The role of civil society organisations in risk-informed development

Facilitate and advocate for localisation

Civil society organisations (CSOs) engage in local and national risk-informed planning processes. While local-level development planning aims to capture, understand, plan and manage local aspects of various sectors, the development agenda for each sector is determined by sectoral policies and investment decisions which are typically made by national and state governments.

Risk information cuts across all sectors, and by extension, the government departments, ministries and private agencies associated with them. Development plans at national and regional levels can be sectoral or cross-sectoral. 

Broadly speaking, the sectoral plans of a national or state government aim to bring growth for a given sector, to cater for the requirement of individuals and communities (i.e. physical and social requirements in terms of resources or service provision); generate employment and livelihood opportunities; ensure the flow of money in the supply chain; and generate revenue.

CSOs operating at national and regional levels can help drive the agenda of localisation. They can engage with national and regional decision makers to facilitate, promote and advocate for: 

  • Policies and legislation that support community-led risk-informed development planning processes
  • Policies and legislation that orientate planning departments and agencies to support community-led risk-informed development planning
  • Policies and legislation that integrates community-led risk-informed development planning into other legal documents of planning (e.g. city development plans or master plans)
  • Policies and legislation that integrates community-led risk informed development planning into sectoral plans
  • The integration of findings and outcomes of local level risk-informed development plans into national and regional adaptation plans, disaster management, mitigation plans and development regulations, so as to resolve conflicts and to bring coherence
  • Schemes and funding opportunities to undertake community-led, risk informed development planning process, and implement specific actions and interventions proposed by communities

CSOs facilitating role in risk-informed development:

  • Provide technical support and institutional recognition of grassroot level activities around community-led, risk-informed development planning processes
  • Provide access to national and sectoral data platforms and research materials (which local communities can use in their development planning process)
  • Be prepared to provide additional information and be aware of important current events, issues, and development-related activities in and around the community
  • Encourage community members to lead various activities and exercises involved in risk-informed development planning
  • Utilise a public place, community hall or classrooms in a local school (i.e. somewhere familiar and comfortable to community members, where ownership of place already exists)
  • Get the necessary permissions for conducting the workshop at the venue (whether it is a town hall, school premises, or any other public open space like a market centre, town centre or village meeting ground) 
  • Ensure there is continued communication with community members throughout risk-informed development planning
  • Empower community representatives through capacity building and training throughout risk-informed development planning
  • Advocate for a risk-informed approach to development to national and regional decision makers (GNDR has published an advocacy toolkit to help guide the advocacy planning process at the national level)

This resource is taken from our Risk-Informed Development Guide, which provides a comprehensive stage-by-stage approach for CSOs to play their role in risk-informed development.

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Project partners

Our Risk-Informed Development Guide was produced as part of our Local Leadership for Global Impact project. The project and all related content was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). All content is the sole responsibility of GNDR and does not necessarily reflect the views of the BMZ.

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Our Local Leadership for Global Impact project is implemented in partnership with Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe.

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