CLIP Annual Meeting Reflections
The Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) participated in the Annual Meeting of the Community-Led Innovation Partnership (CLIP) held at Yogyakarta, Indonesia on January 23-27, 2023. This is the first face-to-face annual meeting of the CLIP, after the COVID pandemic, which made it extra memorable for all CLIP partners namely ELRHA, Asia Disaster Reduction and Response Network, START Network, ASECSA, Yakkum Emergency Unit and CDP. The week was filled with empowering stories of how local DRR innovations resulted to many positive changes in the communities. Moreover, stories in building-up the partnership of people’s organizations and advocates strengthen the sustainability of the initiatives.
The journey of CLIP, as highlighted in the sharing and presentations of the Implementing Partners captured the innovation processes of ideation, prototyping, testing, pivoting, monitoring and evaluation. Observable community changes are increased capacities in developing the innovation, readiness to pivot and renewed spirit of volunteerism. On the other hand, challenges in the actual implementation such as the COVID pandemic, political climate, lack of local mentors, limited timeframe were common among the partners. In the end, the value is not only given to the actual product/service/innovative solution but to the processes that the community members went through. It was not only a journey for a product-innovation but a process-innovation.
The partners shared actual innovations, which given the similar rural contexts in Indonesia, Philippines and Guatemala are possible to be replicated. Some examples of which are Guatemala’s waste segregation and water system, Indonesia’s mist irrigation and early warning system, Philippines’ community mobile theater and forest guarding module. These are just a few examples of the many innovations under the CLIP. In the Philippines alone, there are already eighteen (18) innovations being implemented in the entire country. These innovations underwent series of testing, including natural testing where the innovations were proven to be effective in times of disasters. These innovations were able to reduce disaster risks, and therefore contribute to the building of disaster resilient communities.
The similarity and diversity of the innovations brought the partners to the need of learning exchanges, not only with the CLIP partners but also among the community innovators. Thus, process manuals of the three implementing partners will be produced and shared. Also, cross-learning sessions of innovators can be integrated in upcoming events. There were too many experiences and learning in the communities and these should be publicly shared to inspire other potential community innovators.
Lastly, the community-led innovation process was able to harness the power of the communities to lead, to implement and to own the innovations. With CLIP, the “shifting of power” and “localization” approaches drastically changed the course of project facilitation. Partner communities and vulnerable groups were transformed from being mere recipients to innovators, thereby empowering at-risk and vulnerable sectors and communities.
For the next two years of partnership, the CLIP wants to sustain and institutionalize local DRR innovations. This can be done by developing a culture of innovations where local innovators are encouraged and supported; where knowledge management materials are gathered and shared; where experiences are documented and shared; where support and advocacies are strengthened. The CLIP journey, together with the community innovators of Indonesia, Philippines and Guatemala continues.