Closing the feedback loop: NGO Federation of Nepal working to support post-disaster relief

Non- government sector in Nepal that stood undeterred in the post disaster response initiatives despite the chaos caused by the April 25 Earthquake has now focused on rehabilitation and reconstruction works. As the daily life of people has turned towards normalcy leaving the effect of the quake as an unpleasant memory, the government of Nepal, NGOs and the international community has set off on several collaborative journeys to address the post disaster need.

To make these collaborations fruitful, an umbrella organization of NGOs in Nepal, NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN) has been continuously engaged in coordination and communication- helping several NGOs, INGOs, UN agencies, and civil society networks to connect with the Nepal government in jointly carrying out immediate relief, and reconstruction. Mobilizing our district chapters in the affected districts, we are collecting information on requirements to construct temporary shelters and assist supply of basic necessary commodities. We have also publicly appealed all our district chapters and organizations working with them to provide information about relief aid distribution. The information collected thus far has been compiled and submitted to the government and we will continue to do so in periodic intervals as we gather more information from the ground. This type of information minimizes the chance of large volume of relief materials being unreported in the government record and could be of great help to the government in  addressing post disaster needs of affected people. To make information transparent and reusable by many other people for many different purposes, a separate effort is also being planned in near future to geo-map data from the reports that makes it publically accessible. This information sharing has been valuable to the relief providers and response teams in making decisions based on evidence.

Through our representation in the National Disaster Relief Committee (chaired by the Home Minister), and the District Level Disaster Relief Committee (formed by the District Administration Office) we have been playing a role in bridging the information gap between the government and the civil society. By communicating feedback from the civil society, we are assisting the government in devising appropriate relief and rehabilitation plans and packages. On the other hand, NFN is delivering information on government decisions to the civil society and thus, supporting in closing the information loop. Closing the feedback loop is deemed necessary to ensure consistency in information flow and convert information into actionable intelligence to help provide demand-based assistance. Harnessing the strength of our wide national network, we have also been forging connections between international CSOs, and local CSOs and local administration to establish climate conducive for supporting Nepal in this critical juncture of the history.

Some highlights of our efforts to improve coordination

  • NFN hosted a meeting on 30 April to bring together CSOs to discuss the possible roles of non- government sector in relief and rescue works.
  • A delegation of CSOs led by NFN met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Mr. Bamdev Gautam on 1 May to request him to create easy environment for NGOs to conduct relief and rescue works.
  • NFN hosted CSOs meeting on 5 May where a joint statement regarding immediate steps to be taken by the government and CSOs was issued.
  • NFN organized a discussion programme on possible rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts on 18 May
  • Coordination and communications works are ongoing.