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DIPECHO Newsletter Nepal
   Advocacy & Policy
6th Edition                                                                 ...
People led
  Advocacy
working together, for a risk resilient Nepal
                                                       ...
INVOLVEMENT OF LOCAL AUTHORITY
                                                              (VDC) ON DRR ACTIVITY


     ...
Advocacy to influence
                                                      policies and practices
                       ...
Advocating for the less visible
                                                             ... working together, for a r...
Influencing change from
                                                        vulnerability to empowerment
             ...
COMMUNITY
                                                  ADVOCACY
  ... working together, for a risk resilient Nepal

O...
Advocacy and Policy:
                                                            Steps towards Progress

                 ...
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Dipecho5 news letter 6th edition- april10

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  1. 1. DIPECHO Newsletter Nepal Advocacy & Policy 6th Edition April 2010 Inside this issue: Action Aid: 2 In line with the First Priority for Action of the Hyogo Frame-work: People Led Advocacy “Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation”, the DIPECHO Care Nepal: 3 partners in Nepal work together to ensure Disaster Risk Reduction Involvement of Local Authority (VDC) on becomes and remains a priority on the agenda of the Government of DRR activity Nepal and its partners. To achieve this, the DIPECHO partners are advocating jointly and individually for a strong institutional framework Danish Red Cross: 4 for DRR and for implementation of the Hyogo Framework in Nepal. Advocacy to influence policy and prac- tices During the fifth DIPECHO action plan in Nepal these joint activi- Handicap International and Mission East ties are: Advocating for the less visible 5 1. Joint advocacy on UNISDR day (October 16th 2009-10) Mercy Corps In October 2009 the DIPECHO partners supported the Network Influencing change from vulnerability to of Disaster Affected Communities in Nepal (NDAC) to mark empowerment 6 UNISDR day. Major events included: (1) a national symposium on DRR Policy Framework in Nepal , during which a 9 point dec- Oxfam GB laration was adopted and later handed over to the Right Honor- Community Advocacy 7 able dr. Ram Baran Yadav, President of Nepal; (2) a rally in the streets of Kathmandu; and (3) a convention with a parallel exhi- Practical Action bition. Steps towards Progress 8 2. Joint advocacy on Earthquake safety day (January 16th 2010) The DIPECHO partners supported the National Society for Earthquake Technology – Nepal (NSET) to organize Earthquake Safety Day in Kathmandu, raising awareness on the earthquake risk in Nepal and advocating for measures to mitigate and pre- pare for this risk. 3. Joint Documentary The DIPECHO Partners are in the process of producing a joint documentary focusing on the contribution of the DIPECHO partners‟ projects towards the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management (NSDRM) and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005 – 2015. By focusing on the NSDRM and the HYOGO framework, this documentary will be both an informative and advocacy tool to underline the commitments Nepal should fulfill under the NSDRM and the Hyogo framework for Action, in order to reduce the risk the people of Nepal are exposed to. 4. Joint Radio Programme Working together with the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB), the DIPECHO partners are in process of producing a radio program on flood preparedness. This program consists of one radio show on Preparedness and Planning. During a period of five months both before and during the monsoon season, the ACORAB member radio stations will also integrate DRR related news in their daily news broadcasts. 1
  2. 2. People led Advocacy working together, for a risk resilient Nepal Risk reduction is not the responsibility of DDRC ActionAid believes in advocacy that seeks within, and on be- alone, but should be the business of all. I am sure half of vulnerable people to address the underlying causes of this HFA/DRR orientation program will help us to disasters, bring justice and support for sustainable develop- integrate disaster management not only in theoreti- ment. Advocacy is acknowledged as a part of a prevention cal aspects but in practicality. I request all of the mechanism, which will impact in the long term, and it is a must participants to study HFA book provided; and do in risk reduction planning. The ActionAid DIPECHO V project accordingly in days to come. has conceptualized policy advocacy within the project to cre- -Shared by Mr. Ram Prasad Thapaliya, Chief Dis- ate an enabling DRR policy environment. trict Officer, Banke, Dec 31, 2009 ActionAid has been taking the prime role for facilitating people led joint advocacy initiatives. The foremost approach is knowledge generation from DRR stakeholders to complement the ongoing policy works. Secondly, networking and linkages with government agencies, UN agencies, AIN, DPNet, Oxfam and other