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Prudence Foundation

Building resilient communities

A powerful partnership that leverages innovation, technology and collaboration to ensure children can be kept safe at school and get the best start in life.

Prudential has a proud history of stepping up to support people when they need it most.  For over a decade Prudence Foundation and Save the Children have worked in partnership to develop and deliver pioneering programmes to increase, resilience to emergencies and create a fairer world that keeps children safe, healthy and learning.

Alongside these long-term solutions Prudence Foundation have provided complementary support as a critical partner of Save the Children’s Emergency Fund enabling us to anticipate, prepare for and respond to crises across Asia, Africa, and the rest of the world to save children’s lives and learning.

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The risks to children’s education are numerous and growing, from conflict, to climate change, to health pandemics. The climate crisis is an increasing threat to children and disrupts the education of 40 million children every year. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 2.2 billion children had their learning interrupted. It is projected that without action, in the disaster-prone region of the Asia-Pacific alone, around 200 million children per year will have their lives severely disrupted by disasters over the coming decade.


Since its inception Prudence Foundation has been focused on Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) as the solution to invest in to protect children’s education and livelihoods from disasters including the impacts of climate change. Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) is aligned with the SDGS and other relevant global frameworks for child rights and child protection.

The main goals of Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) are to:

  • Protect children, teachers , and staff from harm in schools.
  • Plan for education continuity and limit disruption in the face of all-hazards and threats (such as the climate crisis, conflict and pandemics).
  • Promote knowledge and skills across society to contribute to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience building.

Prudence Foundation’s innovative and collaborative approach to developing our long-term partnership, providing critical investment, strategy development, thought leadership, governance and advocacy has enabled us to go on a journey to grow the impact and influence of CSS together.

In 2013 we began implementing our pioneering ‘Safe Schools’ programme, based on the CSS principles, on a community and regional level in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines to pilot and develop a variety of initiatives to strengthen disaster risk reduction in schools and communities.

Then in 2018 we took our insights and learnings from ‘Safe Schools’ to influence national systems and develop a ‘Comprehensive School Safety Ecosystem’ across the Philippines. 

“Having Prudence Foundation as a partner, with their openness to long-term projects and partnerships, brings credibility as well as interest from other partners.” - Gwen Hines, CEO, Save the Children UK

The CSS goals formed the basis of the ‘Comprehensive School Safety Ecosystem’ project and in 2018, we launched a powerful multi-stakeholder partnership between DepEd, Prudence Foundation and Save the Children. Having gained significant insight, evidence, and experience by working together on a school-by-school basis across communities in South East Asia we applied this to develop and deliver a sustainable and scalable model which could ultimately protect all 47,000 schools across the Philippines from disasters including the impacts of climate change.

The Comprehensive School Safety Ecosystem project leverages innovation, technology, data, collaboration, and children’s participation so children in the Philippines can be kept safe at school and get the best start in life through building greater resilience to disasters and other emergencies.

The Comprehensive School Safety Ecosystem project has already enhanced school safety for over 540,000 people to date across the country (68,717 directly, 471,305 indirectly).

We have:

  • As accurate and timely data was identified as one of the Department of Education’s biggest challenges, we developed and nationally launched a Disaster Risk Reduction Management Information System (DRRMIS) within the Department of Education. This included three digital apps tailored to the Department of Education’s needs and embedded into their ways of working to improve data collection for school safety response and planning.
  • We introduced ‘BERT’ which are child-led disaster resilience training modules, and a key component of our original Safe Schools program. This has been complimented by a hazard spotting app (SWApp) which has increased children’s awareness of disaster risk reduction concepts, knowledge of how to respond in an emergency and improved their ability to identify hazards in school. There is also evidence that children’s participation in these activities have increased pressure on school management to fix damages, in turn increasing school safety.

It is important for us children to know our rights...”- High School Student

“I really like that I am involved in the action that is being done.” - Children using one of the Apps developed as part of the CSS Project

  • The RADaR (Rapid Assessment of Damages Report) app has already been rolled out on a national scale and is providing rapid information data to improve the Department of Education’s overall internal and external school safety coordination and planning. Furthermore, it has helped influence an eleven-fold increase in DepEd’s budget for disaster responses.

“At the time of typhoon Odette, I saw the building, a three-classroom. The entire roof was carried away by the strong wind. As teachers we all worried…what classroom are we going to use? So, there is an immediate response by DepEd because we were able to immediately submit our report using the RADaR app. And because of it, we received help that can be used in our school.”- Philippines Regional DRR Coordinator

  • Evidence and research from the project in the Philippines is being used as an example of best practice CSS implementation and is receiving significant external recognition including during COP27.  The Department for Education in the Philippines provides an expert voice on putting CSSF policy into practice, with the evidence and research produced in the Philippines providing invaluable lessons, as well as highlighting how to set up for success.

“Having Prudence Foundation as a partner, with their openness to long-term projects and partnerships, brings credibility as well as interest from other partners.” - Gwen Hines, CEO, Save the Children UK

Alongside evolving CSS practice in the Philippines, the logical next step for Save the Children and Prudence Foundation, was identifying how we could influence the global school safety agenda to secure more recognition and support for this important work so more countries implement CSS and children can enjoy safe and uninterrupted education.

We have been collaborating with GADRRRES (an expert voice in Disaster Risk Reduction) since 2021 to transform CSS policy, advocacy and guidance. Together we’ve successfully revised the Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF) which now provides governments across the world with a policy framework and practical guidance to strengthen their education systems against all-hazards and threats.

Through this global activity we are creating global attention and momentum for CSS positioning it firmly on the climate change adaptation agenda through engagement at platforms such as COP27 with partners including the Green Climate and Global Partnership for Education.

Together Prudence Foundation and Save the Children can deliver transformational impact to keep children safe, healthy, and learning amidst the growing threats they face from climate change, conflict, and pandemics.

We’re looking forward to building on our achievements to date and further unlocking the power of our partnership to create more systemic change for and with children. We have just begun an exciting new phase of our partnership which will involve delivering a new two-year programme with GADRRRES. The project will catalyse CSS implementation across Asia, Africa and beyond by equipping more countries with the capacity, resources, and systems that they need to assess, mitigate impacts, and respond to all-hazards, including climate change, so that children can enjoy safe and uninterrupted education.

Last updated October 2023

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