"Don't live with it - deal with it."
More than 130 delegates, coming from 70 different countries, joined together in The Hague for this
global GNDR conference, which had 5 objectives:
- Explore the latest from Views from the Frontline
- Formulate recommendations for a post-HFA framework and develop a joint advocacy strategy to share these recommendations
- Establish the next steps for the Views from the Frontline programme and launch the Action and Learning research programme
- Present the new GNDR governance structure to strengthen regional and national activities
- Provide an opportunity for active GNDR members to connect together
The conference was designed to be informal and inclusive, seeking to generate ideas, questions, challenges, to share different experiences and perspectives and to enable participation from all delegates – which included a diverse range
of people from grass-roots leaders and practitioners active at the local level, national and international NGOS, academics, UN and other international agencies and donor governments.
The conference was broadcast live via the GNDR website enabling people who were unable to join in person, to follow proceedings. 100 hits on the web streaming were recorded over the two days.
|Marcus Oxley, GNDR Executive Director, welcomed everyone to the conference highlighting the efforts that many had made to be there – some as far away as the Pacific Islanders had set off 4-days earlier to be there – and inviting everyone to make the most of this opportunity to achieve the key objectives.
link webstream 0- 8 min
|Rob Swartbol, Director-General International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands then gave a Dutch welcome and formally opened the conference. He highlighted the commitment of the MOFA to disaster risk reduction and the critical role of civil society networks such as the GNDR.
link webstream 9-16 min
Terry Gibson, GNDR Operations Director, briefed the conference on the purpose of VFL, the development of the programme and its growing impact since 2008. Participants were reminded of the headlines from the 2009 and 2011 reportsDownload the Powerpoint
Plenary presentation after VFL 2013 regional group discussions
Recommendations for a post-HFA framework
Perspectives on a post-HFA framework were shared in a lively plenary discussion on the afternoon of Day 1, which provided the opportunity for different, sometimes opposing views to be shared. Marcus Oxley, GNDR Executive Director, and Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction opened up the discussion following which various participants raised questions, offered ideas, and provided challenges.
Marcus highlighted that the origins of GNDR lay in the 2005 Kobe conference, Japan where the value of having a coordinated civil-society perspective on HFA was identified. The subsequent development of the VFL programme has focused on providing a clear local-level perspective on the extent of the impact of HFA on those people most affected by disasters, what can be done to enhance that impact, and how local-level impact can be more effective.
link webstream 0- 48 minDownload Powerpoint here
Margareta Wahlström provided an insight into the challenges of developing HFA beyond 2015 and encouraged GNDR to continue developing the VFL programme as an important means of reflecting the local perspective on HFA. She observed that differing perspectives are converging around the same issues now: how can natural hazards be mitigated and how this can be done at the community level?
link webstream 48 - 130 min
Following plenary questions and challenges, participants broke into regional groups to explore and articulate key themes felt to be important for post-HFA framework thinking.
Civil Society Recommendations for Post-HFA thinking
Work overnight by the GNDR Steering Group and conference team then integrated these themes with those emerging from network members through recent online discussions and regional workshops in Nairobi, Potchefstroom, San Salvador and Yogyakarta. A list of 19 themes was provided to regional groups to tackle in the morning and each group invited to seek to prioritise their top 7 from the group and/or highlight themes that were missing. Following compilation of the outputs from each region a plenary perspective was provided to draw on areas of consensus.
Collated regional perspectives on post-HFA priorities
Each region then nominated a representative to join a small drafting committee who, with the goodwill of the conference through applause and wishes of good luck, were tasked with pulling together a list of core recommendations representative of the conference. Following intense work by the drafting committee 10 recommendations and themes were distilled and presented back to the conference.
Using the individual voting handsets, all conference delegates were then invited to rate their level of agreement or disagreement with each of the recommendations and to provide a sense of the extent to which these themes and recommendations should form a unified civil society position on post-HFA thinking.
Subsequent work by the GNDR Steering Group to clearly articulate these recommendations took place immediately after the conference with a final draft of recommendations achieved.
Communities that are resilient to extreme shocks and stresses of any type
1. Prioritise the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalised people
2. Ensure the scope of the framework includes all types of natural and human-derived disasters - including small-scale recurrent “everyday” shocks and stresses
3. Prioritise tackling the causes of vulnerability and exposure
4. Strengthen and resource local risk governance
5. Place rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders at the core of the framework
6. Establish clear goals, standards, baselines, targets and indicators
7. Institutionalise the role and strengthen the capacity of civil society
Reflections on advocacy
Maria "Malu" Fellizar-Cagay, Deputy Executive Director, Center for Disaster Preparedness and Lead Convenor, DRRNetPhils shared valuable insights, experiences and challenges from the Philippines.
|Takeshi Komino, Head of Emergencies, CWS-Asia/Pacific, provided reflections from his experiences in supporting the establishment of a National DRR Platform in Afghanistan.|
Action at the Frontline
|A key part of VFL over the coming months is Action at the Frontline. Terry Gibson, GNDR Operations Director presented the headlines followed by an informal discussion:
link to webstream 0 - 8 minDownload Powerpoint
link to webstream - 8 - end
Next steps and Close
The conference closed with an invitation for all participants to individually reflect on the conversations, discussions, ideas, questions, challenges raised during this event – both inside and outside the conference room. Participants were invited to identify one activity that they will be undertaking as a result of the conference and to share that on a post-it note with the wider network.
link to webstream
“I am excited - there is a lot of consensus here. We have made tremendous progress.
Many different views have been shared and there has been a positive healthy discussion. I am very very positive and I think we have made a step in the right direction. We had a lot of objectives to cover in 2 days and we have all worked hard. It has been a positive experience and I am very inspired and committed to be working with this network.
Thank you to each and every one of you.”
Marcus closed the conference with some reflections on progress over the two days
Charlotte Floors - Partners for Resilience - sings "Don't live with it" at the conference social evening