DIPECHO partners to ensure a coordinated effort as well to avoid duplication of works. Further, connecting grassroots to district administration and national level decision makers is the key to support people led policy advocacy. Lastly, Government officers, political parties, decision makers, parliamentarians are informed about joint advocacy initiatives, and pressurize them for positive action towards national commitments . At the community level, the project directly works with vulnerable people to ensure rights, and improve their coping capacities through strengthening their committees, task forces and networks. Project intends to link these ini- tiatives with DDC and VDC periodic planning and encourage the DMCs to take forward for adoption in the DDC/VDC council to adopt and endorse. As a strategy, the project has organized various orientations for government officers, NGO leaders, and journalists to sensitize them on the issue of dis- aster risk reduction and Hyogo Framework; and to enhance awareness and sensitivity of the participants towards implementation of HFA, and main- streaming DRR into development. Disaster Risk Reduction Toolkit will really support in creating awareness on DRR. The initiatives made by the organizers for creating awareness, and pres- surizing the government to enact policies are trustworthy. DRR toolkit will sup- port government of Nepal for making proper Act and Policies. I, as a Vice chairperson of CA Secretariat commit to take initiative for DM Act to pass from parliament to ensure rights of people. Shared by Mrs. Purna Kumari Subedi, Vice-Chairperson, Constituent Assem- bly, Feb 24, 2010. At the national level the project facilitates joint initiatives of DRR partners, and organized events like ISDR day and Earthquake Safety day. Further- more, the project proactively facilitated a multi-agency initiative by making a Disaster Risk Reduction Toolkit for Constituent Assembly members of Nepal, to inform and sensitize them for strengthening disaster risk reduction frame- work in Nepal. The project also aims to provide orientation on HFA/DRR to Constituent Assembly members, High level government officials including the National Plat form on DRR, CNDRC, RDNDRC and DDRC in collabora- tion with MOHA and National stakeholders. AAN urges that an improved policy framework will ensure that the rights of disaster vulnerable people are protected once DRR becomes institutionalized in the country. However, it is essen- tial to ensure the policy is grounded for the people. 2
  3. 3. INVOLVEMENT OF LOCAL AUTHORITY (VDC) ON DRR ACTIVITY ... working together, for a risk resilient Nepal On the south East of Kalali district and in close proximity to the Indian border is the Narayanpur VDC, surrounded by Mohana and Karnali river basin. Since the VDC is situated in the flat and low land area with the rivers alongside, flooding is the major problem of the area. Every year the village suffers the devastating effect of the flooding followed by the relief and rescue measures after the disaster. With due consideration to these vulnerable condition, CARE samadhan in close collaboration with the local authority and community is implementing the “Disaster Preparedness Project” in this area since 2007.The project is playing an impor- tant role as a development partner with VDC as one of the main stake holder of the project. The project mainly focuses on the grassroots level awareness, capacity building and preparedness on disaster issues with making local community participate in the advocacy on Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR). Despite the several challenges the project is successful to make the people convinced, motivated and collaborated for the Disaster preparedness to some extent. Now, on one hand, VDC representatives have started to participate actively and give all the moral support on different activities such as Workshop,Mitigation agreement,schools program,Public audit review meeting,donors monitoring visit etc organized by the implementing partners of the project. And on the other hand project staffs regularly participate on the activities organized by VDC such as Flood assessment meeting ,VDC council meetings etc. Such thatProject staffs are also getting the opportunity to discuss on the budget allocation for the DRR in the VDC as well. Thus this close col- laboration of VDC representative with the project team have supported on the better understanding and management of DRR issues in the area.The exemplar is that this year local community,VDC authority and project team have join hand together for the effective disaster management.It has been realized that different I/NGO will support on awareness and capacity building fraction and the VDC will allocate the budget for substantial structural mitigation. VDC BUDGET ALLOCATION: Name of VDC: Narayanpur T o t a l S Budget N Development Works 24,50,000 Remarks River bank protection(Gabion Embankment of Karnali river in collabora- 1 walls) 11,00,000 tion with Dhansingpur VDC Realizing last year tragedy, establishment VDC MEETING 2 VDC Emergency Fund 50,000 of Emergency Fund Resource share with project budget to build 35,000 one culvert at Milanpur 3 Culvert construction 1,90,000 Two culvert by VDC budget alone Support school teachers and to make build- 4 School support program 3,00,000 ing 5 Irrigation Canal 50,000 VDC and user committee 6 Others 7,25,000 In different sectors CULVERT CONSTRUCTION WITH VDC SUPPORT Source: Narayanpur VDC, 2010 Above allocation of VDC budget clearly indicates that both the VDC authority and local community are together for long term management of the DRR issues. Undoubtedly we need time to make peo- ple aware and motivate but unity in diversity for common understanding on DRR will be helpful for disaster management in future. Narayanpur VDC will be the exemplary in the district. Only the rules and regulation will not make the change, the real change will be achieved with good attitude and practice of the authority and the community as a whole, who are the drivers for the change. 3
