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Assessing school safety from disasters- a baseline study (on video)
 

Assessing school safety from disasters- a baseline study (on video)

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Marla PETAL

Marla PETAL

Author of the School Safety Baseline study

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  • In the course of the HFA, concerns for the safety of school children have led to demands for concrete action to achieve comprehensive school safety, and to “refine the methods and indicators for measuring progress to cover all aspects of safe schools.”This report on “Assessing School Safety from Hazards” revisits available documentation about all aspects of school safety, gathered from 81 countries, and refers to the key advocacy and guidance documents of the past 7 years to develop an analysis that reflects the best practices in achieving the goals of comprehensive school safety, as well as the current concerns and recommendations of advocates and practitioners.
  • From a child rights perspective there are unequivocal commitments to two essential rights: the right to education, and the right to safety Tofulfill these top-level outcomes a comprehensive approach to educational continuity and child protection in the education sector are required.School safety advocates have collectively adopted a simple framework for understanding this, and refer to this as Comprehensive School Safety.It recognizes three main pillars: safe school facilitiesschool disaster management, and disaster prevention and risk reduction education. Safe facilities are measured both by school facilities audits and policies and practicesforduediligence in school site selection, constructiondesign, materialsprocurementandconstructionoversight, andforbuildingmaintenanceguidanceandsupport. School disastermanagement is measuredbystandardizedpoliciesandprocedures, as well as ongoing site-basedimplementationandadjustment of plans.Anddisasterpreventioneducation is measuredbybothquality of curriculumintegration as well as studentlearningoutcomes in terms of behaviour, skillsandcompetencies. Thelearningoutcomes in turn rest on bothkeymessagesfordisasterprevention at home, schoolandwork, as well as on community-baseddisaster risk reductionandclimatechangeadaptation, criticalthinking, problem-solving.It is important to note here that there is NO recommendation to develop any single tool for generalized school safety assessments. While these have been attempted, they have not been shown to be scalable and have thus far minimal effectiveness. The reasons are that each of the three main pillars of school safety involve different processes, different implementing actors and decision-making authorities, different types of resources and expertise, and different types of policies and assessment approaches.
  • The analysis in this report concludes that following a prolonged flurry of activity to produce many isolated pilot-level outputs, the knowledge and experience are in place now to yield to a more substantive focus on school safety outcomes.Sevenkey recommendations are made, to be addressed collectively by national education sector and disaster management policy-makers, education authorities at all levels, supporting INGOs, NGOs, donors, and school communities themselves.We’re going to take a quick look at these one by one.
  • Recommendation #1 to re-focus on outcomes, standards and core commitments:In addition to the three main pillars, TPKE leadership believed that Assessment of Vulnerabilities and Risks should be highlighted. Primarily this addresses the need to bring together Ministries of Education with National Disaster Management Organizations, wherever this has not yet taken place, in order to overlay their data and to see hazards in relation to schools. It is important to recognize and respect that education systems already have some form of Education Management Information Systems and that we seek to support and integrate vulnerability, risk and capacity assessment data and monitoring of school safety into these systems. Schools should be identified as part of an Education Management Information System, including their exposure to natural and human-caused hazards and structural vulnerabilities. This information must be understood by both education authorities, and school communities.School facilities’ vulnerability must be triaged to identify priorities for technical on-site assessment. The most vulnerable must be fully assessed for retrofit or replacement.Schools should regularly reassess their vulnerability in relation to new information.
