Dipecho5 news letter 2nd edition- oct 09 aa

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  • 1. October 2009 DIPECHO Newsletter NEPAL COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION “There is no need to wait for the doubt that there are indeed a number of obstacles necessary changes to cascade “from the to a mobilization process. top down.” Spontaneous initiatives from DIPECHO program has given significant emphasis “the bottom up” are vital… Ben Wisner”. on mobilizing community and empowerment through building inherent capacities and life How do we empowers the people to take those saving skills. The critical community based vital steps from the bottom? How can community approach of DIPHECO is based on efficient act as critical catalysts to build a suitable policy community mobilization. environment? How can community enjoy protection and rights at all levels, at all times? DIPECHO partners in Nepal work in varied, multi- hazard environment with heterogeneous Community mobilization is a process whereby a communities. Over the years, they have adopted group of people have transcended their interesting and innovative approaches to mobilize differences to meet on equal terms in order to people, from promoting volunteerism to facilitate a participatory decision-making process. strengthening inclusive approach on DRR to In other words it can be viewed as a process building on the rights based approach. The which begins a dialogue among members of the DIPECHO V in Nepal is recently launched, but community to determine who, what, and how there is enough experience that can possibly be of issues are decided, and also to provide an avenue huge learning for others. for everyone to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Practitioners of DRR will agree without Happy Reading!!! DIPECHO Newsletter from Nepal is the periodic thematic bulletin produced by DIPECHO V partners in Nepal to share their experiences and field practices with a wider audience. The theme for the current bulletin is COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION APPROACHES TO DISASTER PREPAREDNESS. This bulletin is produced with financial support from European Commission Humanitarian Aid department under the DIPECHO Fifth Action Plan for South Asia. PEOPLE”S RALLY, ISDR DAY 2009, Kathmandu People were mobilized from across Nepal to demand for a comprehensive DRR policy framework
  • 2. Mobilizing people for efficient Early Warning on Floods On-time, effective and efficient Early Warning System Management Committee in project VDCs. Roles and (EWS) is the key component of disaster risk reduction to responsibilities, mandates and operational procedures of save lives and community people must be an active part DMC and its members were discussed and decided DMC. of EWS rather than just being beneficiaries of the system. The project team facilitated them on these processes. Practical Action has been focusing on development of These committees are inclusive of the communities along people centred EWS in vulnerable communities and with ethnic, religious, linguistic, caste and political lines. creating community-wide awareness and response Community members have received orientation on key capacity in flood prone areas. terminologies used in Disaster Management, with risk and At the initial phase of the project, the project focused on vulnerability mapping being undertaken in all capacity building of project staff which help on rapport communities during Participatory Vulnerability Analysis building with communities, sensitizing target (PVA). This helped them to map out hazard, available communities to deliver the project activities to achieve resources and activities plan to make risk free the objective targeted by the project. Inception communities. workshops were conducted in project Village Development Committee. The objective of the project, detail activities laid out in project proposal and importance of EWS were shared with communities. Documentary on Early Warning: Saving Lives was also shown during such inception to make understand on EWS, its important and process of establishment. One of the major achievements during these events is the institutionalization of the community mobilization process through the formation of VDC level Disaster PVA in process… Banke Helping communities to help themselves Oxfam takes right-based approach (RBA) The later will form activity implementation committee to its development, humanitarian and (AIC) and joint procurement committee (JPC) with the advocacy works and place communities at the centre of representation of 2/3 members from the respective V/ their own recovery and development, promoting their CDMC. The partner’s staff (Project Officer/ Social right to be heard. Hence, Oxfam GB Nepal gives emphasis Mobilizer) will be the member of the AIC and both the on helping communities to help themselves. All the 28 Oxfam and Partner’s staff will participate in the JPC. communities in its three DIPECHO districts (Nawalparasi, These committees will be encouraged to conducting Sarlahi and Saptari) will be capacitated to identify public audit during and after completion of the project potential hazard, degree of vulnerability, support to activity. Hence, the community will be involved in the generate their own analysis of existing risk, identify and entire project cycle-right from identification of gaps to plan for specific adaptation and risk reduction measures the implementation of activities. The community will take through Participatory Capacity and Vulnerability Analysis ownership and they will take the responsibility of (PCVA). Based on the PCVA findings community will be maintenance after the phase over of the project. facilitated to develop DRR plan (Community Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan, CDPRP). Few communities have their CDPRP developed. Oxfam will support community in executing their CDPRP by assisting them to explore resources, advocate for policy influence and awareness raising for behaviour change. Community will be involved directly in implementing activities to support their CDPRP. Oxfam GB Nepal and its district partners will facilitate Village/Community Disaster Management Committees (V/CDMCs) to lead the activity.
