Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives (300 words maximum)
Jaboatão dos Guararapes was founded on May 4, 1593 and has an area of 258,724 km². In 2010, the last official data released, it had a demographic density of 2,491.82 inhabitants/km², with almost 98% of the population residing in urban areas. Throughout history, it has suffered from a disorderly occupation of the territory and in recent years it has also suffered from the adverse effects of climate change. In 2018, the IBGE pointed out that approximately 30% of the district's population lives with alarming needs, residing in areas subject to landslides and floods, in precarious settlements under inadequate conditions of human habitation, exposed to disaster risks.
In this scenario, the project Civil Defense and Protection Community Center - NUPDEC - of Jaboatão dos Guararapes, which works on Education for Disaster Risk Reduction - ERRD has been carried out in public schools and community institutions located in human settlements with a history of risk of disasters, with little or no urban infrastructure, being the most vulnerable population.
The NUPDEC project is anchored in Federal Law# 12,608/2012 and is a guideline of the National Civil Defense and Protection System – SNPDC, aiming to carry out socio-educational actions focused on the ERRD, working towards community resilience and sustainability. It develops ERRD themes in public schools in the city and state and in community institutions, seeking to prevent disaster risks in areas susceptible to landslides and flooding. It involves the community in the process of integrated management of the territory, favoring social empowerment based on the exercise citizens' participation and has already benefited 6,739 people directly and more than 33,000 citizens indirectly, residing in vulnerable district areas. The performance of NUPDECs, since 2005, contributes to the construction of a resilient, environmentally responsible, and sustainable community, generating an impact on current and future generations.
Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category (100 words maximum)
The NUPDECs in Jaboatão promote innovative actions for vulnerable populations, encouraging them to play a leading role based on the community's knowledge. It promotes interdisciplinary activities, with themes related to ERRD, aiming to stimulate reflection-action on climate change and the planet's sustainability.
It promotes the integration between theory and real life, building ties with a commitment to finding solutions to social and environmental problems present in communities. It uses digital media to disseminate prevention guidelines and content production, with current language, through tools such as TikTok, WhatsApp, Instagram, and YouTube, contributing to the digital transformation among the most vulnerable.
a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation (200 words maximum)
The project contributes to the development of integrated actions, with the execution of activities related to Education for Disaster Risk Reduction - ERRD, having as guiding principles the SDGs 11 and 13, and the goals of the New Urban Agenda - NAU (UN, 2016), aiming to reduce the human, economic and socio-environmental impacts of disasters. However, it also contributes to achieving SDGs 4, 10 and 12.
It develops activities based on SDG 11, and in line with SDG 13, reinforcing "the resilience and capacity to adapt to risks related to the climate and natural disasters in all countries".
It is an educational activity that encourages the intervention of young people in vulnerable communities, through collective knowledge and on behalf of prevention, mitigation, protection, disaster risk reduction, and territory sustainability.
It works with a focus on public schools located in areas of socio-environmental vulnerability, reinforcing education, increasing community awareness, and the ability to face the impacts arising from climate change while minimizing its effects. The project seeks to include people living in vulnerable areas in the decision-making processes, stimulating the perception and knowledge of disaster risks and increasing community resilience.
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms (100 words maximum)
It is economically sustainable because it works with low investment. It is socially sustainable because it works to build collective knowledge through Disaster Risk Reduction Education, strengthening community resilience, being an increasingly frequent and necessary theme for the general population in times of climate change. It is environmentally sustainable because it does not consume natural resources, promoting environmental education and sustainability.
The proposed activities directly impact the economic and environmental aspects of the communities involved, as they strengthen actions related to the reuse and reduction of material consumption which negatively affects the place, generating risks and disasters.
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
The NUPDECs of Jaboatão dos Guararapes represent an important instrument in Education for Disaster Risk Reduction - ERRD, considering that in the past there was no inclusion of the community in decision-making processes regarding disaster risk management.
Until the implementation of NUPDECs in the most vulnerable areas, there were gaps in the public sector's performance regarding the monitoring of disaster risks and in goals and priorities related to prevention. With the increase in risks and vulnerabilities in the territory due to climate change and the disorderly occupation of the district, the effective participation of the community has become essential, both in terms of knowledge of the risk and in preparing to face emergencies. Community participation through the NUPDECs made it possible to significantly reduce the gaps in the provision of public services in the area of civil defense.
