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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Environmental Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Paci-Green, Rebekah

Second Advisor

Cunningham, Mick

Third Advisor

Neff, Mark W.


As disaster risk increases across the globe a growing attention has been placed on how disasters and emergencies impact children and youth’s access to education. International humanitarian agencies, national governments, non-governmental organization, researchers, practitioners, and advocates have coalesced to identify strategies to address school safety in the presence of disaster risk. The Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) framework developed out of this movement. CSS aims to protect students and educators from physical harm, plans for the continuity of education, safe safeguards investments, and incorporates resilience topics into curriculum. This study uses Save the Children’s 2016 CSS Baseline Dataset to identify the presence of CSS policies within 68 countries. An inductive analysis and scoping approach were used to identify themes and trends from the data, policy documents, and supporting literature. The results indicated that overall, countries have adopted about 48% of CSS policies, with Asia Pacific countries most frequently adopting policies in comparison to the two other sampled geographic regions (Latin America/Caribbean and Africa). Further, results indicate that most countries have enacted disaster management policies that address the education sector. Most also have enacted policies for safer school construction, although far fewer have allotted lack of funding for multi-hazard risk assessment and retrofit of schools identified for reconstruction. Fewer than half limit use of schools as temporary shelters. About a quarter include climate change and disaster risk reduction in their school curriculum, but far fewer train teachers in these subjects. The results indicate that evidence of disaster impacts and advocacy are important facilitators for CSS policy development. Conversely, insufficient lack of funding and poor technical capacity tended to impede it. The results expose policy gaps and practices that require attention, and provide a measure for the degree to which CSS policies have been enacted within the sampled countries.




disaster risk reduction, comprehensive school safety, natural hazards, disaster management, risk assessment, policy, education


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

International Save the Children Alliance

Subject – LCSH

Emergency management; Hazard mitigation; School buildings--Design and construction; Natural disasters; Disaster relief; Students--Protection; Teachers--Protection; Right to education




masters theses




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