  • 3. From Lab to Land - Building local leadership Mission East and its partner KIRDARC have been newly requires having separate focus group discussion in order engaged into DRR in Humla District under the recent to understand possible conflicting situation between DIPECHO fifth phase. As new project, both for the target different groups. We planned to approach community communities and for our organisations, our community from gender, cast, age and special needs perspective. mobilisation approach is based on ME experience from Focus group discussion will help to have people another country and shared experiences with other representation of their role and capacity in a disaster DIPECHO partners and DRR stakeholders. Such theoretical management process which can be then exposed to the approach will be adapted from our field practices and community as a whole during preparedness planning lesson learnt during the course of the project. Our exercise. We still have to evaluate how time consuming approach to efficiently mobilise the community is can be this approach but we believe it is essential to give articulated around 4 main pillars as described hereafter: voice to different groups, especially those that are usually the most vulnerable (women, low cast, youth, PWD) and A preliminary participatory hazard and social mapping is who may have difficulties to raise their concern in front of conducted in each of our pre-selected communities. Such the others during joined discussion. risk assessment is conducted by professional geologists, disaster risk expert and social workers in order to produce Cluster approach for the Village Disaster Preparedness a risk mapping that will be not only serve further Planning. In mountainous area, apart from large scale community DRR planning purpose but also be disasters such as drought and earthquake that affect a acknowledge by local government and included in further whole region, disasters such as avalanche, rock fall, disaster preparedness planning at district level. If the landslide, mud/debris flow affect one village and usually primary goal is to cartography the risk level in order to leave neighbour villages intact. Nevertheless, villages select target groups, a secondary and very important located in a shared watershed can be all concerned by an objective is to engage community into a first level of upstream or downstream event that may further affect reflection on their surrounding hazard, and their accessibility, quality of soil and water for the whole area. capacities and vulnerability to cope with. In that Moreover, it is likely that the affected village will not perspective, the exercise will already modify people’s receive any external assistance due to remote distance attitude in front of disasters, from a belief that a disaster and only the neighbour villages can rapidly provide help. is to be passively accepted as an act of God to a more pro- Linking neighbour villages into a unique mechanism of active thinking that disaster can be managed in order to preparedness planning will increase solidarity between reduce its impact. It is an essential step of our community villages and generate saving in the implementation of mobilisation process. A successful participatory risk preparedness measure since shelter, equipment, assessment will pave the way for the rest of the project. mitigation measures and resource persons can benefit more than one village at a time. Identifying cluster is part Creation of Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) of the risk assessment. Mobilising a group of villages with representatives of different sectors of the village under a unique preparedness mechanism may have development such as education (teachers), agriculture obstacles such as walking distance, tension between and livestock (farmers), health and social (nurse, youth communities for resources sharing, and ME is aware of club, women, PWD), water (water user group), the potential difficulties this approach may have, but we environment and forestry (community forestry group), believe this can bring major benefit to the concerned security and emergency intervention (local Red Cross, communities on the long run. police forces), etc... As disaster is not a daily concern for villagers and have seasonal peak, we will rather create an Participatory Risk Assessment in Vitagaun, Jaira VDC, Humla district informal group constituted by representatives of all development sectors in order to ensure mainstreaming of DRR into development as an ultimate and relevant goal for mountainous environment. Linking LDMG to VDC and district level structure will complete the architecture of the community mechanism and mobilisation for pre and post disaster situation. Separate focus group consultation but joined decision- making process. Once the community DRR structure is established, catching the concerns of the community
