Returning to normal? ‘Building back better’ in the Dominican education system after Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Maria

Child-centred disaster risk reduction aims to reduce child vulnerability and increase resilience to disasters. The 2015 Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF) sought to decrease hazard risks to education. Between 2015 and 2017, Dominica was struck by Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Maria, which significantly affected the education system at the local and national scales. Since Maria, a couple of national initiatives (Safer Schools and Smart Schools) have been introduced to increase resilience and meet the CSSF's objectives. This paper assesses progress made through a qualitative analysis of interviews with 29 school leaders, government officials, and disaster risk reduction stakeholders. Implementation of the climate resilience programme in 2018 resulted in nationwide teacher training and production of school disaster plans. Limited successes have improved social resilience, but short-term implementation due to COVID-19 and a lack of a teacher knowledge base have presented challenges to the scheme's long-term sustainability and the implementation of the CSSF's goals.

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