Model Safe School Programme in the Caribbean Project

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Throughout the Caribbean region, the education sector is highly vulnerable to the range of natural hazards that threaten its countries. Over the last two decades, the sector has experienced significant damage and losses due to the impact of natural hazards. The passage of Hurricane Ivan on 7 September, 2004—what can be considered to be a landmark event in the history of Grenada—resulted in damage to 75 of the 78 schools on the island, disrupting their operations for up to three months (The World Bank, 2005). More recently, the passage of Hurricane Maria on 18 September 2017 wreaked havoc on the entire island of Dominica, flattening schools and leaving more than a third of government-owned schools out of operation even two months after the initial impact (United Nations, 2017). The threat that accelerated climate change poses to the increased frequency and intensity of such hydro-meteorological hazards is expected to have a direct bearing on the education sector.

On July 20, 2017, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved grant funding of EUR 746,000 to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency Coordinating Unit (CDEMA- CU) to further implement the Model Safe School Programme (MSSP) toolkit in four CDB Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs): Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia. In order to address some of the evident vulnerabilities of the education sector, the toolkit was developed by CDEMA to guide governments on the development of National Safe School Policies, and to offer tools for assessing the level of safety and greening of schools.


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The implementation of the Model Safe School Programme in the Caribbean (MSSP) was designed to, among other things, enhance the capacity of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia to incorporate and mainstream comprehensive risk and disaster management considerations in education sector policies, planning and operations.

The Project components consist of:

  • converting the existing paper-based MSSP tool to an electronic format and testing the electronic tool;
  • reviewing, elaborating and enhancing the building condition assessment element of the MSSP tool-kit and to provide training for assessors in four CDB Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs);
  • developing/enhancing national socially and gender-inclusive policies on school safety, delivering training of trainers/assessors on the tools and standards for school safety, conducting hazard risk assessments in 31 schools on the four selected BMCs; and preparing individual costed action plans for reducing or eliminating the risks identified during the school assessments;
  • supporting project management and project visibility actions in four BMCs.


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The project will be executed by CDEMA through its Coordinating Unit. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and the Ministries of Public Works or the agency responsible for school construction and maintenance, school administration and the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) in each country. Project execution is expected to last a period of 24 months.

Funding is being provided under the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-Caribbean Development Bank Natural Disaster Risk Management (ACP-EU-CDB NDRM) in CARIFORUM Countries Programme.


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