Reaching out to a wider audience
  • Dear Loy, thank you for moderating this important starting dialogue. I hope for a very wide participation - and also, as already pointed out, a strong participation by governments and local governments. I would like to see examples of what creates success, share your success and tell us what made a difference between progress or no progress. Leadership? An engaged community? Good coordination? Money? Tell us about institutional innovations - and discuss what can be the contents of ' risk literacy' and a new 'risk literate generation'. I look forward to your ideas and your experiences. Margareta Wahlstrom
  • Dear colleagues in the dialogue,

    Many thanks to Margareta for her warm words of encouragement, advice and profound challenges addressed to all of us online. Her direct participation in her characteristically modest way, gives an enormous boost to the significance of the dialogue. I am sure that staff in UN agencies around the world will be inspired by her example to write and engage in the discussions, expressing your personal views on the subject.

    On behalf of all participants, and so as encourage a new wave of thinking outside the box, let us embrace the challenge she reiterates, to reach well beyond the already converted and missionary DRR believers so that this is not just a conversation among ourselves and preaching to each other.

    So let us first think about the specific challenge mounted of having the voices of national, subnational and city Governments in this discussion, so that the full power of implementation of DRR at multiple levels of governance gets addressed. We have already had two sage voices of national Government leaders and two local government practitioners already speak up in a very practical manner. Let each of us already in the dialogue make it our task to personally follow up with 5 of our contacts in these various levels of Government to join the dialogue. For those too busy to personally sign in, please consider interviewing a national or city leader or Government official on their views on this question and then sharing these with us on line.

    One active facilitator of local Government action for resilience, who is a member of this conversation, has already agreed to interview his city mayor and post the story of his needs on the dialogue. So too , I hope the award winning mayors of Beira, Mozambique (this year’s International Risk award ), San Francisco, Philippines and North Vancouver ( last year’s Sasakawa awards) will join the dialogue directly or through their development cooperation partners.

    On the National and Provincial Government leaders and authorities, let us follow the same approach. Let us use our ongoing national and provincial meetings on DRR or HFA reporting, or our sectoral dialogues, partnerships and meetings with Ministries and departments of planning, education, health, environment, urban development and agriculture to gather and share their views, all the time encouraging them to directly engage in the conversation.

    Let us write to our colleagues in GFDRR and the DRR departments in the regional IFIs to work with their counterparts in Ministries of Finance in national governments to share their views and initiatives on resource constraints, national budgets and risk financing and transfer.

    May I encourage us all to think and act on these aspects, report any results and of course propose additional ideas and approaches in your posts in response.


  • Hi. I am from the Philippines and currently working on DRR and CCA with local governments, mostly in an urban context in the province of Cavite. I will definitely share some insights from this work. I strongly agree that this discussion must be able to muster the contribution of various stakeholders from government, from the private sector, from NGOs and I think more importantly community-based organizations. I am looking forward to that discussions. Cheers. Wilson
  • I am grateful to UNISDR and Loy for an opportunity of global discussion. Past disasters as well as scientific prospects on future disaster risk will be the key to involve larger stakeholders into action. Japanese Government announced a shocking risk prediction yesterday on the tsunami risks that result in up to 323,000 deaths. Many citizens talk about this issue today. It is said that the most critical issue on disaster risk reduction is to maintain awareness and action. The day after tomorrow is the Day of Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan to commemorate the Great Kanto Earthquake that occurred in 1923.
    I expect that best practices during HFA will be reviewed and reflected in the next HFA.
    (International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering, IISEE/BRI, Japan)
  • That is a great job done by UNISDR and LOY,i must appreciate the efforts.This discussion will enable us to share our experiences with each other and in the light of those experiences we will planned for our future.
    I am from Pakistan and working with FATA Disaster Management Authority under a joint project initiated by UN Agencies with Government of Pakistan. Working in an area like Federallay Administered Tribal Area (FATA). It is a tough job to involve people from the origion as we are facing some security concerns in those areas still FDMA is trying its level best to reach to local communties and involve them in different activities and decesions.In FATA we are facing human induced disaster more as compare to natural disasters.
    This discussion will give us the opportunity to give enough space to conflict resolution as well in the post HFA . (faisal khattak FDMA,Pakistan)
  • There are many CBDRM projects now, in the world. In these projects are people who are grappling with the daily realities of reducing risk. I think that the staff of these projects should be asking for the opinions and perspectives from community committees, coordinating bodies, supporting agencies and so on. Perhaps ISDR could approach donors to ask their implementing partners to undertake a consultation on the future of HFA , perhaps using the same questions as are in this consultation, with the people who are on the front line of DRR?
    Dom Hunt, Concern Worldwide
  • Mjadala huu ni mzuri na mengi yameshasemwa na wachangiaji waliotangulia. Kwa nchi za Africa DRR ni concept mpya kwao na hii inaweza kusababishwa na mfumo wa elimu yetu na mwingiliano na mazingira yetu. Tunapaswa kutoa elimu hii kuanzia mitaala ya elimu ya awali ili kuwa na jamii ambayo inajijua na hata katika mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa,mazingira itakua rahisi wao kugundua mapema,kuliko kuanzisha elimu hii tukiwa tayari tumeshaharibu mazingira.