  • 4. Fostering Gender and Social Inclusion through community mobilization The geophysical situation, land characteristics, multiplicity project will facilitate to share the priorities of of rivers and the monsoon climate render the target area communities related to contingency plans and physical supported under the Kailali Disaster Risk Reduction infrastructure with the local government and incorporate Initiatives II (KDRRI) highly vulnerable to flood. The those in the government plans. consequences of such hazard and the resulting Conducting VCAs prior to formation of DPCs allows the environmental degradation pose a serious threat to the communities to identify the most capable community economic development of the areas and causes untold members to deal with the identified problems and to miseries to the communities in large. Twice this year the carry the DP Plans forward. The project will advocate for flood has come to the communities in Kailali supported representatives from all groups, and specifically from Mercy Corps and its partner the Nepal Red Cross Society minority and vulnerable groups (religious, ethnic, socially Kailali Chapter as part of the DIPECHO 5 Action Plan. This disadvantaged and differently-abled), to be selected for fact strongly underlines the importance of mobilizing the the DPCs. DPCs will be composed for at least 1/3rd by local communities to be better prepared and to respond women and will have 11 members each. This activity is a to such recurrent events. component of the community organising process. The The project believes that fostering gender and social project staff and Sub Chapter volunteers will be inclusion is community empowerment essential for responsible for further strengthening and sensitising strengthening the local capacity. Thus this approach is community organising processes in communities. The reflected in all activities and interventions. Specifically DPCs will function as a community-based disaster community mobilization interventions will revolve around management organization, they will be instrumental in establishment of inclusive Disaster Preparedness taking initiatives ahead and they will be encouraged to Committees and sub-committees in each of the 16 target register as formal institution after the phasing out of the communities enhancing the awareness and capacity of project to ensure continuity. community and committee members and foster a sense Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) of collective responsibilty to recognize and act on various trainings in each community are ongoing with the overall flood risk measures. objective of increasing knowledge on DRR aspects and to Using a community to community approach, target create further awareness on hazards, preparedness and communities from the first phase of the KDRRI assisted by possible DRR interventions. Project impact is being project staff and NRCS volunteers - have facilitated a one assessed through a pre and posts Knowledge, Attitude day orientation program for each of the target and Practice (KAP) assessment and DPC Capacity Index. communities. Community members, government Finally Mercy Corps find it essential to advocate for representatives of that VDC, and other stakeholders changing practices for disaster risk reduction through (CBOs, NGOs) working in the same locality attended these incorporating disaster resilient features in schools, meetings. Street dramas performed in each of the target mobilizing students and teacher for DRR interventions communities by a team of youth members trained under and formation of Young Rescuer Clubs. Thus, the more the previous KDRRI project have further raised awareness than 11,000 students children and young students and inspired community members for joint actions for included in the project can be an effective media to preparedness and DRR interventions. educate communities often using creative means such as Importantly the communities have identified the needed awareness campaigns and street drama. disaster risk reduction interventions in their communities through community led Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCA) which are being translated into Community Disaster Plans (DP). The process of conducting VCAs together with the DP planning promote community self-reliance and resilience by sharing of local coping mechanisms and knowledge to take collective actions for short, medium and long-term priorities for making the communities safer. The VCA and DP planning is only the beginning for the people to take decisions collectively towards reducing their risk from floods and adopting a longer-term hazard-resilient development. The
  • 5. Building community resilience to disasters, in an inclusive way Community mobilization engages men, women, with disabilities to their own disaster related issues. Gaja Youth Club or not, the youth and the elderly, in a community-wide effort to (GYC) is a nongovernmental organization working in address all issues including disaster, in an inclusive way. Baglung District in community development and a long- The purpose of our Community Mobilization activities is term partner of Handicap to facilitate community engagement to promote the International on other capacity of vulnerable groups (children, pregnant women, projects. GYC implemented people with disabilities and elderly people). Community previous DIPECHO IV with HI Mobilization harnesses the energy, resources, and and will also participate in passion of every person to create a community which DIPECHO V. GYC organized 7 proudly supports every member. It brings together policy shows of street dramas in makers and opinion leaders, local, state, and federal their working area and governments, professional groups, religious groups, covered a large number of businesses, and individuals