Views from the Frontline is a Civil Society organization (CSOs) led process under the auspices of the Global Network for Disaster Reduction (GNDR). This is one of the flagship processes that has been implemented bi-annually since 2009. From its beginning, Members of GNDR focused attention on people and institutions “on the front line of disasters”, i.e., residents, civil society, local government officials, and civil servants. Members of GNDR and particularly GEADIRR have gained a great deal of experience in eliciting “views from the frontline” that now provides a solid platform from which to develop and deploy a local (people-oriented) monitoring system that is contributing toward the tracking of the progress of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), and other related international frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, etc.
The past phases of VFL acted as a window through which the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) ‘Priorities for Action’ were evaluated locally and nationally. It brought together local (Cameroon) Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working on DRR matters and permitted sharing of experiences between them and between other GNDR network members via shared VFL country reports. It enhanced work on DRR via the identification and provision of indicators to Frontlines on local governance (VFL2011), and model questions on everyday disasters and disaster preparedness (VFL2013). It brought GEADIRR as the NCO and our partner Participating Organizations (POs) closer to the realities of the poor and vulnerable populations to disaster risks. Previous phases of VFL also helped to raise DRR and resilience-building awareness among community members, by identifying factors that drive everyday disasters, and by making it clear to them that their individual and collective actions in the community are important in building community resilience against disasters. It made the communities know that apart from the government, NGOs and CSOs are important partners in DRR and disaster resilience building.
As a follow-up to the previous VFL programs, VFL2019 was the first during the SFDRR monitor which was used in comparing results from other related monitors such as the United Nations Disaster Reduction (UNDR) Sendai monitor, and the Global Assessment Report (GAR) by governments.
The SFDRR is the basis for a risk-informed and resilient sustainable development agenda. It establishes the close link between disaster risk and sustainable development, employing that for all development to be sustainable, it has to explore perspective, corrective, and compensatory risk management approaches as a way to integrate them into the development process, to avoid risk generation and accumulation because managing risks before implanting a development project cost far less than managing a disaster that results after the project is implanted. The Cameroon Government’s 2010 – 2020 Growth and Employment Strategy Paper, and its Vision 2035 Paper, are heavily dependent on infrastructural development (building dams and levees, bridges, roads, sea/airports, stadia, etc.) and poverty reduction. Initiatives such as VFL with components to assist local communities to understand risk and raise awareness about potential hazards in communities are important.
The overall objective of the VFL2019 process had been to strengthen the inclusion of, and systematic collaboration between governments, at-risk people, and civil society in the design and implementation of DRR and resilience policies and practices.
2. The objectives of the Multistakeholder Workshop (MSW) had been:
- To Share the result of the VFL 2019 with stakeholders
- To formulate recommendations based on the outcome of VFL 2019
- To raise awareness about important threats such as floods incidences in the country
- To formulate and plan an advocacy action plan
- To agree on follow-up action plans based on the results of VFL that will enable the government to strengthen the resilience-building process in Cameroon.
3. Methodological approaches:
- The workshop consisted of presentations and discussions in plenary with participants, to ensure all participants understand the outcome of VFL 2019, contribute to planning national advocacy and outline the priorities for actions.
4. The Outcome:
- VFL 2019 results were dissimilated among stakeholders
- Advocacy was validated and the way forward on implementation is agreed
- Stakeholders got committed to the implementation of the national advocacy
- Stakeholders interested to lead specific thematic of the advocacy signed a commitment to lead