The NUPDECs has been an important instrument to increase knowledge about risks at the local level, generating social and environmental commitment between the community and district management and catalyzing positive actions developed collectively.
In this context, the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire (1979) highlights: “awareness is a human process that is established precisely when consciousness becomes reflexive”.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
The initiative does not distinguish genders, being open to everyone's participation. However, considering the history of the struggle for women's worth and their respect as citizens, it encourages the participation of girls and women in conversations and workshops, promoting their perceptions and contributions in situations of risk of disaster.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
The target audience of the NUPDECs in Jaboatão dos Guararapes are residents in areas of socio-environmental vulnerability in the district, being mostly composed of students from public schools who are exposed to disaster risks. Studies from 2018 show that approximately 30% of the district's population resides in areas subject to landslides and floods, representing more than 200,000 citizens, according to the latest public data available (IBGE/CEMADEN Census, 2018).
The NUPDECs promote positive changes, directly, in the students who participate in the project and, indirectly, in their families and social centers, considering both the construction of knowledge through workshops and activities, and through the #AprenderparaPrevenir Campaign, which was carried out in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and is currently taking place, expanding the reflection-action on education for disaster risk reduction-ERRD.
The main change is the opening of interdisciplinary dialogues in district schools, emphasizing the importance of addressing the topic, and encouraging the performance of social subjects who are now able to mobilize means to prepare for and respond to emergencies, with the school being integrated into the public management as a place to work on the disaster risk management process.
a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
In 2005, the district's Civil Defense team prepared the first Manual for the training of the Civil Defense Community Center - NUDECs, which was published by the National Civil Defense Secretariat, becoming a reference for other Brazilian districts. In the same year, the first NUDEC was implemented, starting operations at the Alberto Santos Dumont Municipal School. In 2012, NUDEC incorporated the word PROTECTION, starting to be called Civil Defense and Protection Community Center - NUPDEC. But it was from 2017 onwards that there was a meaningful change in NUPDECs, allowing an increase in the number of participants, through the replication of ERRD contents to multiple classes of the same school.
The project is carried out over 12 months and is divided into three specific axes: 1st Mobilization and Communication - consists of the articulation of partnerships, presentation of the initiative to the school community and community groups, aiming at the recruitment of possible members.
2nd Citizen Participation - workshops and conversation circles are held with environmental education themes, ERRD, ODSs, education in the pandemic, children's rights in emergency situations, and community resilience. The aim is to build links, considering the reflection of action in the territory, overlapping the concept of critical awareness and empowerment for change.
3rd Evaluation, Monitoring, and Informational Actions - the objective is to systematically bring together partners, NUPDEC members, and the project's strategic team to assess progress and points for improvement. The routine evaluation process is carried out at the end of the workshops, to verify to what extent the themes and methodological approaches were satisfactory and had a positive impact on the participants' attitudes and habits.
Over the 12 months, collective knowledge about ERRD and sustainability is built, with practical activities and dialogues, stimulating social empowerment and fostering community resilience.
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
The main difficulties of the project were: methodology definition and appropriate languages for the school community, which weren't that familiar with the ERRD theme, and the need to avoid the political-partisan use of the initiative. For methodology definition and language, interaction with the community and the permanent concern with adapting and updating the content to new communication tools, such as the recent use of Information and Communication Technologies - ICTs, were fundamental. For the political-partisan issue, we sought to work in public schools, as we understand that they are non-partisan environments and focused on political-pedagogical construction.
a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
The initiative is innovative, being a national reference since 2005. The actions of the NUPDECs are in line with innovative education, as it seeks to integrate the school community and project technicians in the collective construction of knowledge. It was through the workshops that the “pluvipet” emerged, for example, a rain gauge made with the reuse of a pet bottle, which allows monitoring of rainfall in the participating communities. The reflection-action model attracts students and connects them with the territory's risk reality, stimulating the search for solutions and the dissemination of knowledge for risk reduction and environmental sustainability.
