The value of multi-stakeholder participation in tackling the challenges of resilient development is increasingly being recognised. The role of non-state actors in the post-2015 frameworks is more prominent than in previous international agreements; decision-makers around the world recognise the importance of inclusion and all-of-society collaboration to achieve resilience.
These commitments are not, however, always followed by effective action. GNDR’s advocacy activities are guided by our objective to increase the impact of civil society in influencing policies: why we work to support civil society, at-risk groups and other development actors to undertake joint actions across national, regional and global levels.
We actively lobby to open spaces for non-government voices to be heard and included in policy-making processes at the local, national and international level: we do this to ensure that all of society is involved in building its own resilience. While states have the overall responsibility for the protection and well-being of their citizens, non-government actors have key knowledge essential to ensure the effectiveness of resilience and development policies.
This is especially true for local communities, who are at the frontline of disasters. Community inclusion and meaningful local engagement at all stages of the policy making process is crucial. Local information and data derived from the communities themselves should be the basis for any resilience policy, from the local to the national level.
We are also advocating for a coherent approach to development, that integrates disaster risk and climate change considerations throughout all Sustainable Development Goals. Now more than ever, it is clear that human actions are significant contributing factors to the impact of disasters. Limited disaster risk governance presents a major barrier to ensuring people’s right to safety; weak governance, corruption, unplanned urbanisation and development, all play a role in putting individuals, communities and their assets at risk, coupled with global issues of climate change and environmental degradation. Poverty is often the underlying factor that multiplies the impact of disasters.
“Any effort to reduce vulnerability of people and strengthen their resilience must begin at the local level.”
Ban Ki Moon, former UN Secretary General, 2016
“The realization of the new framework depends on our unceasing and tireless collective efforts to make the world safer from the risk of disasters in the decades to come for the benefit of the present and future generations”
Sendai Declaration at the 2015 World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
Advocacy capacity strengthening
GNDR supports its members in their advocacy activities through various capacity strengthening initiatives.
Many GNDR members undertake advocacy initiatives. Some member organisations have large departments dedicated to advocacy whereas others have just one person responsible for advocacy in their organisation. For the majority of member organisations, everybody does advocacy when needed but no one has it as their sole role. Some organisations’ advocacy work focuses on issues of poverty, others on mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change. However, for all of them, it is about trying to make the lives and livelihoods of communities safer and more resilient. By working together with other members in their countries, members are able to make use of the diverse knowledge, skills and reach of the GNDR membership, and implement successful advocacy initiatives.
National and regional advocacy workshops support members in developing joint advocacy plans using local resilience knowledge as evidence. The workshops bring together GNDR members from the same country or region, and help building coalitions of CSOs aiming to influence resilience policies and practices.
GNDR has developed a national advocacy toolkit and a short e-learning course that help guide civil society organisations to work together to plan and undertake an advocacy initiative within their countries.