This publication is part of ongoing efforts made under the theme “Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School”, a theme selected for the World Disaster Reduction Campaign 2006-2007 coordinated by the UN/ISDR secretariat in cooperation with the UNESCO.
Schools are the best venues for sowing collective values, the World Campaign, therefore, promotes two major initiatives: (1) making school buildings safer; and (2) mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into school curricula.
To facilitate the Campaign, UN/ISDR secretariat produced an information kit. The Thematic Platform on Knowledge and Education and its partners launched the publication entitled "Let Our Children Teach Us! - A review of the Role of Education and Knowledge in Disaster Risk Reduction”. This review, prepared by Professor Ben Wisner, examined good practices to reduce disaster risk through education, knowledge and innovation.
Since the Campaign was launched in June 2006, many activities have been carried out in all parts of the world: some as part of some established practice, others as pioneering initiatives; but all with some impact – nationally or locally, immediate and less immediate. It is gratifying to remark that many of the activities illustrated in this publication are part of longstanding projects initiated before the Campaign.
The present Good Practices provide an indication of the major successes achieved so far and, therefore, an idea of what could be achieved in the future. Indeed, they have been selected primarily for their potential for replication. But attention was also paid to geographical balance.
The following good practices are arranged under the issues of: 1) raising awareness within school communities; 2) building a culture of prevention; and 3) making school building safer. But they all involve school children, teachers and non-academic staff and, in some cases, the surrounding communities.
For ease of reference, an abstract is provided at the beginning of each good practice and each is presented in a reader-friendly way based on straightforward answers to questionnaires sent to (and, in some instances, interviews with) institutions and organizations participating in the World Campaign. Brief contact details are given at the end of each case study for any further information.
We hope that this publication helps draw the attention of all current and potential disaster risk reduction actors and stakeholders - including community mobilizers, community leaders, parents, school teachers and school administrators - on the utmost importance of disaster resilience in schools and through schools.