  4. 4. Advocacy to influence policies and practices ... working together, for a risk resilient Nepal “Disaster resilient community” is an ideal, for in reality -no community can be free of risk. But by combining various elements of resilience, the Disaster Risk Reduction initiatives can greatly increase communities’ capacities to withstand hazard events. With this conviction Nepal Red Cross Society implements “Safer Communities through Multi-Hazard Risk Reduction – SAFE” programme with support from the Danish Red Cross. This programme has been funded by the European Commission through its Humanitarian Aid Department under the 5th Action Plan for South Asia. Standing for a greater cause- advocating for risk resilient Nepal For the Danish Red Cross and Nepal Red Cross Society, advocacy is '‟seeking with, and on behalf of, the poor , vulnerable and marginalized to address the underlying causes of vulnerability coupled with poverty, bring justice and support good development through influencing the policies and practices of the powerful.” Through the DIPECHO supported programme we address the root causes of vulnerabilities and bring sustain- able positive changes that enable the communities to move towards resiliency. Without addressing the interlinking issues such as poverty, ignorance, injustice it is a far cry to aspire risk resilient communities in the country. For the Danish Red Cross and Nepal Red Cross Society, advocacy is '‟seeking with, and on behalf of, the poor, vulnerable and marginalized to address the underlying causes of vulnerability coupled with poverty, bring justice and support good development through influencing the policies and practices of the powerful.” Through the DIPECHO supported programme we try to address the root causes of vulnerabilities and bring sustainable positive changes that enables the communities move towards resil- iency. Without addressing the interlinking issues such as poverty, ignorance, injustice it is a far cry to aspire risk resilient communities in the country. The pragmatic approach of Nepal Red Cross Society allows seeing people as agents of change in their own communities; therefore through this programme we try to help communities to address issues related to power structures and systems of injustice. This requires an integrated approach, combining research, lobbying, cam- paigning, networking, awareness raising and media work - working with and in support of donors, partners, and other ac- tors grappling with major global issues that cause poverty, injustice and increase the vulnerability of the vulnerable. From the community level, awareness activities to national level commemoration of the ISDR and Earthquake Safety Day – the whole effort is to raise peoples‟ voice to create enabling environment where people have the right to live with limited risks. Advocacy, speaking to the powerful on behalf of the powerless, is firmly rooted in every cul- ture irrespective of religion, ethnicity, race and community- so is the culture of Nepal Red Cross Society and Danish Red Cross! Our work is based on our commitment to justice! Through simple disaster risk reduction activities we strive to create enabling environment and try to address the governance issues that helps or hinders the community efforts towards resil- ience……. Observance of ISDR day at national level, Kathmandu, 4
  5. 5. Advocating for the less visible ... working together, for a risk resilient Nepal Handicap International and Mission East systematically join all DIPECHO partners and other major DRR stakeholders‟ initiatives advocating for a com- prehensive DRR framework and policy, inclusive of the men and women of Terai and of hilly areas, with or without disabilities, whatever their age and their social group. When both organizations started to work on joint activities in Mission East project area on integrating the disability dimension into the CBDRM activities implemented in Humla District, we realized that our organizations were fac- ing many similarities in our method and target groups. Following an in-depth risk assessment in 6 VDCs of the target areas in Humla district, and compared with official disaster data from DESINVENTAR database, Mission East realized that at least two thirds of the disasters were not reported to central level. Indeed, it becomes difficult to make the distinc- tion between a disaster situation and a “normal” high death/destruction oc- currences due to the hardship of the environment, when both situation gen- erate significant losses and hamper any development