including men, women, elder, community people including youth and children. all sectors of population including children, women, men, Dalit, PwDs, elderly. Before the drama, the local actors People with disabilities (PwDs) are likely to feel the and script writer were sensitized on disaster and disability negative impact of any disaster, be it human-made or to get more accurate information. The main theme of the natural, more than other citizens. Anecdotal evidence drama was the rights of PwDs in a disaster situation and from emergencies suggests that they suffer particularly their proper evacuation. After this street drama, high rates of mortality. PwDs have not only specific community people realized that it is essential to consider needs but also abilities, therefore disability inclusive people living with disabilities and for PwDs to participate disaster risk reduction (DRR) considers how the needs of in all levels of disaster planning and management. PwDs can be addressed and how they can contribute to DRR and disaster management. Understanding disability Mock drills are another important tool to mobilize the and how PwDs can be included is therefore an important community to make contingency planning for part of mobilizing a community for DRR. preparedness. PRERANA is a long term partner of HI working in Sarlahi district. PRERANA was a partner in DIPECHO IV and again in DIPECHO V. Towards the end of the project, after many awareness campaigns and capacity building activities, they organized a mock drill. The drill was organized in local government school premises in Malangawa and simulated an earthquake situation. In the earthquake, many students were injured including students with disabilities. Different task force groups from the community were mobilized for rescue. They were able to rescue all of the students. This simulation had a real impact on the audience with some Street drama is a powerful tool for community awareness members of the audience even feeling that it was so real and mobilization. Different partner organizations have that they jumped in to help. That is real community demonstrated street drama in the community according mobilization! ‘SAFE’ through Community Mobilization Community Mobilization is inevitable for effective and two most hazard prone and inaccessible districts, Myagdi successful implementation of any programme that and Okhaldunga. intends to achieve sustainable result. With this realization SAFE focuses on developing individuals and community- Danish Red Cross (DRC) emphasizes on the community level support strategies and increasing community hazard mobilization process while implementing the DIPECHO risk reduction capacity. Regardless of the nature of supported hazard risk reduction project - SAFE in disaster, it is critically important for community recovery partnership with Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) - in the that people are provided with the tools necessary to stay
  • 6. connected and strengthened. The project aims at risk activities like folk song has been widely accepted among reduction of the poor & vulnerable and creating safer the communities even it is just the beginning. The folk communities that focus on ways in which communities songs cover DRR & disaster preparedness messages for are the key in disaster management initiative. The awareness building across the communities. Activities community mobilization process through SAFE is about have been designed in a manner that communities get strengthening community capacities and working DRR messages, raise voice concerning their vulnerabilities together to make life better and safer. It involves more to multiple hazards, at the same time find means of people being able to influence decisions about their entertainment. communities, and more people taking responsibility to The Hazard Mapping and VCA at the grassroots is not only mitigate disaster, rather than expecting external support the stepping-stone in to the array of community led DRR, time and again. but it is eye opener to realize the threshold of risks the Community meeting in Bigutaar VDC, Okhaldunga communities are living in. Gradually acceptance to the project intervention is increasing as the marginalized, neglected and the so called lower castes getting proper space for involvement in planning, implementation and monitoring. Further, among others the people with disabilities and elderly are given due & equal importance to get them involved in the process. Formation of Disaster Preparedness units following a process of participatory selection with the involvement of key community members and other stakeholders at the Several activities have been designed in the project in a VDC level accentuates the community mobilization manner that helps facilitating the community initiative to greater extent. mobilization process, at the same time the activities The communities most deserving of European themselves bring impact on the targeted communities. Commission and DRC’s / NRCS’s assistance through this Awareness generation on disaster preparedness and risk project, then, are those with the least amount of power, reduction through local cultural activities, Vulnerability resources and capacity to withstand disasters. DRC and Capacity Analysis (VCA), Hazard Mapping, formation believes that “if we genuinely want to empower