  • So looking at the first pillar of school safety – the key commitments required are that1. Every new school must be a safe school2. ThatLegacy schools should be prioritized for replacement and retrofitTo address the seemingly overwhelming physical vulnerability of schools on a large scale, national processes are needed to triage these. Triaging is a filtering process in order to be able to develop concrete plans to prioritize gradual retrofit and replacement of unsafe schools. Uzbekistan has provided a good example where such a plan is being implemented. Effective triage may begin with the first filter based on simple criteria such as location in relation to known hazards, construction type, and date of construction. Where design documents are available the second filter can be a desk review of those categories deemed most vulnerable. Following this, or where not available, the next filter is generated by non-technical assessment by school-site users which may confirm or in some cases superceed the previous filters. This can be supported by remote review of photographs by Subject Matter Experts. Next, the most vulnerable schools identified through this process demand more costly, on-site technical assessments. And finallyagreed upon criteria that weigh risk, occupancy and financial thresholds for prioritization of retrofit and replacement are applied to come up with a plan for tackling this massive task.And In addition3. Lifeline infrastructure and non-structural safety should be assessed locally and measures taken for risk reduction4. School furnishings and equipment should be designed and installed to minimize potential harm they might cause to school occupants.
  • Key Commitments to outcomes in School Disaster Management are policies adopted at the highest level and implemented throughout all levels of the education system.These would require that• that Education authorities make plans for school continuity in the face of hazard impacts, in line with the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies• that Every school and school administrative authority needs its own school disaster management or safety committee to guide the ongoing school disaster management process.• that Systems for physical infrastructure maintenance are necessary• that Education authorities develop and promote standardized practices, policies and procedures for expected disasters and emergencies.• and that with guidance, schools develop response capacity, and utilize regular drills to practice and improve on response skills, and to develop action plans to minimize their risks.Education authorities must make continuity plans to insure that school operations continue in case natural hazards disrupt the school year.An ongoing school disaster management or safety committee must meet regularly to guide the school disaster management process at the school levelResponsibility for maintenance of school physical infrastructure and non-structural safety, must be established by school authorities with mechanisms for financing and execution.Education authorities and schools should have and practices, policies and procedures for expected disasters and emergencies.School personnel should have the opportunity to develop response skills for disasters and emergencies.School disaster simulation drills should be held at least annually, for each expected hazard, to practice and improve skills and plans.School should have a minimum of 3-7 days of provisions for emergencies and disasters.
  • When it comes to Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation education, as a result of the 30-country case study sponsored by UNESCO and UNICEF, we can confidently assert that this education needs to be integrated holistically, and taught as part of school curricula from pre-school through secondary school as well as being part of regular co-curricular activities.Beyond this, consensus based ‘Key Messages for disaster risk reduction at household, family and organizational levels can and should be standardized, harmonized and contextualized. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has recently made a significant contribution to this with a set of key messages for testing, validation and localization.And finally, education personnel require opportunities for development of skills and competencies as well as access to quality teaching materials in order to implement this education.Disaster risk reduction should be integrated, holistically and taught as part of school curricula from pre-school through secondary school.Disaster risk reduction should be part of regular co-curricular school activities.Consensus-based key messages for disaster risk reduction at household and family and organizational levels should be standardized, harmonized, and contextualized.Education personnel should have opportunities for development of skills and competencies, and access to materials for teaching disaster risk reduction through formal and co-curricular methods.
  • The second key recommendation is to adapt and implement the HFA within the education sector more explicitly. Thishas been referred to by colleagues in Japan as “E-HFA”, that is the formulation of the 5 priorities of the HFA, as they apply specifically to the education sector. A simple approach to promoting and measuring these outcome indicators has suggested by an exemplary program in Rwanda which recommends a policy guidance framework organized around 3 concepts: What steps Must / What Should / and What May be undertaken to promote school safety. I’m not going to have time to go into the details of alignment of education sector indicators with HFA priorities, but instead just want to remind you of the highlights:Priority 1 is to Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a priority with a strong institutional basis with education authorities nationwide:
  • Priority 2 is to Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks to schools and enhance early warning for all learning environments:
