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).
- 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.