them, we of Disaster Preparedness units, establishment of revolving must do it in such a way that they become independent fund for emergencies and so on are major activities of our continuous assistance, that they become self which strengthen the community mobilization process at reliant, that they can sustain their own development the ground. without our support and able to”. Despite of the difficult geographical positioning DRC’s SAFE programme envisages to bringing the scattered communities together to enhance their capacities and cohesiveness so that they are able to withstand disasters. With a multi cultural diversified gamut mobilizing the communities even for common cause and larger interest is challenging. But the carefully designed and initiated activities that underscore the community led approach is in fact making the venture promising. In the remote hills of western and eastern region where there is limited option for entertainment, the awareness building on disaster risk reduction (DRR) through cultural Folk song competition on DRR in Pulachour VDC, Myagdi DRC believes that… If we genuinely want to empower the community, we must do it in such a way that they become independent of our continuous assistance, that they become self reliant, that they can sustain their own development without our support and able to”.
  • 7. Building a self motivated community Kailali is the one of the flood affected plantation at the edge of Karnali River to reduce the districts of Nepal, where flood occurs every vulnerability from soil erosion. The community people year. Narayanpur VDC is located in the eastern part of the brainstormed on a feasible action plan and had district. For the community people of Mahadev tole flood discussions with the landholders at the periphery of is a regular phenomenon, but they have suffered more Karnali River to take the plantation work forward. They this year than the previous years. also decided to go ahead with the plantation and at the same time, agreed to assign responsibility of preservation of the plantation work by landowners themselves. It was also decided to appoint a Chaukidar (Caretaker) from December this year to preserve the plantation works of the public lands. Mahadev community managed to have around 1200 seedlings/plants of different varieties (Ashok, Sisaw, Narkat, Bed, Liptis etc. – with an approximate net value of Nrs 7000) after coordinating with Satti Karnali Community Forest. The 62 households arranged the plants with free of cost and did the plantation work by mobilizing the community people. They have already started collecting a saving of Rs. 5 every month from each household to manage the money for Chaukidar wages. Ms Goma Conscious Society for Social Development (CSSD) Kailali, a Dhungana, FCHV, believes that the current/flow of Karnali partner of CARE-Nepal, organized a community meeting in the process of VCA training and discussed about the River will be controlled in the village in coming years as a vulnerabilities involved and available capacities with the result of plantation work. By this small effort, people of locals of Mahadev community. The community members Mahadev tole have demonstrated an example of self realized the vulnerabilities and developed a plan for motivation and effective local resource mobilization. REFLECT ing strengths, capacities Sonbarsa of Ward no. 8, Gangapur VDC, Banke district is a ActionAid believes that community has to find its own highly flood prone area where poor people from different solution to issues and problems. The significance of social strata live along river Rapti that causes significant REFLECT as a key catalyst can be seen here. Through threat every year. ActionAid Nepal started working with REFLECT, the project gave more focus on engaging the the community in Sonbarsa under DIPECHO V project, people find solutions to problems than adding to with an aim of building community resilience to recurrent problems. People are motivated to target the issue in disasters. However, when the process of formation of hand than dealing with groups and personalities. The local disaster management committee started, problems reflect circle will invariably arrive at solutions to common arose. The people, divided over religious, caste and issues. Local leadership will emerge. economic status are not able to arrive at a consensus. REFLECT (REgenerated Freirean Literacy through Each group wants its say in the DMC. The debates Empowering Community Techniques) emerged as an centered on who will represent from which group than approach to literacy and social change, which fuses the who can efficiently represent the people through an political philosophy of Paolo Freire with the inclusive, balanced approach. DMC formation came to a methodologies of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). Though it started as a literacy movement in early ’90s, deadlock. REFLECT has evolved into a powerful empowerment tool The challenge is how to tackle such issues comes in the that links people’s knowledge, capacities, social institutions, movements and contest for rights through project area very often, without losing the spirit of critical reflection and review. AAN has been using Reflect volunteerism and ownership. The significance of as a tool for empowerment at the grass root level. community mobilization on DRR lies here…..
