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Frontline: understanding everyday disasters and resilience

Frontline: understanding everyday disasters and resilience

Frontline starts with individual conversations with the holders of local knowledge about risk and resilience:
What is unique about Frontline is its ability to gather the thousands of individual conversations together through a qualitative analysis methodology by analysing what people say, and then combining local knowledge at local, national and even global level. 

Learning about real life

People face many threats: the risk of floods, volcanic eruptions, and landslides and disease and also those of crime, violence, accidental injury, disease and poverty. These threats are often unrecorded and un-resourced, with government funds focused on response and on larger emergencies.

Strengthening the resilience of communities in the face of the many threats they face starts with knowledge. What are the particular threats, consequences, actions and barriers which communities identify?

Frontline is a programme that uniquely finds out from local people what threats they face.

It starts with a conversation

Frontline starts with individual conversations with the holders of local knowledge about risk and resilience: community members, leaders, civil society organisation representatives and local government officers. Each conversation is based on four basic questions:

  • Threats: What are the threats you face in your community? Frontline studies highlight many threats of environmental, social, economic and political origins, for example storms, floods, fires, landslides, earthquakes, crime and violence, pollution, conflict and poverty.
  • Consequences: What impacts do these threats have on the lives and livelihoods of you, your household and your community? At local level these threats have consequences on lives and livelihoods: education, health, family stability, social cohesion and local business for example.
  • Actions: What capacity do you and your community have to take action against these threats? Frontline respondents highlight community coordination and self-organisation, action and learning, partnerships, strengthening local governance, and access to resources as the main means of building local resilience
  • Barriers: What factors beyond your control lead to these threats? Unplanned and unmanaged development at national and local level; poor planning, short term business decision making, poor infrastructure, economic decisions and political instability all generate threats which have to be tackled beyond local level.
From one conversation to many

What is unique about Frontline is its ability to gather the thousands of individual conversations together through a qualitative analysis methodology: analysing what people say, combining local knowledge at local, national and even global level.

  • LocalAt local level the consultations form the basis for community consultation and reflection, resulting in action plans, encouraging wider dialogue and partnerships and supporting local implementation.
  • National and Global: Frontline employs qualitative analysis, working with words rather than numbers, to combine the many records of conversations together and analyse this data. The analysis allows the many individual conversations to be gathered together as local risk knowledge; informing local and national government implementation and providing complementary local monitoring and accountability.

Videos

Watch a Frontline video about learning from real life in the GNDR Youtube channel:

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