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Participatory child-centered disaster risk reduction education: an innovative Chinese NGO program

Yi Lu (Institute of Emergency Management, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China) (Business School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China) (Department of Geography, Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience, King's College London, London, UK)
Lai Wei (Business School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)
Binxin Cao (Business School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)
Jianqiang Li (Sichuan Shangming Social Development Research Center, Chengdu, China)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 11 June 2021

Issue publication date: 8 July 2021




Disaster risk reduction (DRR) researchers and practitioners have found that schools can play a critical role in DRR education, with many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) developing initiatives to actively involve children in DRR education programs. This paper reports on a case study on an innovative Chinese NGO school-based program focused on participatory child-centered DRR (PCC-DRR) education, from which a PCC-DRR education framework was developed so that similar programs could be replicated, especially in developing countries.


After nearly a year of research involving follow-up interviews, fieldwork and secondary data collection from annual reports, news reports and official websites, a case study was conducted on the PCC-DRR education program developed by the One Foundation (OF), a resource-rich NGO in China, that focused on its education strategies and project practice in Ya'an following the 2013 Lushan earthquake.


Based on constructivist theory, the OF developed a PCC-DRR education program that had four specific branches: teacher capacity building, child DRR education, campus risk management and campus safety culture, which was then implemented in 115 schools and consequently evaluated as being highly effective.


The innovative OF PCC-DRR education program adds to theoretical and practical DRR education research as a “best practice” case. Because the proposed framework is child-centered, participatory and collaborative, it provides excellent guidance and reference for countries seeking to develop school-based DRR education programs.



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71704124), the Humanity and Social Science Youth Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (Grant No. 17YJC630096), the Research Funding of Sichuan University (Grant No. 2018hhf-43; 2020skjd-py04), and the International Visiting Program for Excellent Youth Scholar of SCU.This paper forms part of a special section “Disasters, Children and Comprehensive School Safety”, guest edited by Ziqiang Han, Marla Petal, and Qiang Zhang.


Lu, Y., Wei, L., Cao, B. and Li, J. (2021), "Participatory child-centered disaster risk reduction education: an innovative Chinese NGO program", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 293-307.



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