Disaster Risk Reduction is a model of disaster management which emerged in the 1970s. Many of those who would become GNDR’s founding members were present at the UN 'World Conference for Disaster Reduction' in Kobe, Japan in January 2005; which established the present ten-year plan for action on Disaster Risk Reduction – the 'Hyogo Framework for Action'. They were representatives of civil society organisations, present to observe and to advocate on behalf of the communities around the world who are most at risk to the impact of disasters.

An underlying concern of these civil society representatives was that the high level policy statements of programmes such as this would not be translated into effective implementation and change at the frontline – where communities vulnerable to disasters live and work. In expressing this concern they had history on their side, as the review of the preceding ten-year programmes, the 'Yokohama Strategy for Natural Disasters' had concluded that intentions still needed to be turned into actions. It became clear that by working together they could increase their effectiveness in advocacy and campaigning. As a result, over the following two years discussions and meetings let to an agreement to form the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) in 2007.

The network was initiated with the close support of the UN-International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR) Secretariat in collaboration with the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation, United Nations Development Programme. GNDR was officially launched in Geneva during the first session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in June 2007.

Throughout 2007 and 2008 the UN-ISDR supported the development of the network in various ways, including the publication of an annual compilation of “Good Practices and Lessons Learnt” by NGOs in DRR. Now, GNDR’s activities complement the UN-ISDR’s work programme. 

GNDR is located in Teddington, London under the leadership of its Executive Director, Marcus Oxley and the newly appointed Global Board. Internal management procedures and core objectives have been agreed, seed funding secured and related work packages initiated, including the ground breaking “Views from the Frontline” project designed to establish a global architecture to independently measure progress towards implementation of disaster risk reduction at the local level. An independent GNDR website was launched in December 2008.

In line with its mandate, the UN-ISDR Secretariat continues to support the facilitation of GNDR and other civil society networks through the promotion of NGO partnerships within the inter-governmental system and the ongoing sharing of information and knowledge on DRR that is relevant to civil society organisations.


"Enable civil society to connect local to global and speak with a collective voice that drives action which reduces risk and increases the resilience of the most vulnerable."


"A world of resilient communities where vulnerable people are able to prepare for, mitigate against, recover from and adapt to hazards and a changing climate."

GNDR values and principles

GNDR members believe in the 'added value' and complementarity of working together to achieve shared objectives and goals by undertaking joint actions and mutual support. The interaction between members is guided by shared values of trust, mutual accountability; gender equity; a respect for diverse identities, perspectives and beliefs; a commitment to inclusion and participation; and an openness to sharing and learning to build consensus and mutual understanding.

GNDR welcomes applications for Full Membership from all civil society organisations and affiliated individuals who can comply with the above.

GNDR membership in excess of 850 organizations and 1,400 individuals in all regions share a vision: A vibrant, active, collaborative civil society supporting people and their communities, particularly poor and vulnerable groups, to prepare for, mitigate, respond to and recover from disasters, and adapt to hazards and a changing climate.

In 2015, major international agreements and frameworks were adopted that will guide how national governments address development and poverty, disasters, and climate change. These include the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Paris

Agreement on climate change. Countries now have a responsibility to create the policies and systems to implement these new frameworks.

DENIVA is a member is a member of GNDR and coordinates the east African DR efforts in the region. Since April 2016 members of EA have been mobilizing both nationally and regionally. We have over 60 active GNDR members across eight countries; Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Figure 1: GNDR Executive Director Marcus, left. DENIVA Executive Director, Catherine Centre and Enock Right the EA DRR platform chairperson during the regional DRR workshop in Kampala.


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