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiatives in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
The project is innovative, and it has become a reference for other Brazilian cities since 2005. It started with understanding the need for direct and permanent involvement of communities living in areas susceptible to flooding and mass movement, in the alternative elaboration to reduce disaster risks. In 2015, it was presented to the Civil Protection System of Madeira Island (Funchal) – Portugal, and, in 2020, to Luanda/Angola, thus providing parameters for implementing a similar action in those countries. It won awards four consecutive times in national campaign #AprenderparaPrevenir, in 2018, 2019, 2020, and won the Best Practice Award/2021, by SNPD.
c. If emerging and frontier technologies were used, please state how those were integrated into the initiative and/or how the initiative embraced digital government. (100 words maximum)
As of 2018, social media was used to disseminate prevention guidelines and quick contact with NUPDEC technicians, via WhatsApp, expanding the project's reach. Between 2020 and 2021, with the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of social media was strengthened, ensuring the maintenance and even expansion of the audience, through fun films recorded by young people, via Tik Tok. There was an exhibition of actions taken by the NUPDECs teams in the dissemination of safety guidelines and tips for disaster risk reduction, which significantly increased communication and reach in the benefited communities.
a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
The initiative has been replicated in Brazilian districts since 2005, when it became recognized and recommended by the National Civil Defense and Protection System - SINPDEC. The transfer takes place through on-site visits by technicians from the district's Civil Defense Superintendency, which present the step-by-step instructions for implementing the project. The districts that implemented the NUPDECs, such as Cariri/CE, Piranhas/SE, Cuiaba/MT, as well as Funchal and Luanda, recognize the importance of community's participation in the construction of knowledge and alternatives for reducing disaster risks.
In 2018, 2019 and 2021, the project management team participated in the Urban Circuit promoted by the UN-HABITAT Program, to present district experiences related to the ERRD and Disaster Risk Management theme. It also participated in the Seminar on Good Practices, held by the National Center for Monitoring and Alerts on Natural Disasters (Cemaden), with the aim of understanding and replicating good practices that consider community participation in DRR. The Jaboatão NUPDEC was awarded for excellence in Good Practices and is available in the SINPDEC Good Practices Database, which classified it as “consistent, satisfactory, innovative, replicable and adaptable to other realities”.
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
Yes, it was transferred.
a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
In the first NUPDEC, R$5,000.00 were invested in communication and support materials to carry out the workshops, in addition to R$150,000.00 for the payment of the salary of two psychologists and a pedagogue, who worked with the workshops. Considering the exchange rate from R$5.00 to U$1.0, the total invested was around U$31 thousand/year for implementation. As of 2017, with the significant increase in the number of participants, expenditure on communication materials rose to R$40,000.00/year, which totaled an average of U$38 thousand/year. The superintendent and the Civil Defense manager are not exclusive to the project and their incomes were not considered.
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
Disasters affect the economy and represent a great impact on the physical and human capital of any territory. For public management, it is more advantageous, both for the financial aspect and for the humanitarian aspect, to work on prevention and resilience, through education to reduce the risks of disasters, than to react after disasters have occurred.
NUPDEC represents low investment and generates a significant return to the most vulnerable populations, working towards community resilience, environmental conservation and sustainability, being, therefore, financially and institutionally sustainable over time. In Jaboatão, NUPDEC has existed since 2005 and remains active and expanding.
a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
b. Please describe how it was evaluated and by whom? (100 words maximum)
It is evaluated internally through an annual report prepared by the Civil Defense Superintendency, entity responsible for the project in the district.
The current assessment model was developed in 2017 but it is known since 2005 when the first NUPDEC was implemented. The project is recommended by the National Secretariat for Civil Defense and Protection to Brazilian districts, as it is consistent, satisfactory, innovative, replicable, and adaptable. It was awarded in 2018, 2019 and 2020, by the National Center for Monitoring and Alerting on Natural Disasters – CEMADEN. It is the target of scientific studies and mentioned in several works.
c. Please describe the indicators and tools used (100 words maximum)
The project is formally evaluated through a questionnaire applied to participants, considering their perceptions throughout the actions, and through cross-analysis indicators: number of calls to the civil defense call center; number of NUPDECs carried out, number of participants, and rainfall. These data are compiled in an annual results evaluation report, which supports Civil Defense in planning the most assertive actions for the following year. During the year, there are also informal evaluations carried out by the agents involved and the school community, within the axis Evaluation, Monitoring, and Informational Actions, which is one of the stages of the project.
