07 June 2017 – Chairman’s Circle 2

ASEANASEAN and SDG 4: Education and Disasters

This summary captures as half day programme of presentation, panel discussions and interactive dialogue at the forum on ASEAN and SDG4: Educations and Disasters, which took place on June 7, 2017 in AETAS Lumpini. The Forum was sponsored by Plan International.

The event brought together some 45 to 50 interested participants from different Foreign Embassies, (I)NGO’s, UN Agencies and independent journalists both based in Thailand and abroad, and the speakerswho joined the event and shared their own insight into some of the major challenges that ASEAN will face in matching the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) by 2030. It also provided a valuable networking opportunity and set the stage for further cooperation among (I)Non-Government Organization, UN Agencies and Institutions  in Thailand and beyond, including countries at different stages of development.

The forum began with the opening remarks by Gen (ret.) BunchonChawansin, HDFF Chairman, followed by Mr. john McDonough of Plan International as welcome remarks, and continued with the presentations of topics of interest and interactive panel discussions. It concluded with the set of real world cases describing humanitarian assistance and security relevant to the forum theme, specificallythe chances of children to survive from natural disaster, and the vulnerability of adolescent girls during disasters.

Girls in disaster – a Case study from the Philippines.

by Mr Benigno C. Balgos

The featured speaker, Mr. Benigno C. Balgos, Lecturer, Ateneo de Manila, Development Studies Program, Former Advisor on Child Rights Governance, Save the Children Philippines, focused on the vulnerability of children in disasters. This is a significant yet often disregarded issue in the country. Mr. Benigno pointed out that around 20 to 21 typhoons enter the Philippines area of responsibility every year and 5 of those typhoons are distractive. On the other hand, around 20 earthquakes happened every single day. Under the Word Risk Index of 2016, Philippines is the 3rd host hazard prone region in the world.

In national Baseline on Violence against Children, About 94.6 per cent of the children and youth claimed to have suffered from natural and human-induced disasters in the past 2 years.  Thirty one (31) percent, were affected by Yolanda.Other than natural event, children are also exposed to an area where armed conflicts exist.  Mr. Benigno showed that 2.6 % of the 2,303 respondents aged 13 < 18 years old had been forced to live in another place due to war, ethnic conflicts, organizedcrimes, terrorism or other similar incidents. Among these children who experienced armed conflict, 3.5% lost a parent, sibling or close family member. About 1.6 per cent were personally injured or beaten, while 2 out of 30 (0.7 per cent) admitted that they were combatants or warriors in a war or community violence, or assisted older warriors in their fight against their enemies. “Children are the most vulnerable and worst affected. They are at risk to disease outbreaks and mortalities,food insecurity, disrupted schooling, homelessness, separation from families and worsen hunger andmalnutrition (CWC 2016: 39 – 40)”. Thus, the national government ratified a law called R.A. 10821 capitalizes on ensuring the safety and security of children in conflict and emergencies which contained 8 components.

Mr. Benigno continued his discussions on the core right of the girl children and in the context of emergencies and disasters for girl children, these rights are being violated particularly the issues on health and well being, safety and security and on school dropouts.

In the end, Mr. Benigno concluded that:

  • Given that girls are uniquely vulnerable to disasters, there is a take into account and recognize their specific needs.
  • Ensure meaningful participation of girl children in developing programs and policies on disaster risk reduction.
  • Existing tools being used to assess the impacts of disasters on children should incorporate questions that are specific to girls.
  • Further research on the impacts of disaster on girls should be carried out to address the dearth in literature as well as inform programs and policies on disaster risk reduction.

Giving Children a better chance to survive disasters

ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative (ASSI)

by Mr Nghia Trinh Trong

Mr. Nghi Trinh Trong, Regional Safe School Coordinator, Plan International, made a presentation in which he noted that ASEAN economy needs community resilience and there is a higher risk of poverty, exploitation and violence on children in which they are the most vulnerable due to a few resources and limited capacity to prepare. Other than that, disasters cause an impact on children’s education. e.g.: school damage, student drop out, education discontinuity, psychological trauma.

Mr. Nghia presented the facts that for the year 2009 to 2012, there were 11,140 schools building collapsed, damaged or unroofed due to disasters. 81% of people affected by disasters live in Asia. In Southeast Asia, 14,500 schools were fully or partially damaged by earthquakes, typhoons, floods, landslides, tsunami and other hazards. Thailand: flood in 2011, there were more than 2000 schools were damaged or destroyed. Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 causing the damaged of 3000 schools throughout the affected areas, and causing the school to close for an average of 13 days. Indonesia: in 2013, Jakarta was flooded and more than 250 schools were affected 5 of which were completely destroyed. An estimated 70,000 students were affected. Vietnam: more than 2million people including 250,000children, 1 million women, seek humanitarian assistance due to El Nino inducing drought. Three quarters of those in need are women and children.

According to Mr. Nghia, the goal of the ASEAN School Safety Initiative(ASSI) is to make the children in ASEAN be more resilient to disasters and have a safety and secure learning environment. The ASSItogether with other (I)NGOscame up with a Comprehensive School Safety Framework, there goal is to provide Student and Staff Protection. Safeguard Educational Investment. Assure Educational Continuity and promote a Culture of Safety and Resilience.

These goals are within the 3 Pillars of Education Sector Policies and Plans, namely:

Pillar 1: Safe Learning Facilities.

