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Child focused disaster risk reduction

This Handbook is a review on existing literature and case studies in India and Philippines which have a specific focus on integrating children in to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policies and programmes. It is part of a course organised by Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre on how to successfully carry out community disaster risk reduction. With increasing focus on child participation in development and post disaster experiences, international NGOs and global institutions recognise the need to advocate for child led disaster risk reduction (CLDRR) programmes, disaster risk education in schools and school safety initiatives.

The Learning Objectives of the paper are:

  • to be able to discuss importance of children’s participation in DRR
  • to be able to analyse case presentations featuring child-focused disaster risk reduction.

The rationale and the key concepts of promoting child – focused disaster risk reduction are explained, with the help of examples from international organisations:

  • children have specific vulnerabilities and needs which have to be addressed in risk reduction. Children possess capacities according to their stage of development which form the basis for their active participation in emergency response, preparedness and mitigation.
  • a nurturing and supportive environment helps children cope with adverse situations, and contributes to building their resilience. Parents, school teachers, government and other duty bearers have to provide these supports to children.
  • a school safety program has many benefits for linking the school to the family and community in disaster risk reduction.

The second section looks at successful case studies in India and the Philiipines on child focused disaster risk reduction efforts.

India:

  • to acknowledge children as active participants in post disaster responses, the National Bravery Award was started for children who had the courage to save lives during the time of disasters and emergencies
  • school safety initiatives have been started by Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) & SEEDs.

Philippines:

  • children successfully lead the relocation of a school from a high risk area when the headmaster of a school left the decision to a community wide referendum, including students
  • child friendly spaces have been organised to provide psycho-social needs, creating a sense of security for children in response to an emergency situation after a mudslide
  • participatory research was conducted with children to develop a toolkit, Child Oriented Participatory Risk Assessment and Planning (COPRAP Tools), for a flood prone community.