initiatives. Mission East concludes that population in Humla confronts to a hidden form of disaster: slow onset or low scale, not visible to others due to the extreme remoteness, the lack of community organization and the under-representation amongst policymakers. Then, the high rates of illiteracy, the absence of knowledge on their rights, the total poverty and the strong discrimination against women, persons with disabilities and Dalit groups lead to a overwhelming unprepar- edness for disasters and so many challenges before reaching some stage of preparedness. Similarly, Handicap International is confronted in its work to a situation where people with disability are often hidden by their families to the rest of the society. Being excluded, with absence of care and attention, people with disabilities become the most vulnerable, in a situation of disaster in particular, but in the daily life as well. The hidden disaster context drove ME to adopt a dual approach, where promotion of mainstreaming disaster into de- velopment, and implementation of specific ad-hoc DRR approach and project for communities under highest risk have to be leaded in parallel. Handicap International had already adopted such a dual approach to address disability. By mainstreaming disability into the development process and engaging into specific action to build up services for persons with disabilities, we address both their specific needs and ensure their inclusion. To address the hidden hardship faced both by remote extremely poor communities and stigmatized persons with dis- ability, we had to adopt the dual mainstreaming / specific approach. We decided to reinforce our joint collaboration and engage, based on the same conceptual tools into advocating for the hidden ones, bringing on board and on the DRR agenda the issues and the challenges of those hidden by the extreme remoteness, whether they are from the nature or the social stigma. Risk and Disability are dynamic concepts that rely on the environment and the people/community own vulnerabilities. Addressing dynamic risk/disability using the same conceptual model will help Mission East and Handicap International to explore existing policies and to advocate for a better inclusion of hidden population in the overall country development process. Risk = hazard x vulnerability capacity Disability = environmental and social barriers x impairment 5
  6. 6. Influencing change from vulnerability to empowerment ... working together, for a risk resilient Nepal Advocacy is about influencing people, policies, structures and systems in order to bring about change. The rationale for stronger civil society participation as advocates for DRR is patently clear. There are a number of important initia- tives that demonstrate growth in resilience with citizens participating in DRR. Mercy Corps (MC) with its implementing partner Nepal Red Cross Society Kailali support this practice in building up capacities in communities and students so they will become their own advocates. DRR trainings and disaster preparedness plans developed with the support of the project helped target communities lobbing for development of VDC plans and for government support for their own and neighboring communities. Community DP plans has become an integrated part of VDC DP plans. MC further think that DRR begins in schools, therefore importance is given to mobilize the government, communities and individuals to ensure that DRR is fully integrated into school curricula. The economic cost of reducing risk is far less than the cost of dealing with the aftermath of disasters, and risk reduc- tion measures taken often have development benefits in their own right. Mercy Corps has just conducted a Cost Bene- fit Analysis (CBA) study in Kailali. This study confirms that investment in community based DRR pays off. Every Euro spent on community based DRR interventions avoids 2.30 to 5.80 Euro (without discount) in terms of social and eco- nomic loses. There are very few, if any, examples of community level DRR interventions being evaluated using CBA, thus this study will be an important input for organizations as Mercy Corps in advocating for increased investment in community based DRR interventions. Data collection for Cost Benefit Study Community lobbying with government representatives MC Nepal recognizes national governments as primary duty bearers for ensuring that the HFA is adhered to and that they consequently should be held accountable for meeting that commitment. One priority area for HFA and for MC is Early Warning. Mercy Corps and Practical Action sup- ported Community Based Early Warning Systems in five flood prone districts have proved very effective. However, to make the systems more effective and widespread, policy-level endorsement of early warning systems and protocols is needed. The two organizations therefore support the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Environment, Government of Nepal in drafting a National Strategy for Early Warning of Major Disasters in Nepal. 6
