CWS Japan team members were key leaders at November’s 2019 Asia-Pacific Regional NGO Partnership Week. During the last week of November more than 200 humanitarian and development colleagues from 31 countries convened to discuss the past year’s successes and challenges, and to plan for joint action in 2020.
The Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Action (UNOCHA) and the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) organized this important annual event, and many of Asia’s and the Pacific’s non-government organizations (NGO) and NGO Networks joined. Four CWS staff, including three from Japan, joined the week. Key among them was Country Representative, Takeshi Komino, who was been active with ADRRN for nearly a decade and now serves as its Secretary General. ADRRN, which is a vital ‘Civil Society Voice in Asia’, has 52 members in 20 countries, and the network plays important role in promoting partnership among members.
Since Asia is the continent most vulnerable to natural disasters in the world, it needs a thriving civil society, and ADRRN has joined countless civil society organizations (CSO) NGOs, other networks and UN agencies, alongside government, to make Asia resilient by year 2030. To help ensure progress in this, ADRRN has created seven humanitarian innovation Hubs (details HERE). CWS Japan is host Asia’s Hub, which started as the ADRRN Tokyo Innovation Hub (ATIH) in 2017 after making a partnership with the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), which is an initiative of the Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance (elhra).
During the Partnership Week, people had a wide range of opportunities to think deeply about NGO and CSO roles in reducing disaster risk and impact in their countries. There was a lot of talk about shared hurdles and challenges: not only how to deal with the challenges, but also to strengthen civil society voices so all can be heard from. In this way, the aims of the Partnership Week reinforce and lift up another CWS engagement in Asia: CWS lead role in researching and encouraging speaking out and speaking up through Views of the Front-line 2019, which is a project of the Global Network for Disaster Reduction.
Several UN agencies, UNOCHA, UNHCR and UN Women, and other global and regional network like ICVA and the Australian Council for International Development were present and active throughout the week as was CWS Asia Regional Director, who joined many of the week’s sessions for learning and take-aways for CWS teams across southeast Asia, and to share CWS successes and challenges too.
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