Global alliance meets in Geneva to move school safety agenda forward


The partners of the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES) met at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on 20-22 March 2019. Co-organised by UNISDR and UNESCO, the current Chair of the Global Alliance, this meeting aimed to move the school safety agenda forward through exchange and reinforced collaboration. The main achievements of the meeting are:

  • The elaboration of the GADRRRES work plan for 2019 and 2020 with concrete deliverables to assess. One of them will be a special issue on school safety in the International Journal for Disaster Risk Reduction developed under the supervision of UNESCO by the end of 2019.The official relaunch of the Worldwide Initiative for Safe Schools (WISS), a government-led global partnership that aims at securing political commitment and fostering safe schools implementation globally.
  • The revision of the GADRRRES structure. The Working Groups are revitalised thanks to the creation of internal task teams created to meet specific objectives. For instance, some partners of Working Group 2, School Disaster Management, will develop different guidelines to support this topic (e.g. Guidelines for Family Reunification, Guidelines for Contingency plans).
  • The agreement to revise the GADRRRES approach to align it with the other agendas dealing with school safety (e.g. armed conflict, school violence and bullying, climate change  ).
  • The collaborative preparation of the GADRRRES side event, “School safety: a sustainable way to increase the resilience dividend”, that will be held on 15 May 2019 in Geneva (Switzerland) in the framework of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 2019.


GADRRRES is a multi-stakeholder mechanism composed of UN agencies, international organisations and regional networks[1]. The mission of the GADRRRES group is to strengthen global coordination, information and knowledge, as well as advocacy on disaster risk reduction education and safety of educational facilities, and ultimately contribute to a global culture of safety and resilience.

GADRRRES promotes a comprehensive approach to risk reduction in education through policy, plans and programmes that are aligned with disaster management at national, regional, district and local school site levels. This approach, known as the Comprehensive School Safety Framework, rests on the three following pillars:

  • Safe Educational Facilities – including site selection, safe access, safe construction and retrofit as well as non-structural safety.
  • School Disaster Management – including standard operating procedures, ongoing school-based planning for risk reduction and educational continuity and drills.
  • Disaster Risk and Resilience Education – including disaster risk reduction in formal school curricula and non-formal education.

GADRRRES’ work supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Education 2030: Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action, and the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development,


[1] GADRRRES currently includes the following General Members: GFDRR, IFRC, INEE, Plan International, RET International, Risk RED, Save the Children, UNESCO, UNESCO-IIEP, UNISDR, UNICEF and World Vision, along with the two following Regional Affiliates: Asia Pacific Coalition for School Safety and Disaster Risk Management Education Sector Latin America and the Caribbean.