  7. 7. COMMUNITY ADVOCACY ... working together, for a risk resilient Nepal Oxfam believes that the most effective advocacy is done by the people themselves. This is why the Oxfam DIPECHO project targets women from marginalized communities. In the „Strengthening Women to develop Leadership in Develop- ment‟ (SWOLID) activity, women form groups where they gather according to a schedule that suits them best. They se- lect one among them who will facilitate their meetings and is trained by Oxfam. The classes are based on the „Regenerated Freirean Literacy Through Empowering Community Tech- niques‟ (REFLECT) methodology which combines adult education and literacy in a very participative way. It starts from the grassroots level, intending to raise awareness and a debate on how people from poor communities can identify the daily problems affecting their lives, discuss them trying to find their causes and possible solutions. The aim is the empowerment of the communities in a way to get the fulfillment of their basic rights and improves the quality of their own lives. The starting points for the discussions are rooted in their own experiences. SWOLID facilitator singing a song in the meeting The women participating in these groups gather confidence and learn to identify and discuss issues that are making them vulnerable and hamper their development. As they are all from highly disaster prone communities these issues include, but are not limited to, Disaster Management. Out of each of these groups, one or two women often emerge as leaders, who represent the women of the group and the community and who can effec- tively represent them whilst advocating at Village or District level. At the same time, the Oxfam DIPECHO project assist the communities to organize themselves in Committees, that are actively planning and pre- paring to reduce vulnerability and build resilience to disasters. Often the women from the SWOLID classes will occupy positions in these commit- tees and speak out on the specific needs and concerns of the women in the community planning. On a higher level, Oxfam is supporting the representatives of the Com- munity and District level Disaster Management Committees, to raise their voice at the National Level. To ensure the continuity of this local advo- cacy effort, Oxfam supports and assists the National Network of Disaster SWOLID participants in a meeting Affected Communities (N-NDAC) which represents the vulnerable com- munities from Nepal and advocates for their rights at the Village, District and National Level. 7
  8. 8. Advocacy and Policy: Steps towards Progress ... working together, for a risk resilient Nepal Practical Action believes that policy and advocacy is an es- sential part for institutionalizing the system and also to make the system sustainable. Since, Early Warning System needs to be built as a practice rather than as mere activity to reduc- ing loss of life and property; policy makers along with other national, district and local bodies should be targeted from the very beginning to make EWS a part of long-term solution. Given that many people do not know much about Early Warn- ing System and its importance, how it works and what differ- ence it can make, advocacy has been very important in each and every step of project activity. Practical Action works very closely with government bodies such as Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Environment, and district-level and local level government, along with many other stake- CDO of Nawalparasi visiting upstream river station at holders. Devghat Starting from the inception workshop, different stakeholders have been included in the project activity to show them how the system works as well as to make them aware of their roles and responsibili- ties in making the system effective and efficient. These stake- holders are taken to the upstream and other exposure visits and are actively involved in community level discussions. The users of the information themselves are active participants in the system. Practi- cal Action not only focuses on advocating for the vulnerable com- munity through them, but it also helps those community themselves to build their capacity and skills to effectively communicate and put their opinion in front of the law makers and government bodies. One such step is by supporting Disaster Management Committee and helping the committee to be independent and self- reliant. Inception workshop of drafting National Strategy for Early Warning of Natural Disasters in Nepal Moreover, in the national level, Practical Action in alliance with other organizations have been advocating for Early Warning by developing draft of National Strategy for Early Warning System in Nepal. This thematic newsletter has been produced by DIPECHO projects in Nepal with support from European Commission under its Hu- manitarian Aid department. While the work of the projects is supported by the European Commission the views expressed in the newsletter are those of the partner organizations alone. The contents and information have been provided by Action Aid; Care Nepal, Danish Red Cross; Handicap International; Mercy Corps; Mission East Nepal; Oxfam GB and Practical Action. This issue is edited and circulated by Oxfam GB on behalf of DIPECHO partners in Nepal. To know more about DIPECHO projects, please contact Luc Verna for DG ECHO/DIPECHO at hoo@echokathmandu.org and respective project managers at: krishnan.pv@actionaid.org (Action Aid), 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). 8

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