Terms of Reference for GADRRRES Governance


  • The Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES), is a multi-stakeholder platform comprised of UN Agencies, International Non-Governmental Agencies, other leading humanitarian and development organizations and similar regional alliances, advocating for and supporting child rights, resilience and sustainability in the education sector. The efforts of members and Regional Affiliates groups are guided by the Comprehensive School Safety Framework at its document and guidance.
  • GADRRRES is informed by an ‘all-hazards approach’, which is underpinned by two important theories of change that guide the efforts of the Global Alliance:

    o The socio-ecological model which stresses the linkages between child, family, school, community, and larger society.
    o Collective impact approach which requires multi -stakeholder engagement in pursuing a common agenda, agreed upon measures of success, and facilitation of mutually reinforcing activities and constant communication.

2.  Context

3.  Background

  • Following the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in late 2005, a cluster was established to promote knowledge and education for disaster risk reduction. The objectives of the cluster were to strengthen network s, create new partnerships, identify gaps, identify focus areas and collectively advance the achievement of the Hyogo Framework goals through knowledge and education. In 2006, the Cluster was formalized into the Thematic Platform on Knowledge and Education (TPKE), which was recognized as an UNISDR Thematic Platform. Between 2006 and 2012, the TPKE, composed of relevant UN bodies, international NGOs and selected regional partners has made significant contributions to the conceptual development of DRR education and knowledge.
  • In 2012, the Comprehensive School Safety Framework was introduced by the Asia Pacific Coalition for School Safety, as a multi-stakeholder framework to promote a broader approach to the realization of children’s rights in the education sector. In 2013, as the community of practice and global frameworks evolved, the TPKE became GADRRRES, adopting the CSS Framework as its common agenda. In 2015, the Worldwide Initiative for Safe Schools (WISS) was launched by UNDRR, using the CSS Framework (V1) as its foundation, with technical support from the members of GADRRRES.
  • In 2016, in alignment with the 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, GADRRRES reviewed and updated its mission and objectives and made modest revisions to the CSS Framework (V2). GADRRRES has been implementing a coordinated workplan, continuously sharpening working modalities for effective and collective impact for school safety.

4.  Vision and mission

  • GADRRRES’ vision, consistent with the objectives of the CSS Framework is to ensure that education sector duty – bearers and their cross -sectoral partners are able:

    o To protect learners and education workers from death, injury, violence and harm in schools.
    o To plan for education and protection continuity, and limit disruptions to learning in the face of shocks, stresses,hazards and threats of all kinds.
    o To safeguard education sector investments.
    o To strengthen a culture of risk reduction and resilience through education.
    o To strengthen education system resilience, through participatory, risk-informed planning and capacity development.

  • GADRRRES’ mission is to strengthen global coordination, advocate for advancing school safety measures, and improve global information, resources and knowledge management on risk reduction and resilience education in support of the global agendas (e.g., Sustainable Development Goals, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, Education 2030).
  • GADRRRES promotes a comprehensive ‘all hazards’ approach to risk reduction in the education sector, through policy, plans and programmes that are aligned cross-sectorally, at national, regional, district and community levels. GADRRRES promotes advancement and engagement based on the common foundation and three intersecting pillars of the Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF), as follows:

    o Foundation – Enabling Policies and Systems: strengthen systems and policies to promote an enabling environment that will support resilience in the education sector.
    o Safer Learning Facilities: including safe site selection, safe access (functionality), safe construction and retrofit (global structural and local structural), safe maintenance, and non-structural safety.
    o School Safety and Educational Continuity Management: including ongoing school -based risk assessment and planning for risk reduction, response preparedness, and educational continuity.
    o Risk Reduction and Resilience Education: the integration of risk reduction and resilience into teaching and learning, including in formal school curricula and non-formal education.

5.  Objectives

  • GADRRRES objectives are as follows, to:
    A. Strengthen global coordination and collective impact for school safety

    o Facilitate collaboration, maximize synergies and support coordination of the work of members of the Alliance and other stakeholders in research, practice, and policy.
    o Promote networking and partnership-building to facilitate the mainstreaming of Comprehensive School Safety into national education policies and sector plans

    B. Advocate for Comprehensive School Safety

    o Develop a common strategy for evidence-based advocacy on school safety.
    o Undertake high-level advocacy efforts to promote school safety at global and regional, levels among the education, disaster management, and child protection sectors.

    C. Improve global information, resources and knowledge management, research and capacity-development for Comprehensive School Safety

    o Facilitate the collection and dissemination of existing knowledge on safer school facilities, school safety and educational continuity management, and risk reduction and resilience education.
    o Provide normative guidance and promote peer review to elaborate evidence-based practice and promote practice-based evidence building for Comprehensive School Safety.
    o Support development and dissemination of existing and new educational and training materials, guidelines, and standards at the global level .

6.  Membership

  • General Membership is open to UN agencies, international non-governmental organizations, networks, and that include a strong international mandate in children’s rights, risk reduction and/or education. Interested organizations are invited to apply for membership to the Chair/Secretariat.Regional Affiliates Membership is opened to similarly constituted multi-stakeholder alliances organized at a regional level.
  • Required criteria for General Membership:

    o The organization has a strong mandate in children’s rights, risk reduction and/or education, and contributes to improving knowledge and practice in risk reduction and resilience in the education sector.
    o The organisation has an international mandate and outreach.
    o The organisation has the capacity and commitment to ensure active participation in the Alliance.

