Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

National Consultation Workshop on “Collective Efforts of Civil Society Organizations for DRR and Management” held in Kathmandu

National Consultation Workshop on "Collective Efforts of Civil Society Organizations for DRR and Management" conducted on the occasion of 'International Day for Disaster Reduction 2018' on October 8, 2018 in Kathmandu. The one-day workshop was jointly organized by Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET), Practical Action, Disaster Preparedness Network (DPNET) and Disaster Management Network Nepal (DiMaNN).

The event saw the participation of total 35 people representing various civil society organizations, associations and networks working in the filed of DRR including GNDR, DPNET, DiMANN, NSET, NGO federation, Human Rights Alliance, Municipal Association of Nepal (MUAN), National Association of Rural Municipalities in Nepal (NARMIN), and Association of District Coordination Committees of Nepal (ADCCN).

The main objective of the workshop was to review their DRR and Management initiatives and evolve an effective system with practical methodologies against the backdrop of various national and international non-governmental organization, civil society organizations and networks which are assisting government Nepal to make Nepali communities safe from disaster and investing millions of dollars each year for the same. However, the outcome of effort of these organizations is observed to be far less than what it should be.

The workshop was wrapped up with a brief concluding ceromony where Mr. Nilmani Baral, Vice Chairperson of Social Welfare Council, the governing body of Civil Society Organizations in Nepal and Mr. Bednidhi Khanal, chief of National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC), the 'coordination and communication point for disaster information across Nepal, including government agencies and other response and recovery stakeholders such as Nepal Red Cross Society, UN agencies, INGOS and NGOs', put forth their remarks about the event.

Speaking at the program, Mr. Baral acknowledged the role played by the Civil Society Organizations in Nepal in disaster risk reduction efforts arguing that even government has failed to duly recognize their efforts. He further emphasized on the need of creating an environment so that civil society organizations also could get government fund and implement projects instead of relying only on international donors.

Addressing the program, Mr. Khanal from NEOC unveiled the various plans such as development of a common online platform so that data of all the organizations could be put up and share by all the DRR stakeholders, development of disaster information management system, and development of coordination mechanism with nodal ministries of DRR at all three tiers of government.

Mr. Kalanidhi Devkota, CEO of MuAN, said that newly elected people's representatives at local units have enormous role to work for DRR in the context of federal restructuring of the country.

On the occasion, Mr. Surya Narayan Shrestha, Executive Director of NSET and Mr. Gehendra Gurung from Practical Action Nepal presented a brief report of the workshop. Earlier, the national consultation workshop was commenced with the brief inaugural ceromony where Mr. Surya Bahadur Thapa from DPNET and Gehendra Gurung from Practical Action highlighted the objectives and rationale of the program.

After the session, presentations session was held at the workshop where altogether 5 presentations were conducted by various organizations, namely, GNDR, DPNET, DiMANN, NGO Federation Nepal and Human Rights Alliance. These presentations were focused on the experiences and lesson learnt of respective institutions in carrying out disaster risk reduction and management initiatives.

After the presentations, a brainstorming session for exploring and categorizing existing problems was conducted followed by a group work for recommending possible solution of identified problems dividing participants into 3 groups. On the occasion, they discussed the problems of Knowledge Management, Federal and Legal issues and Funding Mechanism and mobilization in the group.

Following the discussions and group works, the workshop came up with some recommendations especially about the existing problems, possible solutions of such problems and identifying stakeholders to resolve such problems. The group, which discussed the issues of knowledge management, recommended for the establishment of a resource center. The group, which was assigned to discuss upon funding management and mobilization issue, recommended for ensuring people and stakeholders' participation in allocation of budget, need of propagation of information about the allocation of budget for DRR and formation of grievances hearing mechanism, need of more budget allocation for preparedness and mitigation rather than emergency response among others.

Likewise, the group which discussed on federal/legal issues, recommended for ensuring an inclusive policy making practice, revising LDRMP guideline as it is too bulky, making NDRRMA more power and resourceful, technical support to civil society organizations, equitable relief policy, mainstreaming DRR in development, partnership and collaboration, capacity enhancement of provincial and local government unit among others.

The workshop, organized in small group is first of its kind in Nepal, contributed to enhance the effectiveness of DRR civil society organizations, increase collaboration and networking among the civil organizations in its DRR efforts, optimum utilization of fund for DRR work, share the leanings and lesson learnt and help find ways for effective coordination with government. The workshop realized the sharing and discussion among civil society organizations would be immensely useful for effective work in DRR in days to come. Workshop's recommendations are abiding by the civil society organizations as well as to shared among concerned stakeholders.

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