Views from the Frontline 2019: Disaster Risk Assessment Continues Raising Grassroots Perspectives

CWS Cambodia | October 2, 2019

    Views from the Frontline Interviewee. Photo: CWS

    Views from the Frontline Focus Group Discussion. Photo: CWS

    Funded by European Commission through the Global Network for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), Views from the Frontline 2019 is a project being implemented in 50 countries across Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. The project is designed to seek and understand perspectives on risk and resilience in remote villages and towns across the global South[1]. It is also designed to monitor the extent to which local civil societies are included in resilience planning that is locally contextualized. Throughout the world, Views from the Frontline 2019 is helping communities better understand and reflect on threats and barriers to their resilience, particularly related to natural disasters – sudden and slow onset.

    For the last year CWS has been coordinating Views from the Frontline 2019 in Cambodia and in Myanmar. Now, trend analyses from information and data collected through Views from the Frontline 2019 will help communities develop action plans for resilience. These plans will be made, not only for communities, but also for all key stakeholders on all levels of governance and responsibility, to understand the gaps between policies (which are often in place) and practices (which are often un(der)funded and/or ill-defined).

    As the National Coordinating Organization in Cambodia, CWS is implementing this project in 15 risk areas in one lowland province, Battambang in the west, and one coastal province Koh Kong in the south. Both areas are in multi-natural disaster hazard zones, and experience floods, drought and storms – all of which comprise complex vulnerabilities in poor rural communities.

    To date in Cambodia and Myanmar, CWS have led two project phases: first to recruit a National Advisory Group to guide implementation; second to identify two partner organizations, Rural Development Association and Mlup Promviheathor Center, to support implementing activities in communities. With Cambodian partners, CWS surveyed 1,059 people in 15 communities: 673 randomly selected households were visited, 150 civil society (public) consultations were held, 150 local Government in-depth interviews were done, and 86 Focus Group discussions met – all to inform the project’s analysis. That analysis is aligned for all 50 countries, worldwide and is ongoing now. Results will inform the third phase of the project: Analysis and Use of Findings.

    The plan is for findings to support a national conclusions report to reflect key findings and make recommendations for dialogue that can help Cambodia, Myanmar and at least 48 other countries make progress in listening to people most affected by natural disaster and in responding responsibly to them.

    [1] From Wikipedia: The Global South is an emerging term used by the World Bank to refer to countries located in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and considered to have low and middle income compared to the Global North.

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