Risk Reduction and Resilience

When it comes to risk reduction and resilience, a ‘child-rights perspective’ should be taken to ensure the rights of children and youth to safety and survival, protection, development, and participation are secured throughout the approach. Taking this approach, one is concerned with all the hazards and risks that can impact children and youth (especially in the education sector). Education authorities should take a helpful, all-hazards approach that covers natural and climate-change-induced, technological, biological, health, conflict, violence, and everyday hazards, as shown below. 


Natural and climate change-induced hazards:

  • Land: earthquake, landslide/rockslide, debris or mud-flow, glacial lake outburst, volcanic eruption, avalanche
  • Wind and Water: flood, tropical cyclone, windstorm, coastal erosion, tsunami, bridge/dam break, drought, water shortage, hailstorm, sandstorm, lightning
  • Fire: wildfire, structural fire
  • Temperature: extreme cold, extreme heat

Technological hazards

  • Nuclear, biological, radiological, and chemical threats (including hazardous materials and waste, pesticides, asbestos & paint & cleaning agenda), radiation, power shortage, road accidents (bus, car, bicycle, pedicab/rickshaw, etc.) and other transportation accidents (train, plane, boat).

Biological and health hazards:

  • Pandemics (HIV, flu, Avian Flu, Ebola, COVID-19, etc.), epidemics (gastrointestinal), vector-borne diseases (Malaria, Dengue, Zika), unsafe or insufficient water, unsafe or insufficient food, air pollution (incl. molds, water pollution, pest infestations ( rodents, insects, venomous animals)

Conflict and violence:

  • Physical and humiliating punishment, abuse, neglect & exploitation, peer violence, sexual and gender-based violence, cyber-bullying, online violence, civilian and military conflict, gang violence, attacks on schools, students and staff, military use of facilities, child recruitment

Everyday dangers and threats:

  • Vehicle accidents, drowning, playground accidents, alcohol and substance abuse, separation from family, unsafe routes to schools (in or through water, falling coconuts, animal crossings), displacement and migration, child labor, and child marriage. 

In addition, conditions that could increase exposure to hazards and exacerbate risks, including the lack of basic necessities (warmth, water, food, light, ventilation, sanitary facilities, emergency medical care, and shelter).

While for many years the focus was on avoiding major disasters, it is now understood that learning how to identify and reduce risks, and to be prepared to respond to hazards impacts of all sizes and types, is more effective than just imagining the catastrophic ones. In fact, there is no such thing as a “natural” disaster anymore – as even the climate is not quite natural.  It is important to convey the tremendous power one has to identify and reduce all risks and increase the resilience of the most vulnerable people and environments.

Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)

GADRRRES logoGADRRRES is a multi-stakeholder platform comprised of UN Agencies, International Non-Governmental Agencies, leading humanitarian and development organizations, and private sector organisations, as well as similar regional alliances. Its mission is to ensure that children and adults in all learning facilities are safe from all hazards, and that schools contribute to building a culture of safety and resilience, with the objectives to:

  • Strengthen global coordination and collective impact for school safety
  • Advocate for Comprehensive School Safety
  • Improve global information, resources and knowledge management, research and capacity-development for Comprehensive School Safety

Find out more about GADRRRES on their website gadrrres.net. Additional resources, such as Case Studies and Research-into-Action Briefs are also available.


This collection was developed with the support of Marla Petal, Principal Advisor for Urban Resilience & School Safety, Save the Children.

30 June 2022 Manual/Handbook/Guide Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)

Comprehensive School Safety Framework 2022-2030

The CSSF 2022-2030 is an all-hazards, all-risks approach to protecting children and education, offering governments a practical framework to make urgent progress across a multitude of children’s rights and the sustainable development agenda.

1 June 2023 Manual/Handbook/Guide Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)

Comprehensive School Safety Targets and Indicators 2022-2030

The Targets and Indicators are intended to guide policy and program development and aim to stimulate monitoring and evaluation of risk reduction and resilience efforts in the education sector. They are expected to support national and sub-national education authorities to incorporate risk reduction into education sector strategies and plans.

