Report on 4th Day: Collaboration in DRR Between NPO and Community



A seminar, “Reassurance in Living with Connectedness”, reporting on DRR case studies of collaboration between NPO and the community, was held on 17th March at the Sendai City Civil Activity Support Center. It was organized by “Bosai kara Machizukuri wo Kangaeru” committee. 35 people turned up for the event.

Haruyoshi Osada (56), secretary general of Hamamatsu NPO Disaster Relief Collaboration Committee, asserted, “With proper collaboration between NPO and the community, we will be able to reach out to everyone, leaving no one behind, during a disaster.”

This Disaster Relief Collaboration Committee was established in September 2012. Bounded by a disaster relief contract with Hamamatsu City, when a disaster strikes, this committee provides relief support including social welfare for the physically disabled or the elderly who are left out of evacuation centers.

The establishment was sparked by a story heard from a NPO staff, who worked in the disaster stricken areas after the Great East Japan Earthquake. He sent requests to the local government for tables needed at an old folks home, but the whole process was constantly delayed until a month later when the NPO had to arrange for themselves. It was then when he felt that collaboration between NPO and local governments is indispensable in order to realize speedy and prompt relief support.


NPO Disaster Relief Collaboration Committee

Nagata and his team cooperate with various NPOs doing relief support in order to realize effective and efficient relief support. Receiving help from an application making company, they established their own community site online. This online site allows the sharing of information among cooperating organizations on the “when, where, who, what and how” of relief support. “Even though we have managed to cooperate effectively between the local government and the community, it still remains a challenge for us how we can manage the funds and spread this collaborative working style to the whole country”.



Nagata from the Disaster Relief Collaboration Committee, working on a project educating and grooming the next generation on DRR, with students from Hamamatsu City in the disaster stricken areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake.


Other speakers include Takako Koiwa (62) from “Hot Net in Higashi Nakata”, Mitsumasa Aoyagi (47) from Nippon Foundation. All of them stressed the importance of collaboration among the community, local government and NPOs, based on their respective experiences.


During the Great East Japan Earthquake, NPOs and NGOs were treated as volunteers. NPOs and NGOs are not volunteers, but relief support professionals. They can deliver speedy and effective relief support to people in need of help. Nagata hopes that effective collaboration with local governments can lead to more efficient relief support throughout the country. In order to achieve that, we need to fully understand the functions and activities of NGOs and NPOs.


Miyabi Umemura, 3rd Year at Doshisha University
Shihori Saito, 2nd Year at Tohoku Gakuin University




English translation will be available shortly.


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チヂミやスンドゥブなど韓国料理を振る舞っていた孫 美子(SON MIJA)さんら、

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山形大学2年 小原永義(おばら・えいき)

【4日目・レポート】「語り継ぐ」 市民防災世界宣言を発表 Report on the 4th Day: “Passing on Stories” DRR Declaration for Civil Society

English translation will be available shortly.



The Global Conference on DRR for Civil Society, aimed to increase awareness on DRR among citizens, came to a closure after 4 days of events, culminating in the main event held at Tokyo Electron Hall Miyagi. After introducing case studies of disaster relief volunteer work inside and outside Japan, the DRR Declaration for Civil Society was recited to emphasize the need for citizens to be prepared against disasters during peace times.




The main event was kick-started by a Taiko performance by performers from Ogatsu town in Ishinomaki City that was heavily affected by the tsunami. The drumbeats echoed through the venue, as if relaying the deep sense of gratitude to the people who supported.






At the panel discussion on the future of DRR for civil society, 3 guest speakers, including Akiko Domoto, the former Chiba prefectural mayor took the stage. “Support and consideration for women were secondary concerns during the Great East Japan Earthquake. There needs to be women involvement in the decision making process in the local administration during peace times,” stressed Domoto. Another speaker mentioned, “in order to level up DRR, it needs to be built from the civil society”.





At the main symposium, journalist Jun Hori played the emcee, leading 5 guest speakers who are active in volunteer activities in the world, in an interactive discussion session. The importance of grooming leaders with DRR knowledge and the implementation of regular trainings of young people in DRR were some challenges Japan needs to step up against, while learning from other countries.







At the Global Conference on DRR for Civil Society, 10 sessions were held over 4 days, where people shared ideas and discussed about the challenges of DRR at the community level, especially during the Great East Japan Earthquake. In closing, Akiko Benibura, director of Miyagi NPO Fukkou Collaboration Center, the main local access point for relief supplies from around the country and the world, recited the DRR Declaration for Civil Society. “Keep DRR in mind and pass on this knowledge to the next generation”.






Rina Abe, 2nd year in high school, who sat through the conference, commented, “The phrase ‘disaster risk reduction’ is becoming too common in the disaster area that people are taking it for granted. I hope to bring up this issue with my family.”





Incorporating DRR into the citizens… I experienced such a huge earthquake for the first time in Sendai. Before that, I never knew how earthquakes were really like, and how people would react during such a situation. It made me realize that we should be more aware about earthquakes from peace times. Hearing the DRR Declaration for Civil Society, I felt that it was all the more necessary to prepare against disasters in a region where disasters are not so common.




“We cannot rely totally on the government. We have to field in leaders from the local organizations and community level, and work towards DRR together”, this was what I felt at the Global Conference on DRR for Civil Society. I hope more people will feel the necessity for mutual help. -Goto


茨城大3年 後藤結有(ごとう・ゆう)東北大3年 小林直秋(こばやし・なおあき)



Yu Goto, 3rd Year at Ibaraki University

Naoaki Kobayashi, 3rd Year at Tohoku University