  • Priority 3 was the starting point for the Thematic Platform for Knowledge and Education, that is, to use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience through curricular and co-curricular activities in schools. This is the only education sector indicator so far measured in the course of HFA Monitoring.It is now recognized that this only one of the priorities of relevance to the education sector.
  • Priority #4 is to reduce the underlying risk factors with respect to:school site selection, design, construction, and maintenance school disaster management policies and planseducational continuity plansIncorporating risk reduction measures into post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation and, once again,ensuring that every new school is a safe school
  • And finally priority 5 to strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response in schools.Using standardized emergency response systems adapted for community implementation, some of the innovative measures to accomplish this are teen CERT programs.
  • The third recommendation is to develop and monitor policies to safeguard development investments. Justoneexample of this is thatfor those 30,000 classrooms that have already been built in response to the Global Partnership for Education leadership for Millenium Development Goal for universal primary education, and for those schools built post disaster, warrants should be expected from all national education authorities, donors, ngo’s and ingo’s that every new school they have built is a safe school. In the absence of such warrants, collaborative audit of a stratified random sample of those school facilities built since 2005, should be expected from these parties. Standards for due diligence in school construction are urgently needed to guide the GPE as it ramps up to provide school for another 25 million children in the near future.Country education sector analysis as foundationRequiring Safe School Facilities: that every new school be constructed to be safe from all expected hazardsCommitments from NGOs, donors and governmentsDue diligence procedures for multi-hazard assessment, disaster-resilient construction, local capacity developmentGround-truth random-selection research Providing standard operating procedures and guidance for School Disaster ManagementIncorporating Disaster Reduction Education into the ongoing curriculum adoption cycle.
  • The recommendation to follow best practices may seem a bit obvious: but it is important to re-iterate the broad consensus on what these, so that they can be implemented consistently. These are:• Taking a multi-hazard integrated approach to disaster risk reductionDeveloping capacity of education authorities and support school principles as leadersUsing child-centered, child-led, and participatory and interactive approaches incorporated into all aspects of risk reductionIntegrating child protection, social equity, gender, and access and functional needs approaches into disaster risk reduction and recovery activities.Engaging and partnering with non-governmental actors, especially school staff, parents, and community organizations
  • The next subject concerns the effectiveness of working with and supporting regional and sub-regional partnerships.I hope that you are going to hear more about these from other panel member so I am not going to go into any details here.Examples from:• Asia • Latin America• Central Asiaand other areas
  • Recommendation six is to develop knowledge management tools for “scaling up”. Several important steps have been taken in this direction that can be made more effective and relevant with some minimal investments:One of these is the Prevention Web educational materials collection. Many subject matter experts in the room today provided key guidance on this back in 2008 and 2009.While the educational materials collection has more than 2,000 records, most downloadable, regrettably, Prevention Web has still not made this collection fully searchable, and has not yet implemented the 5-star rating system, the customizable feeds of selected materials, nor the evaluation and dissemination data collection recommended by so many of you in this room, and our colleagues around the world. Another early step is progress towards a multi-lingual Learning Object Repository that permits re-use, tracking and digital rights management of IEC component parts developed with government and donor funds. Risk RED has collected a couple thousand of these in an Adobe Captivate library where they can be re-used in the context of e-learning module development. This can and should be developed much further with a wide range of consortium partners.And finally the potential for a collaborative authoring system for rapid production of IEC materials for delivery on multiple platforms would enable more impact-testing and improved materials.•  DRR educational materials: searchable publications repository (PreventionWeb or ?)• DRR & CCA Multi-lingual Learning Object Repository• Collaborative authoring system for rapid production on multiple platforms
  • And finally –There is a significant need for a broad range of impact research to support scaling-up the most promising and cost-effective practices possible.There is no substitute for the application of a strong evidence basis to support the efforts of all of us in this room.Examples:• Academic and scientific partnerships• Examples: • GFDRR • IDRM • CIB • Young-researchers participatory action research grantsThank you so much for your attention.

