It starts with a conversation…

Frontline is a global initiative, working at a local level to collect community perceptions of disasters and risk, to measure threats, local capacities and underlying development factors, bringing local knowledge to national, regional and global actors.

BILLION have been affected by disasters from 2005-2015


of people KILLED are from the world’s least developed countries

BILLION people live in fragility

What is Frontline?

What does Frontline deliver?

Gathers local knowledge of all threats
  • Frontline finds out from local people what threats they face
  • It starts with individual structured conversations with locals
  • It asks about threat, consequences, action and barriers to change

Aggregates data for local, national and global analysis
  • At local level it forms the basis for community consultation and reflection
  • Supporting action plans and local implementation
  • It gathers local knowledge from conversation andFrontline find out from local people what threats they face

Helps create local resilience models
  • Understanding local threats helps create local resilience models
  • Threats that don’t get high‐profile coverage, where resources are limited
  • Relatively simple models can make a big difference
  • And Increase shared responsibility and social cohesion

Supports local action and learning
  • Local knowledge helps communities to develop local action plans
  • How to deal with vulnerabilities and risks with training and technical support
  • How to adapt local practices to reduce risk
  • And share it with neighbouring communities

Inform policy
  • Local knowledge to shape policy and implementation
  • Informs local priorities and needs to reduce risk
  • Participatory tool to engage in monitoring and planning activities

Monitors local progress
  • Progress at community level can be monitored over time
  • Monitors local perceptions as well as statistics
  • Enables comparison between communities

Why is Frontline important?

A brief history of Frontline

Frontline’s roots go back to 2009 when GNDR launched Views from the Frontline.

Back in 2009, GNDR launched Views from the Frontline, which was the first in a series ofbiennial reviews designed to complement national‐level HFA monitoring coordinated by UNISDR of progress towards implementation of the HFA at the local level. The review involved over 7000 people from 48 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Headline conclusions

Nationally‐formulated policies are not generating widespread systemic changes in local practices. Resources are scarce and considered one of the main constraints to progress although there are existing resources at local levels, which remain untapped. The key to unlocking these local resources is through adopting participatory approaches ‐ civil society, particularly grassroots women’s groups, can play a critical role in facilitating this community engagement.

In 2011, the second VFL review was undertaken. The focus for this review was local risk governance ‐ what’s working and what needs to improve. The scale of the review was was increased to include 20000 people from 69 countries, as well as an additional 36000 responses gathered by mobile phone texts.

Headline conclusions

57% of people thought that disaster losses had increased over the previous 5 years 8 of the 82 national governments self‐reported “substantial or comprehensive” progress on risk governance indicators In contrast, local governments self‐reported “very limited/some activity but significant scope for improvement.” on local risk governance indicators. ‘Resources’ was the lowest scoring indicator. Allocation of financial resources was highlighted as an indicator of political commitment. Not only communities but local government also reported markedly low progress in this area.

The 2013 review brought together 21500 respondents from 57 low and middle income countries. It revealed persistent trends and gaps in strengthening community resilience and made recommendations for a post‐2015 disaster risk reduction framework to strengthen the resilience of communities to all hazards.

Headline conclusions

Recognising the impact of disasters on lives, livelihoods and assets was a key theme that came from this consultation. Prioritising the most at-risk, poorest and marginalised people while also tackling the underlying causes of people’s vulnerability to disasters was a key area of discussion area. The requirement to mobilise political commitment by focusing on rights, responsibilities and accountabilities and promoting partnerships and public participation was also highlighted.

In 2015 Frontline was launched as the successor to Views from the Frontline. The Frontline programme builds on the findings from VFL and analyses in more detail the Threats, Consequences, Actions and Barriers of disasters and in particular everyday disasters and resilience. Local impact is a critical measure of progress in the frameworks being established in 2015 and beyond. A vital component of assessing this is Local knowledge of the many threats that affect communities . Frontline will establish baselines during 2015‐2016 as a basis for ongoing monitoring during the currency of these frameworks. To date over 18.000 responses have been collated and analysed.

Data dashboards

Find below a short video-tutorial on how to navigate the Frontline data dashboards, as well as a link to the dashboard itself for you to explore.

Tableau: analysing & presenting the data

Frontline data is made available through an intuitive visual data analysis tool called Tableau:

  • If you are familiar with data analysis tools, Tableau will offer familiar ways to sort, filter, aggregate and compare Frontline data from all over the world.
  • If you’re completely new to data analysis, Tableau is a gentle starting point into the field with a wealth of support and help resources available to you.

How to use findings

GNDR has developed some tools to support people to use the Frontline findings in their work, whether that is using the findings to undertake local action planning or as evidence in national advocacy.

Frontline Local Action Planning Guide

A guide designed to support those organisations collecting Frontline data to undertake participatory action planning making use of the Frontline (and other) findings. Download PDF

Local Action Planning ToT Manual

The Local Action Planning Guide is accompanied by a Training of Trainers’ manual to help organisations to build the capacities of others to undertake action planning, based on the outcomes of the Frontline findings. Download PDF

National Advocacy Toolkit

A guide for civil society organisations working together to advocate resilience issues at the country level, using Frontline (and other) evidence.

