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Global Disaster Preparedness Center/Sustainability Frontiers Research Partnership

by | 14th January 2016

The Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC), a joint venture of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and American Red Cross, has entered a research partnership with Fumiyo Kagawa and David Selby of Sustainability Frontiers to review the international pilot of the Pillowcase Project, a youth disaster preparedness program originally designed and used by American Red Cross domestic chapters. Since 2014, the program has been expanded to Australia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. The program involves a 60-90 minute disaster preparedness lesson that is delivered by Red Cross staff and volunteers and that is designed to teach 8-11 year-old students about local hazards and to foster basic psychological coping skills and general preparedness to take action in the face of impending or potential disaster impacts.


The research study will review and compare the various approaches to implementing the Project in the six pilot countries as well as those adopted in the program roll-out across the USA. This will involve:

  • Overviewing existing best practice on youth preparedness and child-centered disaster risk reduction and disaster resilience, particularly as developed by organizations attached to the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)
  • Analyzing Pillowcase Project program documentation from the pilot countries and the USA, including presenter manuals, student materials, training tools and manuals, video case studies and national evaluation reports and handouts.
  • Critically reviewing the roll-out, implementation and monitoring and evaluation methodologies employed by the Project in the seven participating countries, identifying lessons learned, strengths, limitations, gaps and challenges identified by the literature review but also through semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, including children
  • Assessing the degree of alignment between the Pillowcase Project and the Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF)
  • Writing a final report reviewing curricular content and its cultural adaptability as well as pedagogical aspects, identifying successes and challenges, making recommendations  concerning adaptability, replication of the model elsewhere and movement to scale, and proposing future developments (including adaptation for other grade levels).

The work will be undertaken between January and end-May 2016. For research and consultation purposes, Fumiyo and David will attend the Pillowcase Project Stakeholder Meeting in Hong Kong, 24-25 February 2016, at which representatives of the Pillowcase Project from each country will be present. The project will end with the Sustainability Frontiers team facilitating one or two  webinars at the end of May 2016.