Assessing school safety from disasters- a baseline study (on video) Assessing school safety from disasters- a baseline study (on video) Presentation Transcript

  • Click to edit Master title styleAssessing School Safety from Hazards – A Baseline Report UNISDR Thematic Platform for Knowledge and Education, 2012
  • Comprehensive School Safety: Drilling Down
  • Key Recommendations: DRR & CCA Education1. Re-Focus on Outcomes, Standards and Core Commitments2. Align education sector indicators with the Hyogo Framework for Action3. Develop and monitor policies to safeguard development investments4. Follow best practices to drive progress5. Work with and support regional and sub-regional partnerships6. Develop knowledge management tools for scaling- up7. Support impact research for scaling-up.
  • 1. Outcomes / Standards / CoreCommitments: a) Assessment
  • 1. Outcomes / Standards / Core Commitments: b) Safe School Facilities1. Every new school must be a safe school2. Legacy schools should be prioritized for replacement and retrofit3. Lifeline infrastructure and non-structural safety should be assessed locally and measures taken for risk reduction4. School furnishings and equipment should be designed and installed to minimize potential harm they might cause to school occupants.
  • 1. Outcomes / Standards / Core Commitments: c) School Disaster Management
  • 1. Outcomes / Standards / CoreCommitments: d) DRR & CCA Education
  • 2. Align education sector indicators with the HFA: Priority 1Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a priority with a strong institutionalbasis with education authorities nationwide:1. Policy and legal framework for disaster risk reduction exists with decentralized responsibilities and capacities in the education sector at all levels.2. Dedicated and adequate resources are available to implement disaster risk reduction plans and activities at all administrative levels.3. Community participation and decentralization are ensured through the delegation of authority and resources to education authorities at the local level.4. A national multi-stakeholder platform for disaster risk reduction is functioning in the education sector.
  • 2. Align education sector indicators with the HFA: Priority 2Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks to schools andenhance early warning for all learning environments:1. National and local risk assessments based on hazard data and vulnerability information are available to education authorities and schools.2. Systems are in place to monitor, archive and disseminate changing data on school structural, infrastructural and environmental vulnerabilities.3. Early warning systems for major and local hazards reach schools, and schools have the opportunity to participate in early warning systems.
  • 2. Align education sector indicators with the HFA: Priority 3Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety andresilience through curricular and co-curricular activities in schools:1. Educational materials on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are shared internationally, and available for localization and contextualization.2. School curricula is holistically-infused to include disaster risk reduction and recovery concepts and practices.3. Research methods and tools for multi-risk assessments and cost- benefit analysis are developed and strengthened for the education sector.4. Countrywide public awareness strategy to stimulate a culture of disaster resilience, with outreach to urban and rural communities, includes child-centered and child-led elements.
  • 2. Align education sector indicators with the HFA: Priority 4Reduce the underlying risk factors:1. Disaster risk reduction is an integral objective of site selection, design, construction, and maintenance of schools.2. School disaster management policies and plans are implemented to reduce the vulnerability of children in and out of school.3. Educational continuity plans are in place to reduce disruption of the school year, and protect individual attainment of educational goals.4. Planning and management of schools facilities incorporates disaster risk reduction elements including enforcement of building codes.5. Disaster risk reduction measures are integrated into post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation processes in the education sector.6. Procedures are in place to assure that every new school is a safe school.
  • 2. Align education sector indicators with the HFA: Priority 5Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response in learningenvironments:1. Strong policy, technical and institutional capacities and mechanisms for disaster risk management, with a disaster risk reduction perspective are in place in the education sector.2. Disaster and emergency plans are in place at all administrative levels in the education sector and regular training drills and rehearsals are held to test and develop disaster response capacity at all levels.3. Insurance and contingency mechanisms are in place to support effective response and recovery when required.4. Procedures are in place to exchange relevant information about impacts on schools, during hazard events and disasters, and to undertake post-event reviews.
  • 3. Develop and monitor policies tosafeguard development investments
  • 4. Follow best practices to drive progress
  • 5. Work with and support regional and sub-regional partnerships
  • 6. Develop knowledge management tools for scaling-up
  • 7. Support impact research for scaling-up.