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Early Warning Systems (EWS) are integrated systems of disaster risk knowledge, forecasting and monitoring, warning dissemination, and preparedness, that enable communities to reduce the impact of hazardous events. Increasing access to EWS has been a major focus of many NGOs and governments over the past two decades, and is one of the seven core targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Originally conceptualised as top-down, government led initiatives, EWS are most effective when they follow a locally-led, participatory approach; with a full spectrum of local and sub-national stakeholders involved in identifying: priority hazards to provide warnings for; levels of risk for which warnings are required; which information is included in warnings; how warnings will be communicated; preparedness measures that they will take and support that will be provided; monitoring hazards and forecasts; and evaluating the EWS’s performance. This not only improves the EWS, but also importantly strengthens the public’s trust and engagement in the system and allows effective integration of hydro-meteorological and socio-economic information.
This panel will discuss how CSOs can leverage their position to influence multistakeholder EWS. Papers are welcome on examples of good locally-owned participatory EWS practice, and which highlight ways how CSOs and the broader humanitarian sector can help ensure their meaningful participation.