EDUCEN tools and methods: using culture as an asset in DRR

Elena López Gunn, Marta Rica and Gema Huelva (ICATALIST)

As explained earlier, the handbook toolkit has been co-developed and tested with end users and local communities in EDUCEN case study cities (Loop 1 and Loop 2) and also in cities external to EDUCEN (Loop 3), trying to reach out in particular to the most vulnerable/excluded groups.

The present handbook has two main aspects:

The first is procedural, on methods and steps to follow to identify and include elements of culture at all levels and stages of DRR. This, if acted on, will increase the effectiveness of disaster responders and it will contribute to more resilient cities thanks to the incorporation of cultural assets into DRR, which will translate in higher response times and lower fatalities, while strengthening disaster policies by integrating culture. This methodology has emerged from the small scale testing undertaken in EDUCEN which can be up scaled and generalized by extracting the common features needed to have cultural sensitivity in the DRR cycle.

The second is a series of products and tools to integrate culture into DRR. Here we collect a series of tools, approaches, standalone show and tell examples, for example to provide guidance and practical know how on how to incorporate culture into DRR. A number of formats co-exist in this delivery, so that messages can be represented in different ways. Some aspects will need more reflection and need more time, like guidelines; but others like the simulation games need the use of other media.

The EDUCEN toolkit

The EDUCEN toolkit includes methods for the valuation of cultural memory, soft infrastructure and organisational cultures as assets in DRR as well as an enhanced consideration of vulnerable groups. It also adds a comprehensive methodology for social and cultural networks analysis and a set of serious games.

The activities in EDUCEN cities have varied in a number of elements as a condition to enrich the project outcomes by documenting and giving room to the specifities of the cities and their contexts. Every city has made its choices in terms of tools and methods tested, in a more a la carte style, each CS city, providing as a result useful lessons in terms of future replication. That is, how other cities may adopt the tools and methods that are better suited to their conditions and that better match their needs.

The work undertaken in the case studies is documented in specific local Manuals that can be accessed online.

Tools and methods included in the Handbook