Pillar 2: Disaster Management.

Pillar 3: Risk Reduction and Resilience Education

The implementation of these programs must be aligned to national, sub-national and local disaster management plans. Besides the implementation of the program, ASSI also involved in Engagement and Policy Advocacy, which focus on the school safety.  According to Mr. Nghia, ASSI is a sub-regional initiative to the APCSS in Southeast Asia. They participated with IFRC through inputs, workshop, join participation in regional event. ASSI also engages with other UN agencies such as UNESCO, UNICEF and UNISDR for continues promotion of school safety and allowed exchange of resources with other relevant projects in SEA such as peer-to-peer learning project with APG.

ASSI Programme Strategy 2017-2020 has principally been endorsed by the ACDM spearheading five technical areas to be implemented in the ASEAN region and is supported to guide in supporting the ASSI implementation in individual target countries. This was developed based on country consultation with the MOE and NDMO in ASEAN region to identify needs and gaps to be addressed up until 2020 including the need to increase co-leadership between the MOE and NDMO on the issue, increase its technical capacity building, and the need to consolidate data, best practices, policy implementation and progress – to be reported to the ASEAN for the achievement of AADMER Work Programme 2016-2020. Meanwhile, aspects of knowledge on school safety retention in the region is addressed through the vision to establish a regional knowledge management platform and community of practice that comprises pool of experts to be advocating safe schools issues in ASEAN

Mr. Nghia concluded by quoting Marian Pardede “What I admire about children is their spirit to always learn and be open to new knowledge … after a series of training, children can pass on the knowledge on hazards to their parents. They know what to do when earthquake happens and they are not afraid anymore” Marian Pardede, ASEAN School Safety Champion 2017.


Jerry…….” I didn’t hear the root of the problem. The whole symposium and the organization should address the root of the problem. The real problem is the breakdown of village, sexual manipulation of children and all this, and some people came in and destroy the villages itself, where no else have been live alone, in nursing home, in all closed homes where no children, where abandoned where community took care with each other. That has to be established not all this pleasing… and until one rebuild that village back again this will never work

The school must be rebuild.   The school needs to be rethought especially in rural areas.. It is unacceptable to those children in rural areas start to travel 2 to 3 hours to go to school it is totally unacceptable. Using the technology today where school can be safe from earthquake, from tornadoes, from typhoons are expensive but the only issue is profiteering in designing, in making school and until that profiteering goes out, this one will be never be resolve.

Chuck Krueger. “In the Philippines, in risk and threat, do you see the children (boys and girls) any differences in sexes as far at risk. ruraly and urbanly are they the same risk, are they affected differently?”Do you see a different at risk between the northern Christian catholic culture and goes down southern muslim culture,?Are the risk the same? Are they handling it the same culturally, what differences and similarity you can see?

Mr. Benigno. Highlighted that the risk of girl children has different experienced in rural and urban areas. In Muslim Mindanao, the girl children are actually prone to raisens. Because of their culture they are subject raisens to an early marriage. Culture actually perpetuates their risk and vulnerability to emergency zone.

Mr. Chuck Krueger: If you look at the Philippines, North to South, in the Island of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, are there any trends of differences that you see or are there trends the same?

Mr. Benigno: “There seems a lack of documentation and information to this issues and so one of my conclusion is to have an extra address specific issues on girls and we have to carry out further research on this work to be able to strengthen our advocacy in relation to upholding the right of the girl child in the context of disasters. As of this moment, there is no substantial literature within this context that specifically addressed your queries.”

Mr. Chuck Krueger:In Asian countries, do you see any challenge from country to country? Are educational challenges about the same? Are the standard of ASEAN will be able to apply equally in each country, is it honestly fair to both cultural differences?

Mr Nghia Trinh Trong: “We do have challenges in each country, in Asian countries” Mr. Nghi highlighted the context towards the diversity of disasters is different in each country. He said “The challenge is that we have the rule ‘one-size-fits-all’ motto to every country and framework. With the framework, it will increase the outreach of studies for countries in term of disasters.

Mr. Tristan Clements: In comparing Risk Mitigation and Community Acceptance. According to Mr. Tristan there is a slightly different perspective in NGO view, “we would not see our approach as choosing between those two, we would see that two slightly different composed of extreme measures approach. We would choose the eight path model to look at how we actually manage risks itself and we would look up acceptance as one dimension on our security strategy, and our security posture, so we would look at the context, we would look strategic in the account of additional self base on the level of risk in that context,”……. “we would see how those two interact rather than seeing them two different approach system and measure.”

Dr. Christopher: “The first step on the transition from risk base to uncertain base is accepted that something is going to happen in their own forecast many more lessons learned and exercises because we don’t know what we don’t know, and new actors come and go and dynamics and environment do change. The second is to develop policies that are much more flexible, and much more comprehensive in allowing for not just restoring the consequences but second and third consequences. The third phase is to move away from compliance model to more resilience. “

The big question is, can you get there to the new paradigm, the same people that you have, that you recruited, trained and selected because of the good person manager.

“Trust is the important point. The UN had been a lot of pressure. The UN at the end of the day is a member state base, funded, and directed organization. In the Philippines for example in response to Hayan, The Philippine Government was extremely prepared to ask for and to receive assistance from the United Nation. They got enormous amount of voucher for example.”