What are people’s stories behind disasters and climate change and how to tell them to decision makers? Climate change and disasters count as key impediments to sustainable development with the brunt still borne by the most vulnerable in the global South. On the other hand, appropriate climate and disaster risk management can unlock social and economic development. Advocating for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) should therefore be a no-brainer, right? But this is not the case, which may be linked to the specifics of DRR and CCA: disasters that have not happened due to effective DRR measures, or crops that have not been lost thanks to adaptation to changed climatic conditions. Further, behaviour change in the sense of DRR and CCA may often be uncomfortable and add more regulations and requirements to decision-making and budgeting.
We, the Swiss NGO DRR Platform, find it is time to look more closely at creating a strong narrative: What is the key objective of advocacy? Who is the key target group? Who are strategic allies? And which role can local evidence play? While advocacy for disaster and climate resilient pathways happens across scales, telling stories based on local evidence to unlock awareness, action and behavior change and to channel funding streams to where they are most needed is essential. In this context, civil society has a key role to play in holding governments accountable to the promises or commitments made in the frame of the global frameworks, and in advocating for DRR and CCA interventions that respond to local needs.
Since 2011, the Swiss NGO DRR Platform is engaged in linking practice with policy and advocacy in order to strengthen resilience of women and men, communities and countries through integrated risk management. Keeping in mind the urge of acting now on climate change and the still existing challenges in making global agreements impactful on the ground, the Platform organizes a three-day event on local evidence for climate and disaster-resilient pathways, discussing and showcasing the power of local evidence and addressing local-national-global divides.
Registration for the practitioner’s workshop and Public Event is closed.