Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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Part II - Chapter 7
Many countries have also used media campaigns (print media, radio, television) to raise public awareness. However, the dissemination of information is generally unidirectional and reflects the agenda and vision of the sector rather than the information needs of those at risk. Top-down media campaigns by definition tend to be simple and generic. They generally focus on awareness of hazards and on disasters as exogenous events rather than on socially constructed processes of risk generation and accumulation. The constraints and opportunities for risk management, the rights of those at risk, or the responsibility of local and national governments are rarely featured, and the specific needs of women, the elderly, people with disabilities, and children have only occasionally been brought into focus. At the same time, a number of governments still consider risk and even disaster loss information sensitive from a national security standpoint, meaning that it is not disseminated or made available to citizens.
This is insufficient to build a culture of prevention and resilience given that it does not empower risk-prone households and businesses to manage their risks in the face of wider social and economic opportunities and constraints. In many sectors, opportunities for short-term economic gain often still outweigh longer-term risks. A culture of prevention and resilience will only emerge if the information allows a transparent and comprehensive assessment of the costs and benefits of disaster risk management and if a system of accountability is put in place that offers incentives and encourages compliance (GAR 13 paperOECD, 2014b

GAR13 Reference OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). 2014b,Disasters Derail Development, So why aren’t we doing more about them? How better incentives could help overcome barriers to disaster risk reduction in development programming. Background Paper prepared for the 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. Geneva, Switzerl.
Click here to view this GAR paper.
7.6 Education as a vehicle to
effective risk management
Education, and in particular formal school education, is a strong foundation enabling individuals to understand disaster risk. Adapted curricula can support a significant improvement in risk awareness.
In Nepal, villages with higher mean years of schooling had fewer families affected by floods and landslides (KC, 2013

K.C., Samir. 2013,Community Vulnerability to Floods and Landslides in Nepal, Ecology and Society, Vol. 18, No. 1: 8. doi: http://dx.doi. org/10.5751/ES- 05095-180108.. .
), and in Thailand, better-educated communities suffered lower welfare impacts, particularly in terms of lost income (Garbero and Muttarak, 2013

Gharbero, A. and R. Muttarak. 2013,Impacts of the 2010 droughts and floods on the community welfare in rural Thailand: differential effects of village educational attainment, Ecology and Society, Vol. 18, No. 4. Available from iss4/art27/.. .
). The policy implications from these findings are clear: investments in education, and particularly in female education, have been shown to reduce vulnerability and should therefore be presented as a core strategic investment in disaster risk reduction (Muttarak and Lutz, 2014

Muttarak, Raya and Wolfgang Lutz. 2014,Is Education a Key to Reducing Vulnerability to Natural Disasters and hence Unavoidable Climate Change? Ecology and Society 19 (1): 41. .
While general formal education lays the foundations for synoptic brain structure and the accompanying problem-solving and cognitive skills, it also creates the required literacy and numerical skills and abstract thinking that enables individuals to better understand risk information such as early warning messages and evacuation plans (ibid.). More directly, education facilitates knowledge acquisition on a broad range of issues directly related to individual and community vulnerability, including health and nutrition practices as well as direct knowledge of hazards. In addition, education may enhance the socio-economic status of individuals and families and thus contribute to improved disaster risk management through increased income, better access to information and stronger social networks (ibid.).
Recent studies comparing national education levels with mortality risk show that countries with higher education levels, particularly amongst women and girls, exhibit lower
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