    Hyogo Framewrok ina mikakati mizuri sana ,mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa na adaptation itasaidia sana kuweka mkazo wa implementation ya HFA katika nchi za Africa,wadau wahahakikishe elimu inatolewa na kuwafikia watu kwa muda muafaka,we should change our settings za meetings,workshop and let us concentrate on result and reaching out large number of people at the remote area
  • I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to this discussion. Disasters do not choose their victims, we are all potential "customers". This is why we need basic ways of reaching out to all categories of people in our societies not forgetting some are more vulnerable than others depending on the nature of the disaster. Firstly, we need to package information in a way that it can easily be accessed by the targeted groups; whether children, women, elderly, handicapped etc. Secondly, the lobbying that is happening in the DRR arena at the top should also be generated at the lowest bottom. We should have some grass root kind of approach where people are able to not only participate in DRR discussions but also share lessons they have learned through Disaster situations. As the top lobbying goes on, there is need for a well coordinated grass root approach that brings on board all including the difficult to reach yet the most vulnerable where risks easily turn into disasters.
  • The dialougue is very usful and will help to set global level DRR measures.The lesson learned throught the world during passed few years should be shared.
  • First, my thanks to ISDR for providing this forum and best wishes to my friend and colleague, Loy Rego. I'm prepared to strap my seat belt on and go for a fast-paced ride!

    With respect to the specific issue of "reaching out to a wider audience", I would like to suggest that due attention be given in the "Post-2015 Framework" (beginning now, for that matter) to the involvement of Indigenous communities in DRR and to the broader idea of ensuring that DRR best practices and promotional campaigns are inclusive of Indigenous experience and that they are made culturally and linguistically accessible to the many communities and individuals who have heretofore not been part of the DRR "process".

    More on this later from me, but please accept this comment as a place holder for a continuing discussion.
  • Dear John,

    Thanks for your timely intervention, and a reiteration of the point you first made publicly at the informal plenary and in our bilateral discussions at last years GP. Since them I have been observing and absorbing the power and potential of the innate resilience of these traditional custodians of mother Earth and Forest father Sky and Sea. In principle a separate place is held for you by virtue of your booking it.

    I would encourage you and others to flood this space, till such time as we start the new one, with anecdotal evidence, and academic writing and political reflections on this theme which is timely and relevant in terms of "The Future we want " that the world adopted at Rio on 19th June 2012. The outcomes of that conference in this regard, were shaped by three interlinked aspects a) by the indigenous peoples major group voice, presence and advocacy, b) the leadership and initiatives of member states in the developing world for whom protection of mother's earth's rights and peoples' well being are cardinal tenets and constitutional commitments reflecting their way of life c) the active dialogue, creative collaboration and emerging partnership between these forces and their supporters.

    Let me recount four of my recent experiences on the links between DRR and the insights and action of Indigenous peoples.

    1.In the wake of the Christchurch earthquake, Maori people of Aotearoa reflected on how their spiritual power and connection with the land helped them in their survival and rebuilding, and I was privileged to meet some extraordinary families of three generations who are now reflecting on how they can become active in DRR in NZ and the Pacific.

    2. A Japanese activist of Byakko Shinko Kai with headquartes at the Fuji Sanctuary moved the audience on inter faith day in the UN GA hall to tears when she spoke of the challenges in responding to the 3.11 Tsunami and earthquake, and the need for spiritual healing and moral power needed during post disaster recovery and the need for links to peace building and prayer.

