Professor Kevin Ronan, University of Central Queensland, summarises the findings of research into the progress of including disaster risks concepts into school curriculum and training programs.
This paper was developed for the UNISDR Hyogo Framework for Action Thematic Review and as an input to the process of developing the ‘Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction’.
The promise of initiatives aimed at children and youth is the subject of a Background Chapter authored by an Australian/New Zealand team (Ronan 2014), following an Input Paper from the larger research team (Ronan et al. 2014). The Chapter and Input Paper documented both progress and challenges related to the HFA Priority for Action 3, Core Indicator 2, being ‘School curricula, education material and relevant training include disaster risk reduction and recovery concepts and practices’.
One thing that research and desk review, policy analysis and wide consultation with national and international actors confirmed clearly was that the HFA process has stimulated a tremendous amount of progress globally, including in Australia and New Zealand. For this Core Indicator specifically, documented progress has been achieved across all major areas; policy and implementation, curriculum and training, and research and evaluation. The advances documented are worth celebrating and also provide a platform for enhanced gains in the next 20 years in the post-2015 DRR framework. Examples of changes across the HFA include:
The many developments to date predict future developments.3 However, promise is still yet to be realised in a number of important areas. While these represent significant challenges, progress is more likely with increased relationships and co-operation across the sector, including UN-level, NGOs, universities, national, sub-national, and local levels. Drawing together input from across sources for this GAR15 Background Chapter (Ronan 2014), three major fronts are signalled as major priorities. These are:
A number of other challenges and issues are documented in the Background Chapter (Ronan 2014) in policy and implementation, DRR curriculum practice and training, and research and evaluation. The Chapter is available from the author (email@example.com).
Johnson VA, Ronan KR, Johnston DM & Peace R 2014, Evaluations of disaster education programs for children: A methodological review. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 9, pp. 107–123.
Ronan KR 2014, Many advances, continuing challenges towards HFA2 and Post-2015: Policy-practice-research summary and recommendations. Hyogo Framework for Action Thematic Review: Priority for Action (PFA) 3 – Core Indicator (CI) 2: School curricula, education material and relevant training including disaster risk reduction and recovery concepts and practices. Background Chapter prepared for United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015. UNESCO/UNICEF: Paris/Geneva.
Ronan KR, Petal M, Johnson VA, Alisic E, Haynes K, Johnston DM, Handmer J, Towers B, Davie S, Ireland N 2014, Hyogo Framework for Action Thematic Review: Priority for Action (PFA) 3 – Core Indicator (CI) 2: School curricula, education material and relevant training including disaster risk reduction and recovery concepts and practices. Input Paper prepared for United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015. CQUniversity.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/United Nations Childrens Fund 2012, Disaster risk reduction in school curricula: Case studies from thirty countries. Geneva/Paris: UNESCO/UNICEF). At: www.unicef.org/education/files/DRRinCurricula-Mapping30countriesFINAL.pdf.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/United Nations Childrens Fund 2013, Towards a Learning Culture of Safety and Resilience: Technical Guidance for Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction in the School Curriculum (Pilot Version). Geneva/Paris: UNESCO/UNICEF. At: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002194/219412e.pdf.
Webb M & Ronan KR 2014, Interactive hazards education program in a low SES community: A quasi-experimental pilot study. Risk Analysis: DOI: 10.1111/risa.12217.
Kevin R. Ronan is currently a Professorial Research Fellow in Psychology and Chair in Clinical Psychology, School of Health, Human and Social Sciences at CQUniversity Australia. He is also Chair of the Disaster Reference Group of the Australian Psychological Society. He is leading a 3-year project funded by the BNHCRC to evaluate best practice in child-centred disaster risk reduction. In addition to a focus on the prevention and preparedness phase, his practice, research and policy advocacy also includes work in the response and recovery phases, including research and on-the-ground training and practice after local disasters (e.g. Queensland floods and cyclone in 2010-11 and Bundaberg floods in 2013).
2 Volume 2 of this book is currently in the planning stages with the publisher.
3 A well-known maxim based on much research in psychology and related areas is ‘the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour’.