visit government officials together with community representatives and discuss risk problems and solutions from different perspectives (Jordan). We are facilitators.


Contact Information

Global Hub Office

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To contact individual members of staff you can find their details in this page.


AFL pilot 2013

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In order to test the theory and methodology of AFL, GNDR started a pilot study in 13 countries across the world which ran from June 2013 to January 2014.  


Togo_committee  AFL_map_Cameroon  Chile 

Of the network members that applied to participate in the pilot, the following countries and organisations were chosen to represent as broad a range as possible in terms of context of the participating communities and geographical coverage:

  • Burundi: Disaster Reduction Youth Strategy; Association pour la Protection de l’Environnement et la Promotion du développement (APED); Réseau Burundi 2000+ working in Buterere and Muyinga 
  • Cameroon: GEADIR working in Limbe 
  • Chile: ACHNU working with Municipalidad de Tirúa and Asociación Indígena Identidad Lafkenche in the Municipality of Tirúa 
  • Georgia: Oxfam UK in South Caucasus with Black Sea Eco Academy in Adjara 
  • Haiti: Action Secours Ambulance; APCE 11 working in Gonaives and Ennergy 
  • Orissa, India : Orissa State Volunteers and Social Workers Association working in Daspalla block and Glop Block 
  • Indonesia : Yakkum Emergency Unit; KMSB; JARI working in Blawong and Gempol communities
  • Jordan : Land and Human to Advocate Progress (LHAP) working in Wadi Ma'in
  • Pakistan: Pattan Development Organisation working in Multan, Muzaffargarh and D G Khan
  • Senegal: Shalom International, Compassions sans Frontieres working in Sare and Kemo, Cassamance
  • SriLanka: Janathakshan; Rural Centre for Development working in Kotawehera and Eravur
  • Togo: JVE; Jeunes Verts; APAD International working in Ganavé and Kratchi
  • Uruguay: Amigos del Viento working in Agrupamiento Mburucuya/ San Jacinto

Learning from the pilot

The pilot was reviewed and evaluated by a small group of AFL advisors in Amman, Jordan, in January 2014. It looked at strategies on how CSOs and communities have started to tackle the risks and threats they face and at the overall coordination and facilitation of AFL.
Strategies how communities and CSOs try to reduce risks

The pilot showed the various strategies that CSOs follow to reduce the risks of local communities:


Raising awareness

  • Risk assessments
  • Awareness of National DR policies, human and democratic rights
  • Reflection on beliefs, traditions (‘caused by God’, feudal system)

Community mobilisation

  • Technical and economic solutions (e.g. building bridges)
  • Rights-based approaches and dialogue (e.g. indigenous rights)

Action plans

  • Holding governments accountable (advocacy and campaigning)
  • Good Disaster Risk Management governance (e.g. working with local government and other policy makers)
  • Fundraising

Building community capacity

  • Empower local leadership


Reflection on methodology 

Reflection necessary for good learning

Learning needs a stimulus which can either come from the outside or be triggered by events within a setting. Not all acquiring of knowledge leads to change but needs to be reinforced by changed behaviour and or an emotional/ attitudinal change. Learning can also be practical i.e. learning a specific skill.

Most learning comes through reflection. But not all learning is beneficial (e.g. propaganda of people against supposedly harmful polio vaccine in Pakistan). For beneficial and long-term learning, tools for reflection need to be used which help people to learn from their observations and actions. Reflective exercises encourage critical questioning and thinking, questioning of information, systems, events and politics. For this to happen within a community, it often requires someone who acts as a catalyst.

The role of the CSO: facilitate process of reflection

The role of the CSO in the AFL process is to be a catalyst and provide an outside stimulus for reflection and learning, as well as a power balance to the powers within a community. Catalysts are not experts! Within the local community context they are outsiders and therefore learners from the locals. The CSO’s facilitation task includes building bridges to decision makers, enable people to work together and link the community to other stakeholders within and outside the community. In the working relationship between CSO and community trust is a vital ingredient and can be made explicit by clear rules of working together.

Local change agents

For local communities to take charge of their own processes, it needs inspired and committed leaders from within their community. These are often not the elected/ traditional leaders but people who are accepted within their community but also open to new ideas, sometimes called ‘early adopters’. The CSOs role is to identify these local change agents or early adopters and then train and support them so that they can be the constant presence in the community and mobilize them for action.


What are the benefits for the community?

The benefits of AFL for the community are likely to not be at the short-term but need a longer-term focus. This can be very difficult as short-term benefits and actions can be very appealing to communities in desperate need. As short-term benefits can break the process of AFL, it may be necessary to clearly differentiate between immediate need and a longer term strategic interest. 

The long-term benefits of AFL are:

  • Tangible actions to address everyday risks
  • Tools to create dialogue with local and national government
  • Relationships with strategic stakeholders
  • Connection with communities in similar situations

An example of the long-term benefit would be the experience of one community that produced a risk map and a subsequent action plan which included the lobbying of government for budget allocation in their area to tackle risks that have been identified as priorities by the community.
For more information, please read the full report on the evaluation and planning workshop in Amman, Jordan, in January 2014. 



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