    3. The South Asian member of the 16 member Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples at the UN , who is a tribal leader from a cyclone and earthquake prone area of Bangladesh and promised to promote the resilient cities campaign in his hometown

    4. The indigenous Yasuni TTT tribes and the Government of Ecuador who have committed to preserving the Yasuni TTT forest, stopping oil drilling there, and respecting and restoring the tribal systems of natural resource management. This partnership made the most powerful and energising statement of the UNCSD through their presence, pavilion and launch of this multi stakeholder managed trust fund at Rio+20, open for contributions from national budget, individual citizens around the world and supporters.

    I look forward to a meaningful conversation on the subject, which as you can already see from the above has lessons in the transformative power and authority of this set of stakeholders, once they get moving.

    In solidarity with the actions you and your colleagues initiated a year ago, which I was privileged to observe and be a part of in that crazy week in May 2011 in Geneva.
  • Margareta asks that we:
    "share your success and tell us what made a difference between progress or no progress"
    As a successful regional project , the UNCRD SESI programme [available on PreventionWeb] which included the Countries, Fiji, Indonesia, India and Uzbekistan offers a substantive report of very positive activities, which expanded quickly from retrofitting to realising the need for promoting stakeholder management development skills, capacity build for the onsite craftsmen, and DRR integration into the school education activities. Interestingly, each of the four regional countries demonstrated differing strengths and challenges, typical to their geographical and cultural type. The real difference was made by the UNCRD co-ordinate workshops, some at regional level, encouraging beyond the project local stakeholders to attend and the overall Project Workshops held centrally to allow all of the country reps to share their experiences and challenges and solutions, through out the five year+ programme. The countries did not feel isolated and were infact encouraged to open internal dialogues, creating real ownership, developing clusters of surrounding interested parties and allowing the individual project management to expand the brief and use their own initiatives identifying and championing their strengths within their wider communities.
    One area that did become obvious during the project and was addressed, was that pilot projects must be seen to be preparing the pilot project stakeholders for the donor withdrawal. That it is not good enough to simply withdraw at the designated date, because especially within wide regional programmes, individual projects will progress at differing paces, due to a wide range of reasons. I do believe that future pilot projects should designate a proportion of the project funds to tasking individuals to seek and identify potential future funding to ensure the continuance and expansion of the pilot project, including enabling further workshops with even wider clusters of participants. Simply encouraging further mirror image independent parallel projects is not sufficient to create the required more robust ownership, sustainability and expansion of the 'pilot' project. This approach should be included with the 'next step' beyond the HFA2015 as prioritisation. Too often we hear of pilot projects donors, simply spending their money wisely or wastefully and then withdrawing, as if to simply enable the tick in the box. this strategy gives 'pilot projects' a bad name, and does not encourage future stakeholders to participate.

    de la Pomerai. COGSS DPE/ UNISDR TPKE
  • Dear All,
    I am just back from IDRC 2012 Conference in Davos where the academics, scientists and practitioners from all around the world were gathered to share their experiences and knowledge about DRR issue and resilience of the communities. Hope this dialogue can also reach a reasonable number of audiences who aim in DRR endeavors. I am very pleased to contribute to this discussion.
  • Margareta Wahlstrom expressed interest at the beginning of this thread in "institutional innovations". Does her curiosity about institutional innovation extend to discussing openly the pros and cons of winding up the UNISDR in 2015, possibly phasing it out in the period 2015-2020, while mainstreaming some of its functions/ concerns to well established UN institutions such as UNDP, UNESCO, UNEP and UNICEF?

    Elsewhere, in the threat concerning 'Opportunities and challenges' I have argued that the full integration of DRR, climate change adaptation, livelihood enhancement and encouragement of responsible governance is too much for the UNISDR to handle.

    Two strong items of concensus, among others, that come out of years of research and practice are (1) that localising DRR in communities is vital, as is the mobilisation of local knowledge, and that (2) people at that local scale neither understand nor have the time and energy to deal with DRR, climate change and livelihood issues separately. Also, what is clear at the local scale is that all of this is highly political -- work on these areas is bound to challenge powerful interests -- land owners, land grabbers, monopoly or oligopolistic traders, corrupt officials, etc.

