First UNESCO-VISUS Experts’ meeting

Location: Undine, Italy,   Start Date: 11 Sep 2019, 12:00 AM,   End Date: 13 Sep 2019, 12:00 AM
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As part of its mandate, UNESCO is actively engaged in empowering schools and their communities to identify the risks they are exposed to, map their vulnerabilities and capacities, and enhance school safety. To do so, UNESCO promotes a multi-hazard school safety assessment methodology, namely VISUS (Visual Inspection for defining Safety Upgrading Strategies), conceived and developed by the SPRINT lab at the University of Udine (Italy).

In particular, VISUS helps decision-makers from Ministries of Education, National Disaster Management Authorities and other relevant institutions, in understanding which schools need priority interventions, which interventions are required, how much economic resources are required, and which upgrading actions are possible based on available resources. The global target is to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels of society through safe school facilities, and through it, to contribute to the substantial reduction of disaster risk. VISUS methodology has been adopted by UNESCO and has been successfully implemented in pilot projects in seven countries worldwide (Italy, El Salvador, Indonesia, Laos, Haiti, Peru, Mozambique).

The meeting was devoted to review, by different experts, the methodology itself, and every component of it, including:

These revisions will enable the preparation and finalization of the UNESCO VISUS technical handbook and related documentation addressed to different stakeholders including decision-makers (VISUS booklet).

Furthermore, participants attended, as observers, the full-scale exercise of the SERM Academy in Venzone and Palmanova where Regional Civil Protection, National Fire Brigade, and University of Udine tested innovative techniques and tools for implementing a rapid post disaster technical triage for decision-making support in the emergency response and need assessment. The tools prepared for the SERM Academy and the training to emergency responders, are being analyzed by UNESCO, as a comprehensive strategy for the evolvement of the UNESCO-VISUS Post Disaster methodology to be used on the aftermath of catastrophic events.