[Read more session reports from the WSIS Forum 2018]
Ms Rozita Singh, science-policy focal point to WSIS/CSTD, United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY), was moderator of the session. Presenting a brief background about the workings of the MGCY, she mentioned that the group has been operating since 1992 with the involvement of more than 300 youth entities, along with more than 6500 individual members, in more than 170 countries worldwide, and across various UN processes. She said that the objective of the session was to provide focus in promoting resilience and reducing risk within communities, with special emphasis on assessing knowledge (understanding and communicating risk), and capacity building.
Ms Sandra D'Urzo, senior officer, shelter and settlements, disaster and crisis prevention, response & recovery, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), presented the case for PASSA (Participatory Approach for Safe Shelter Awareness), as a community action planning tool. She said that all groups ‘must be able to dream about the future with the best tools available in their present,’ to emphasise the provision of appropriate tools to community members, and to enable them to envision and execute their visions and dreams to achieve resilience. She mentioned that her organisation involves young people as volunteers, and prepares them to become leaders in their respective communities. D'Urzo also gave examples of PASSA’s work in Costa Rica and Philippines. She stressed the need for partnership in community development objectives, mentioning that many times PASSA ‘piggy backs’ on the work done by agencies such as Fablab to deliver prototypes.
Mr Josh Woodard, regional ICT & digital finance advisor, FHI 360, joined the session online to present the work done by his organisation in providing advisory services and tools to assess current initiatives to achieve resilience. Defining resilience from his perspective, he said that ‘resilience is the capacity of individuals, the community, and the system to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of stress and shocks, and even transform when conditions require it.’ He mentioned that the organisation advises the community, with the help of a web-based tool, on facets such as user appropriateness, financial sustainability, organisation and team capacity, preconditions and dependencies, and to-scale potentials.
Mr Esteban Leon, chief a.i. risk reduction unit, RRR branch / head, city resilience profiling programme (CRPP), UN-Habitat, mentioned that the City Resilience Profiling Programme helps cities flourish by building urban resilience. He said that the CRPP works with the various stakeholders in three predominant areas to build resilience: technical cooperation, advocacy, and knowledge sharing. He gave details of the ‘city resilience profiling tool’ (CRPT) used to achieve these objectives, and mentioned that the methodology is divided into five phases: initiation, training and data collection, diagnosis, action for resilience, and taking it further.
Mr Rob Cartridge, head of global knowledge, Practical Action, presenting remotely, gave examples of work done by his organisation in various developing nations. He gave details of programmes such as flood resilience efforts in Peru, Nepal, and Mexico. He also provided details of a climate information system executed in Bangladesh.
By Mohit Saraswat