    Since UNISDR has had least influence or success in pushing DRR down to the local level and has never challenged or questioned power relations at any scale, it has no experience and no credibility as the agency that would move a future local, integrated (DRR, CCA, livelihood & governance) agenda forward.

  • Whilst I do understand the ISDR did originally have a short or limited time remit and certainly , i believe, did not expect to have its role strengthening year by year towards the end of this HFA ten year activity span, but maybe it was to be expected, as many now desperately aim to achieve the bare essentials of the HFA DRR vision.

    I believe that maybe it 'was' meant as a fuse to 'ignite' DRR as an institution within all longer term established UN and Civil Society Agencies taking leads within vulnerable communities and importantly act as an access Corridor between Agency and Administrations. However, regardless of reasons, these processes have been much slower in the uptake by all agencies and administrations, although more recently we are experiencing an enormous understanding that the reactive approach within humanitarian response within all established agencies was unsustainable by Civil Society as a whole. UNICEF being a perfect example, making enormous inroads, taking on essential key roles of DRR coordination, post Anthony's key role appointment. The INEE is another example realising and embracing DR within a reactionary remit.

    All Nations are impacted by the economic crisis and uncertain futures due to Global economic migrations and deteriorating environment and diminishing resources. I do not believe that any Nation or indeed Geographical Region can say that they can be reassured of a sustainable future.

    My point being that DRR is still infact an 'emerging market place' , with many countries only just awakening to the full advantages and needs of implementing such strategies.

    To, suggest now that we may sit back and feel job done by the serpents head, viewing it either as redundant or superceded, i think is premature. The ISDR regardless of resource stature, still remains an enormous guiding force and concentrator of the mind, body and philosophy for DRR. It demonstrates a prioritisation within the UN. Remove it, and others will think or indeed use it as an excuse to think that the DRR strategy is being demoted.

    Yes maybe by now we should be anticipating job done in was the original vision, but in fact it is far from it, and indeed i suggest is only just beginning to make real impact, with only three years remaining to the original goals.

    Consequently, maybe, as i address exits strategies in my previous message, in answer to Margareta's statement request, if at all and as bare minimum, we would need to plan an exit strategy for the ISDR as from 2015, establishing a time frame as Bens suggestion, with a reasonable planned hand over period, IF we are to consider DRR is better placed within the diverse approach of several or all agencies........ and as mentioned in a forum net work yesterday, without any discussion or research i would suggest this be over the 'minimum' of five years to 2020, and i stress, that is, IF we are to consider it all, in support of Ben's well respected viewpoint.

    However, my gut reaction, is that during these next few years we are going to see generated more than enough areas of responsibility within DRR across a widening spectrum of challenges, for all agencies to take certain leads within a 'collaborative approach', Without removing the serpents head.

    In fact i do believe we have grossly 'under funded' the ISDR in the early years, leaving it with little venom to exact a fast enough change and realisation by Nations, Communities and Administrations. With wars in future, potentially not about wealth and materialistic and religious issues but about survival, about the basic resources of food and above all water. Where as i think we all can master the known Natural Hazards, we have yet to come to terms with the future challenges, pure 'global survival'. I would love to be proved wrong, but i think now is the time to strengthen the ISDR, with real venom, with the 'arms' enabling compliance enforcement, before regret seeps any further into our consciences.
  • I thank Mr. Garry on his introduction of SESI (School Earthquake Safety Initiative) of UNCRD. United Nation Centre for Regional Development under DSD of UNDESA initiated SESI project in 2001 after establishment of its Hyogo Office by Dr. Masami Kobayashi of the Kyoto University. SESI web-site project/schoolindex.htm
    SESI will provide a good practice that combines software (disaster education) with hardware (seismic retrofit of school building).
    (International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering IISEE/BRI, Japan)
  • Many thanks for UNISDR for this opportunity, from our experience working in Jordan on this for the last years, it was crucial for us to work at two levels in order to reach the most of the concerned in the country; at the community level it was worthy to use a common interested thoughts, understandable terms and friendly used language. For example the culture of addressing and managing the risks and consequently (when there is exposure and vulnerability) the disasters or crises, what incentives and the impact (at the national and international level) beyond protecting the individual life and property, how the religion is considering this, etc.. . While at the governmental level, it was very important to raise the awareness of the decision makers and build its capacity to work on the relevant and effective policies and to share the responsibility of enhancing the resilience of the country between communities and government.
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