What is Views from the Frontline?
Views from the Frontline (VFL) remains the largest independent global review of disaster risk reduction at the local level. In 2009, GNDR launched this ground-breaking global monitoring initiative that involved the mobilisation of over 500 organisations across 69 countries to lead a participatory local monitoring process measuring the progress of UN and governments in strengthening community resilience. In 2011, GNDR was awarded a UN Sasakawa “Letter of Commendation” in relation to VFL for shifting the emphasis of global DRR policy dialogue on the need to close the implementation gap between national policies and local practices. Building on this success, VFL was implemented worldwide again in 2011 and 2013 and has gathered to date the views of more than 85,000 stakeholders across 129 countries.
Since its launch in 2009, experience from VFL has shown that mobilising at-risk people and local actors to participate in a bottom-up monitoring process can provide an excellent means to open dialogue, raise awareness and deepen understanding of risk and promote all-of-society engagement to strengthen resilience. It has highlighted gaps between national policies and local practices, identified the need for collaboration and partnership for successful local implementation, and identified recommendations for a post-2015 DRR framework. These recommendations were subsequently used to inform GNDR’s report “Reality Check - Impact at the Frontline”, which served as GNDR’s key advocacy position leading up to and during the World Conference on DRR (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan. As a result of these VFL recommendations, accompanied with the joint advocacy from CSOs around the world, the Sendai Framework for DRR specifically states the importance of including local actors in risk governance, and instructs states to invest in multistakeholder approaches.
“It is necessary to empower local authorities and local communities to reduce disaster risk, including through resources, incentives and decision-making responsibilities, as appropriate” SFDRR Paragraph 19f.
About Views from the Frontline 2019
VFL 2019 provides a complementary bottom-up perspective on progress at the impact/outcome level to UNISDR’s top-down Sendai Monitoring Tool. VFL 2019 will establish a local baseline and local monitoring process to measure progress towards achieving an inclusive “people-centred” approach to resilience-building, as promoted within the SFDRR and associated frameworks. In so doing, VFL 2019 aims to increase awareness and strengthen accountability of governments and inter-governmental bodies for a people-centred approach. VFL 2019 takes a systems-wide perspective that recognises different actors have different but related responsibilities at different administrative levels. Local-level interviews are complemented by survey questions targeting key informants working on the sub-national/national institutional and political environment. Questions on the “enabling environment” are designed to increase awareness and assess progress on wider institutional factors essential to scale out local action, putting a political spotlight on gaps and challenges to be addressed in through mutually-reinforcing actions by different actors at different scales. The whole process is led by local actors themselves, building their capacity to monitor and utilise local risk information.
Aims & Objectives
VFL 2019 aims to strengthen inclusion and collaboration between governments, at-risk people and civil society in risk-reduction/resilience-building policies and practices.
Its primary objectives are:
- To establish a citizen-based process to measure local progress in inclusive risk governance
- To strengthen in-country civil society monitoring, DRR and advocacy capacities
- To support establishment of local-level baselines and generate local risk information to inform policy and local plans
DFAT Australia has provided AUS$250,000 for the piloting of VFL 2019 in 2 countries: Tonga and the Philippines. The VFL pilot will later be scaled out to at least a further 48 other countries to cover the 50 states in UNDP’s 5-10-50 initiative.