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Online E-Learning Course

An interactive e-learning course that takes you through the key questions to think about when identifying and presenting Frontline (and other) evidence as part of the advocacy process (see National Advocacy Toolkit). The course includes member stories of good practice.

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Impact so far: case studies of impact through Advocacy, Coalition Building & Local Action

Browse and download Frontline learning publications, as well as a selection of case studies of local and national impact achieved through a combination of advocacy, coalition building and local action.

Frontline from local information to local resilience

A publication summarising key learning from the Frontline programme, including 5 findings from the frontline.

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Frontline 2017 Case Studies Indonesia Advocacy

Impact: Advocacy

3 case studies of the impact of the Frontline programme achieved primarily through Advocacy activities.


Empowering communities in Nigeria to protect themselves from floods »


Civil society joins hands to address drought, deforestation & insecurity »


Using games to change attitudes on safe construction in Indonesia »

Impact: Coalition Building

3 case studies of the impact of the Frontline programme achieved primarily through Advocacy activities.


Communities dredge river and prevent flooding in Cameroon »


Advancing small island resilience by working across sectors »


Building resilience through Community Savings Associations »

Impact: Local action

3 case studies of the impact of the Frontline programme achieved primarily through Advocacy activities.

Dominican Republic

Forming Local DRR Committees to address underlying risk drivers »


Women’s groups protect their community from earthquake impacts »


Raising stone barriers together to boost agricultural production »

Lessons Learnt

An analysis of case studies collected throughout the programme, with the aim of outlining key success factors in advocacy, action and coalition building using local evidence.

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Impact at a local, national and global level


Frontline is used at the local level to support community-led resilience building. In Kiribati the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific Kiribati (FSPK) has provided a platform to raise awareness and strengthen the capacity of people with disability in dealing with disaster risk and climate change, and a chance to join forces with other organisations so that they may develop the necessary attributes and skills needed to help safeguard both the environment and their own health and livelihood.


The Frontline data can be used to support national planning processes. In Indonesia the national platform, PLANAS, is using the Frontline findings to engage with the national technical working group, the National Agency for Disaster Management and the Social Ministry to gain support for disaster affected communities which have been identified in the Frontline local case studies and national data.


Frontline has allowed GNDR and other key partners to profile local realities and speak for the communities we work with in global and regional meetings, including SFDRR negotiations and indicators, COP21 advocacy, and SDG prioritisation. The evidence from Frontline has supported the development of a civil society position paper, the 85,000 voices paper, the Reality Check brochure and campaign, and other key documents

How to get involved

Frontline provides a valuable resource and opportunity for action at local, national and international level, based on its unique ability to gather and share local experience of threats, consequences, actions and barriers: providing a unique local perspective on building resilience.

GNDR members, civil society organisations, local and national governments, private enterprise, international organisations & frameworks, academic and research organisations, all have a part to play.

GNDR members

GNDR members can make use of the Frontline methodology to work with local communities and forge local level partnerships. Many organisations are involved already and more are invited to join as Frontline extends its scope in 2015-2016 and onwards. Their work also contributes to national and global databases which inform local and national governments and international frameworks as they seek more effective implementation strategies. Contact for information and details on how to get involved.

Civil society organisations

Civil society organisations, from community organisations to national and regional platforms and networks can participate in Frontline, making use of the common methodology and its unique benefits. National and regional networks have already used the methodology for their own programmes, extending the Frontline dataset for everyone’s use. The methodology is open source and GNDR encourage organisations and networks to make use of it. Contact for information and details on how to get involved.

Local and National Governments

Local and National Governments can collaborate with civil society to use Frontline’s unique local level information source, disaggregated from national down to community level to inform strategic resource allocation and implementation at every level. Ensuring that policies and budgets are shaped to address the clearly identified threats which households and communities face. Contact for information and details on how to get involved.

Private enterprise

Private enterprise increasingly recognises the need to operate sustainably within resilientcontexts which include their operating territories, production facilities and customer bases. Supporting Frontline provides a valuable information source informing their strategy for sustainable operations in all global contexts. Contact for information and details on how to get involved.

International organisations

International organisations and frameworks concerned with resilience, in particular with Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Adaptation, are invited to support this programme which, founded on the capacity and experience of GNDR and the six years of development work lying behind Frontline, provides a unique source of local knowledge which can provide valuable local level monitoring post-2015. Contact for information and details on how to get involved.

Academic and research organisations

Academic and research organisations can access a unique dynamically growing and updating database of local knowledge to deepen understanding of risk and resilience. GNDR already collaborates with universities in the UK and South Africa and invites further collaborations to make use of this unique source of risk and resilience knowledge. Contact for information and details on how to get involved.


This Frontline microsite was made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this microsite are the sole responsibility of the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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