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UNICEF Evaluation Brief: Disaster risk reducation through education
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UNICEF Evaluation Brief: Disaster risk reducation through education

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GENEVA, 23 July 2012 — The first “Evaluation Brief” in the region focuses on UNICEF - DIPECHO`s Disaster Risk Reduction programme to increase resilience and reduce vulnerability of local communities …

GENEVA, 23 July 2012 — The first “Evaluation Brief” in the region focuses on UNICEF - DIPECHO`s Disaster Risk Reduction programme to increase resilience and reduce vulnerability of local communities and national institutions mainly through disaster mitigation and preparedness activities within the education sector in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


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  • 1. Evaluation of the UNICEF-DIPECHO Programme supporting Disaster Risk ReductionAmongst Vulnerable Communities and Institutions in Central Asia and South Caucasus May 2012Background came at a school in Tajikistan where senior girls were given the role of nurses and senior boys were givenIn spring 2010, UNICEF received two grants from responsibilities for search and rescue, fire fightingDirectorate General - European Commissions’ and security. Some countries had differentHumanitarian Aid Office (DG-ECHO) under its Disaster perspectives on gender and assigned specific roles toPreparedness (DIPECHO) programme to implement men and women differently. Deliberate steps weretwo disaster risk reduction programmes—one in taken to ensure that gender issues were dealt withSouth Caucasus and the other in Central Asia. The equitably.objective of the programme was to increaseresilience and reduce vulnerability of local Key findings and conclusionscommunities and national institutions mainly through Relevance. The region of Central Asia and the Southdisaster mitigation and preparedness activities within Caucasus is highly vulnerable to disasters that arethe education sector in seven countries of the two amplified by poverty, ethnic tension, inequitablesub-regions: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, gender relations and other factors. This programmeKazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. was found highly relevant as it addressed priorityObjective, scope and methodology areas under Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015,As required by the DIPECHO programme, and to which is a global blueprint for reducing disaster risks. With a strong focus on education, the programmeinform the next programme, UNICEF conducted anevaluation at the end of the programme to verify the reached school children, teachers and other school staff at local level and policy makers within theresults achieved through their support and identify Ministry of Education and Ministry oflessons learnt to inform the following programming Emergency/Emergency Departments Situations atperiod. The evaluation covered the periodSeptember to November 2011 and was undertaken national level.by an independent expert. The methodology adopted Effectiveness. All countries in the two regionsincluded a desk review as well as 5 project country achieved the specific programme objectives andvisits. Findings, preliminary conclusions and expected results. Some policy and curriculum changerecommendations were discussed with key were achieved, teacher training developed andstakeholders before finalisation of the evaluation. conducted; and school safety assessments and training undertaken. In almost all countries, thereEquity focus were pre and post programme surveys which gaugedThe programme targeted significantly vulnerable the knowledge of children before and after the DRRareas in the 7 countries, focusing on the most activities in schools. All surveys confirmed positivevulnerable populations. Males and females were results. At local levels the pilot schools (teachers andrepresented equally in all the training materials and students) have directly benefited through theeducation services. The only gender differentiation provision of safety equipment to schools, teacher Page |1
  • 2. training, student education in DRR, emergency drills springboard to launch a wider DRR/Educationand personal safety awareness. programme if this is decided by national governments.Efficiency. A hallmark of this programme was thestrong partnership approach. The partner agencies Lessons learnedoffered technical expertise in DRR, risk assessment, Considering all the positive results already achieved ittraining in evacuation and specialist advice to is clear that with a longer adequately resourcedcurriculum development; Government agencies programme more could have been achievedprovided the mandate, support, teacher training and especially in terms of scaling up and national leveldevelopment of training and educational materials. long-term commitment to disaster risk reduction.UNICEF worked well to build partnerships anddeveloped varied and in-depth working relationships Main recommendationsfrom school to national level. However, a major Rec 1: Disaster Risk Reduction needs to be clearly anddifficulty was the relative brevity of the programme definitively conceptualized by UNICEF and confusion(15 months) which cumulated with delayed staff with natural hazard control, emergency managementappointments and constraints on coordination and emergency response activities needs to beprotocol, did not allow for its full embedding in all avoided.countries. The short duration of the programme alsoaffected some Governments’ level of commitment. Rec 2: That future similar projects allow for greaterFinally, confusion occurred at times between short- coordination of resources at both regionalterm emergency management and long-term coordination level (within the project area) and alsostructural disaster risk reduction. at regional office level (Geneva) and these resources to include both personnel and funding for travel,Impact. Despite challenges mentioned above the communications and knowledge transferevaluation reports that the programme made mechanisms, including inter-country officesubstantial contribution to DRR relevant teaching and workshops and knowledge portal websites.learning materials, teacher training, studenteducation and school safety and risk management. Rec 3: The relationship within UNICEF of Disaster RiskDRR and how it may be enacted through education is Reduction and Education needs to be clarified andbetter understood at national levels and increased agreed and projects clearly assigned to one sector.political commitment was observed. Rec 4: Mainstreaming elements of DRR into theSustainability. Post-programme benefits in the target Education sector should be actively considered inschool are substantial and will persist for the life of UNICEF at policy, strategy and country office levelsthe current teacher cohort; this applies to education strongly linking DRR with development; kick offand safety awareness. Teaching support and funding as necessary should be allocated to facilitateteaching materials will have to be periodically this process.renewed as they wear out. Curriculum change and Rec 5: Project duration needs to be extended wheredevelopment will also persist until challenged by feasible to between 3 and 5 years for projects thatother priorities in the frequent reviews of curriculum involve policy change and curriculum development.content. Long term sustainability is doubtful unless Rec 6: Project management should be clearlyadditional support is provided regularly. Educational assigned to the Regional Office with individualoutcomes may not be easily or quickly disseminated UNICEF country offices responsible foracross each country. However, the curriculum implementation with project design focusing ondevelopment, teacher training and educational regional as well as national issues.materials and the good practice guides provide a For more information and to access the full evaluation report, contact: mecop@unicef.org Page |2