  • 8. Transect Walk in Narsing… participatory assessment is representative participation, good governance, accountability and peaceful change for a sustained difference in their lives and livelihood. Community Mobilization is both a theory and a practice of community action that is geared for developing the grassroots institutional capacities and communication through critical reflection REFLECT processes through an Education, Empowerment Association, Involvement inclusive approach. The Inclusion, Decision Making process encompasses formal and informal transmission of knowledge and engagement The DIPECHO project of ActionAid in Nepal is using COMMUNITY of people in identifying REFLECT as a key community empowerment tool, coupled MOBILIZATION hazards so as to formulate by the PVA methods that emphasizes on participatory feasible actions to reduce understanding of critical issues, vulnerabilities and own risks. It involves public capacities. REFLECT and PVA is thus acting as a powerful PVA discourses involving the social mobilization, empowerment and educational tool Information, Assessment people, media, academics for the people, helping them to find ways and means to Analysis, Problem Solving Planning, Advocacy and polity. It is a collective build their own capacities and thus reduce vulnerabilities. learning process and is It is an integral catalyst in the community to recognize its implemented on the basis of a certain commitment to the strength, ensure participation, engage in collective popular sectors by those who take part. Consequently, advocacy, build relations, foster leadership, ignite Community Mobilization is also based on the creativity and develop personal consciousness. participation of the popular sectors in the planning and Community mobilization will also expedite the legal and implementation of actions collective decided. socio-political aspect of risk reduction by creating an enabling policy environment to realize people’s rights. The PVA approach offers a valuable contribution to the community efforts for reducing vulnerability and ensuring Participatory Vulnerability Analysis (PVA) is a process that enables communities to analyze the causes of their human security. It builds on the recognition that vulnerability and helps them to identify the resources everyone has to secure fundamental rights through legal and external assistance they need to reduce their and policy instruments as well as cultural codes It also vulnerability considers obligations, responsibilities and future actions. Thus, community mobilization allows people to reach For ActionAid, Community Mobilization on DRR is the new levels of preparedness through the process of solving process of engaging communities to ensure rights to actual needs on all components of the DRR cycle – human security. It includes identifying the priorities, Rescue, Relief, Recovery, Reduction, Resilience and resources, needs and solutions in such a way as to Readiness. promote right to life and dignity. It focuses on building people’s capacity to play a proactive role in reducing the …. The community of Sonbarsa definitely came to a disaster risk and supporting vulnerable people to solution, through their own efforts, guided by the REFLECT withstand impact of such events. Underlining the process and PVA processes. This thematic newsletter has been produced by DIPECHO projects in Nepal with support from European Commission under its Humanitarian Aid department. The contents and information has been provided by ActionAid; CARE Nepal; Danish Red Cross; Handicap International; Mercy Corps; Mission East Nepal; Oxfam GB and Practical Action. This issue is edited and circulated by ActionAid on behalf of DIPECHO partners in Nepal. To know more about DIPECHO projects, please contact Samuel Marie Fanon for DG ECHO/DIPECHO at floater@echo-india.org and respective project managers at krishnan.pv@actionaid.org (ActionAid), rajesh@carenepal.org (CARE), drcdp@mos.com.np (Danish Red Cross), dppm@hi-nepal.org (Handicap International), udons@np.mercycorps.org (Mercy Corps), Christophe.belperron@miseast.org (Mission East- Nepal), svanleuffel@oxfam.org.uk (Oxfam) and deb.bej@practicalaction.org (Practical Action). www.dipechonepal.org (under revision)