1 June 2023 Manual/Handbook/Guide Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)

Comprehensive School Safety Operational Guidance

GADRRRES members have compiled an CSS Operational Guidance Catalogue, and a series of Best Practice guides, Case Studies, and Templates to support implementation of the CSS Framework, and CSS Targets and Indicators

1 January 2018 Manual/Handbook/Guide Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES), Save the Children

Safe Schools Context Analyses

The SSCA template is for the national (sub-national) coordination mechanism for school safety and education in emergencies to populate.

1 January 2019 Manual/Handbook/Guide World Bank

Roadmap for Safer and Resilient Schools

The Roadmap for Safer and Resilient Schools is a step-by-step guide intended to provide support to governments of developing countries that are exposed to natural hazards. Specifically, it focuses on the design of intervention strategies and investment plans to make schools safer and resilient at scale. The guide also encompasses the recovery and reconstruction of school facilities affected by disasters.

31 July 2009 Manual/Handbook/Guide
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

INEE Guidance Notes on Safer School Construction

These guidance notes have been developed for policymakers and planners of local, regional and national government bodies and all other organizations interested or engaged in enhancing the safety of school populations and the resiliency of the buildings they occupy.

16 July 2018 Video Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)

Safer School Construction

These videos are intended to strongly justify why the viewer should consider a community-based approach to school construction and why the viewer should insist on a safer school approach that considers hazards in the site plan, design, and construction of the school.

1 January 2015 Manual/Handbook/Guide Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)

Towards Safer School Construction: A community-based approach

The focus of this manual is on the process of community- based school construction. This manual  also shows how community-based approaches to safer school construction can do more than just provide safer school buildings in hazard-prone places.

1 June 2021 Manual/Handbook/Guide United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organziation (UNESCO)

UNESCO Guidelines for Assessing Learning Facilities in the Context of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation

VISUS is a methodology developed by SPRINT researchers, that permits to assess the safety of school facilities at regional scale, with the purpose of supporting the definition of pragmatic safety upgrading strategies. It has been adopted by UNESCO for the assessment of the risks affecting the education sector. 

1 January 2015 Toolkit Save the Children

Participatory School Disaster Management Toolkit

The Participatory School Disaster Management Toolkit contains a set of tools and resources for use in the implementation of school disaster management. It is broken down into three parts: participatory school disaster management handbook, our school disaster management plan and student and community participatory activities. It contains a number of tools and templates for use and adaptation to different contexts.

1 January 2018 Manual/Handbook/Guide Plan International

Child-Centered Multi-Risk Assessments: A Field Guide and Toolkit

This guide and toolkit is designed to provide step-by-step guidance for field teams on how to plan and conduct a child-centred multi-risk assessment in the various contexts in which Plan International works. It is recommended that the assessment team be formed of staff with technical capacity in Child Protection and DRR and may include other sector programme staff. 

1 January 2018 Manual/Handbook/Guide International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Save the Children

Public awareness and public education for disaster risk reduction: Action-oriented key messages for households and schools

This second edition provides messages for all types of hazards including 13 major hazards and family disaster preparedness.  The revised key messages, in this second edition, are updated to cover additional hazards and have been reviewed for integration of climate change messages, messages regarding pets and livestock and child protection-specific guidance during crises and emergencies.

12 October 2021 Toolkit
Education International

Teach for Climate Action: An Advocacy Toolkit on Climate Change Education for Educators and Their Unions

This toolkit aims to contribute to educators’ and education unionists’ skills and baseline knowledge in this regard. This toolkit is meant to be neither comprehensive nor prescriptive. Instead, it builds on existing research, analyses of needs and constraints, and best practices. The most it hopes to achieve is to serve as a stepping stone for developing context- and user-specific plans for CCE-focused advocacy.