  • General Members commit to the following:

    o To nominate a focal point and alternate/back-up representative.
    o To participate actively in one (or more) of the GADRRRES Working Groups or Task Teams.
    o To share expertise and technical materials in a collaborative manner.
    o To provide human technical and/or financial support including but not limited to:

    – 1 day per month of one individual, bi-annual calls including one face-to-face meeting per year.
    – In-kind contributions, such as staff time, technical expertise, hosting meetings, web-site development and maintenance, and other costs to support the coordination of the Alliance and its workplan.
    – Joint fundraising to advance the GADRRRES workplan.

  • Regional Affiliates organise themselves independently, in support of the vision, mission, and objectives of GADRRRES, at a regional and/or sub-regional level. They commit to:

    o Nominate co-leads from two member organisations.
    o Participate in GADRRRES Steering Committee and GADRRRES full membership meetings.
    o Share their workplans.
    o Maintain collaboration and communication.

7.  Chair, Secretariat, and Steering Committee

  • The GADRRRES Chair serves as the convener of the Alliance, acts as the formal representative of the group and oversees internal and external communication, supervising Secretariat staff support, and maintaining the documents of the Alliance.
  • The Chair rotates every two years and is selected from members of the Steering Committee by an open nomination process. There are no prohibitions on organizations holding multiple tenures, though diverse representation is encouraged. Current and previous Chairs are:

    o January 2013 – December 2015 UNESCO
    o January 2016 – December 2017 UNICEF
    o January 2018 – October 2020 UNESCO
    o October 2020 – December 2022 UNICEF

  • The Secretariat ideally includes at least one part- to full-time staff member, whose role is to support the effective coordination of the Steering Committee and the Working Groups. The Secretariat staff supports the GADRRRES Chair, Steering Committee, and Working Groups Leads in coordination and communication by:

    o Managing and maintaining membership contact information, distribution lists, and documents of the organisation
    o Organizing calls and meetings, monitoring implementation of the rolling workplan
    o Compiling and publishing the GADRRRES Quarterly Newsletter
    o Supervising development and maintenance of the GADRRRES website
    o Oversees management of the Safe Children Safe Schools global community-of-practice

  • The Steering Committee is comprised of the Chair, and the organizational focal points who accept the role of Working Groups and Regional Affiliate co-leads. The Steering Committee’s role is to provide leadership to the Alliance by serving as a management structure, engaging in decision making, identifying leadership for Working Groups and Task Teams, and developing and monitoring the rolling workplan.
  • The Steering Committee holds an annual 2 – 2.5 day planning meeting, face-to-face and/or virtually. The Steering Committee also meets quarterly, via web-conference.
  • The Steering Committee is responsible for the selection of the Chair (by nomination and vote) and Secretariat (based on published Terms of Reference, interview and selection committee). The Steering Committee sets the agenda for the GADRRRES full membership bi-annual meetings.

8.  Working Groups, Workplan and Task Teams

  • GADRRRES divides its work across ongoing Working Groups, Regional Affiliates, and Ad Hoc Committees. Each Working Group reviews and sets their workplan annually and may revise it on a rolling basis.
  • The Working Groups and Regional Affiliates are:

    o WG I: Safer Learning Facilities
    o WG II: School Safety and Educational Continuity Management
    o WG III: Risk Reduction and Resilience Education
    o WG IV: Policy, Systems and Advocacy
    o WG V: Research, Learning and Knowledge Management
    o WG VI: CSS Assessment Suite
    o Regional Affiliates: REG LAC
    o Regional Affiliates: APCSS

  • Working Groups Co-Leads: Each Working Groups is co-led by two GADRRRES member organisations. Organisations designate a co-lead and back-up to fulfil these roles.
  • The Working Group Co-Leads are responsible for:

    o Leading the articulation of the Working Group’s rolling workplan tasks and priorities
    o Recruiting needed support from organisations and individuals to lead and support Task Teams
    o Monitoring Task Teams for progress and completion of their work
    o Updating the rolling workplan on a quarterly basis
    o Assuring representation of their Working Groups in each Steering Committee meeting
    o Representing their Working Groups in the GADRRRES full membership meetings
    o Calling for and leading such meetings as are necessary to progress the Working Group’s workplan

  • Working Groups may divide their workplan across Task Teams. Each Task Team is expected to have participation from at least two GADRRRES member organisations, and may be led by any individual designated by the Working Groups co-leads. Task Teams may recruit support both from GADRRRES member organisations as well as the wider group of the Safe Children Safe Schools global community of practice, as needed.
  • There may also be Ad Hoc Working Groups set up, from time to time, as may be necessary, with agreement from the Steering Committee or Secretariat Chair.
  • GADRRRES members are expected to support the Task Teams in mobilising needed technical and financial resources for the effective implementation of the workplan as needed.

9.  Full GADRRRES Meetings

  • Full GADRRRES membership meetings are held twice per year including one face-to-face meeting (ideally, inconjunction with a major international meeting such as World Conference for DRR, UNDRR Global Platform, and others). These are intended to report on and revise the workplan, collaborate on priority initiatives.
  • Ad-hoc meetings may be organized on an exceptional basis over the year as needed.

The re-evaluation of the ToR should occur every five years, in line with progress towards the Sustainable Development Agenda targeting 2030.