How schools build community resilience capacity and social capital in disaster preparedness, response and recovery
This article reports on a decade of research undertaken by the author on the role of schools in disaster response and recovery across four different disaster types in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Schools are an integral part of any community. Over the years, they have contributed to the history, identity and social fabric of their communities.
The article concludes with recommendations for how this role might be better recognised and supported in local and national government disaster policy and planning.
- International disaster and emergency management agencies recognise the significant role that schools play in building and sustaining community social capital and resilience capacity before, during and after a disaster;
- National governments and emergency management agencies build this recognition into their policies and planning, and allocate funds and resources to enable schools to undertake this role without it impacting on school resources or school personnel's health and wellbeing;
- Education agencies include training and support for principals and teachers to prepare them for the expectations placed upon them in disaster contexts.
- Further research is prioritised to detail and clarify the important role of schools and their contribution to disaster risk reduction and disaster response and recovery.
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