The first day of the workshop began with all participants having to share what accountability meant to us; who we were accountable to and how we ensured our accountability?
This was very interesting for me as I listed down the various groups I am part of, beginning with the group I was representing at the workshop. I was the last person to share my thoughts and hearing everyone else I noticed that a common group we listed was family. Some of the participants began sharing with their accountability to god/religion and to family. I set there listening how family plays such an important role in the work we do with the other sectors. I started to briefly think about the Bronfrenbrenner's Ecological theory. Individual and family are core.
As I evaluated my own little summary I noticed most of us had similarities in how we were ensuring accountability; proof of receipts, three quotes, reports, black and white evidence and sharing information.
We had a panel discussion with IFRC (international Federation of Red Cross); Pacific Students Association and PIANGO. they shared their journeys of code of conducts, principles, good governance and best practices. We than had a world cafe activity where we listed how we were being accountable (Financial management); planning and resource management; human resources (from recruiting to departure) and monitoring, evaluation and learning.
Before the day concluded we discussed having a working group to compile the Code of conduct for CSO (Civil Society Organizations).
"The village knows best"
the mantra for the day.
We started with a panel discussion where UNOCHR, Pacific Council of Churches (PCC), Fiji Council of Social Services (FCoSS) and IFRC spoke on their roles in the community and about disaster preparedness. A few things that stood out for me in these discussions were;
- First 72 hours of disaster situation are very critical,
- Help/assistance doesn't arrive immediately,
- The community/ faith-based organizations are usually the first respondents,
- The first respondents deal with the main and the most stress plus trauma,
- There is a grave need for accountability within organizations and teams that respond to those who have been affected by disaster,
- teams of volunteers should be trained in vulnerable communities so they can provide assistance in time of need,
- mapping/community profiling is extremely important so we know who needs most assistance and how we can assist.
The UNOCHR got the participants involved in another world cafe activity. This one mapped out issues of disaster management. Some of the emerging and recurring themes were;
- Defining disaster; (1) Natural and (2) Man made. While we are aware of natural disasters including cyclones, flooding, tsunami, hurricanes and even earthquakes the man made disasters were deliberated on. These include; violence (of all types), bully, cyber crimes, theft, dictatorship, censorship, political upheaval, and deforestation (which contributes to natural disasters).
- Include youth in disaster management.
- Community profiling and mapping is crucial.
- First aid kits; provided to communities and the community needs to know how to use the it.
- Population growth after the disaster period (condoms should be included in first aid kits distributed).
- Profiling vulnerable groups in the community (eg; persons with disability, elderly and babies) as they would require immediate or extra assistance in time of evacuation.
- Including disaster management in school curriculum so children are educated about this topic,
- Having information sessions on disaster management for stay at home mothers or those who have not had much (formal) education.
A presentation was made on the Post 2015 SDG (Sustainable Development Goals). While there are 17 goals and 169 targets the theme is to Leave no one behind.
Some of the important things we noted were;
- PPP: People, Planet, Participation.
- Red Flags; (Aspects that will not be negotiated):
The two days were exciting, challenging and thought provoking.
Exciting with all the networks I made and the information I received.
Challenging as I tried to keep in mind all the networks I represent.
Thought provoking because of the comments and information shared by others.
If you are part of a CSO and your organization has not networked with PIANGO yet I suggest you get sending an email to them and get on their radar. A code of conduct for civil society organizations is being established and as many CSO's as possible should be included.
Until next blog :-)