d. What were the main findings of the evaluation (e.g. adequacy of resources mobilized for the initiative, quality of implementation and challenges faced, main outcomes, sustainability of the initiative, impacts) and how this information is being used to inform the initiative’s implementation. (200 words maximum)
Between 2005 and 2020, 91 NUPDECs were implemented, which worked on ERRD concepts in partnership with public schools located in the territory of socio-environmental vulnerability, benefiting 6,739 people. Considering that each participant can communicate knowledge to another 5 people, more than 33,000 citizens received information about ERRD and environmental preservation, fostering community resilience and life quality for current and future generations. Between 2005 and 2015, each NUPDEC benefited, on average, 38 people, but in 2019, the last reference before the pandemic, it started serving more than 200, expanding its reach, without a significant increase in investment. This expansion effort was based on the premise that the construction of collective knowledge fosters social empowerment and community resilience, raising environmental awareness and helping to mitigate disaster risks. In addition, there was an increasing trend in calls to Civil Defense, between 2005 and 2015, which, if maintained, could register more than 7,000 calls in 2020. However, about 4 thousand were registered, 46% below the estimate. The challenge lies in expanding actions to reach all public schools in the district, prioritizing those in socio-environmental vulnerability.
Please describe how the initiative is inscribed in the relevant institutional landscape (for example, how it was situated with respect to relevant government agencies, and how the institutional relationships with those have been operating). (200 words maximum)
In 2005, after the publication of the First Manual for NUDECs Training, prepared by the district, the project started to be recognized and recommended by the National Civil Defense System – SINDEC. The NUPDEC model is provided for in SINDEC guidelines and in law 12,608/2012, which highlights the role of the district in educating the population about disaster risks and vulnerabilities. It is an instrument that favors participation, stimulating critical awareness, empowerment in relation to attitudes and knowledge, and perceptions about social and environmental risks embedded in the local daily life.
The NUPDEC has been carried out with the support and partnership of CEMADEN Educação, which encourages strengthening actions aimed at Education for Disaster Risk Reduction - ERRD. It is also part of UNISDR's Building a Resilient City Program, where Jaboatão has followed the guidelines, signing the commitment certificate, defining strategies and actions aimed at this purpose, such as acting via NUPDECs.
Since 2018, Jaboatão has also participated in the Urban Circuit, through the UN HABITAT Program, holding seminars with the integration of themes on planetary sustainability, climate change and the 2030 Agenda, where it presents the actions and results of the NUPDECs.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
In 2005, for the elaboration of the 1st Manual for NUPDECs Training, there was the participation of the strategic team of the District's Civil Defense. In the implementation of the first NUPDEC, the District Department of Education participated, and they chose a school, among those located in a disaster risk area, and the local community to structure the stages of the plan and methodological processes. Partnerships with organizations such as Save The Children, the State Military Fire Department, and the National Secretariat for Civil Defense also stand out, which contributed with informative lectures at the first NUPDECs.
The District Civil Defense, the community, the District Education Secretariat, and the National Civil Defense Secretariat participated in the evaluation process, which incorporated the manual into the Civil Defense Public Policy and recommended it in the implementation of NUPDECs in the country.
As of 2017, new partners were sought out to strengthen the initiative, such as the District Secretariat for the Environment, which started to participate in the workshops; the Federal University of Pernambuco, which contributed to mapping the risk with the community; in addition to the Department of Education, which boosted the mobilization of schools, enabling a relevant expansion of the project.
Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
The lessons learned are centered on changing habits, considering that the strategy used at NUPDEC involves valuing the interaction between the school community and public representatives.
Working with community training for ERRD requires a permanent concern with respect for community knowledge, as each territory has its own specificities and knowledge that should be valued and integrated with the scientific knowledge of DRR. It is also important to adapt to the languages, considering the use of technologies common to the school universe over time, to ensure a better dialogue with the participants. The issue of intersectionality in public management, which refers to institutional resilience, for the preparation and maintenance of the project, is one more learning experience.
Considering the lessons learned and the perspective of improving the initiative, it is understood that it is necessary to: expand the scope of the NUPDECs; incorporate ERRD-related topics in the Common National Curriculum Base; incorporate a bus equipped with a cinema, disseminate content related to the ERRD with playful language; create a website about ERRD with technical content and interactivity; create a mascot with a name chosen by the participants of NUPDECs, to circulate in schools talking about prevention tips for disaster risk reduction.