Establishing a Baseline of School Safety Practices Using RapidPro Real-Time SMS Technology in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Pakistan's extensive history with disasters is the basis of this confidence and safety practice assessment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This baseline assessment was designed to serve a dual purpose. First, it analyses the levels of confidence and habits surrounding safety in schools and compares those metrics with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where disasters occurred between 2005 and 2015. Second, it provides pre-intervention measurements for any potential impact evaluation on safety training due to be given to schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Following safety preparedness training given to schools, a follow up survey can be distributed, using the pre training survey results as an initial measurement for training impact
RapidPro is an open source software platform that sends and receives messages from beneficiaries over SMS and consolidates their responses for post-hoc analysis. Until now, there has not been a platform that automated, two-way communication with beneficiaries at scale, in multiple languages and across multiple modes of communication. RapidPro has the potential to revolutionize monitoring and evaluation by automating data entry and analysis. Furthermore, the penetration rate for SMS feedback in Pakistan is much higher and further reaching, enabling the analysis of beneficiary data disaggregated by gender, location, age and other factors such as profession, and minority status. UNICEF Pakistan is now using RapidPro as an innovative way to monitor programmes in real-time. The survey was successfully completed by 3842 school focal points across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Respondents self-selected in either English or Urdu. Results of incomplete surveys were also included.
- There were significant differences in concern rates surrounding preparedness for flooding if the region has previously experienced flooding.
- There were significant differences in concern rates surrounding preparedness for earthquakes if the region has previously experienced earthquakes.
- Tehsils where school training is higher have increased confidence in preparedness and increased amounts of reported school safety plans.
- Schools with higher training rates are more likely to report teaching school safety plans.
- School Safety plans and school safety training are correlated with lower reported scores of concern concerning floods, however the results were not significant with earthquakes.
- If a Tehsils schools have higher rates of training, they are more likely to experience higher rates of confidence surrounding emergency preparedness, this is true of both FATA-bordering and non FATA-bordering Tehsils.
- Despite extensive flooding, there is greater concern about medical emergency preparedness than flooding.
- There was no geographical relationship between FATA proximity and emergency or attack confidence.
- It was discovered from the results that the Emergency Confidence Mean (ECM) was too broad a metric. In order to measure deficits with greater accuracy, there should be an adjustment in the questionnaire that focuses less on the general safety preparedness of schools and focuses on specific deficits. i.e. regarding your most vulnerable type of emergency, how well are you prepared for it?
- This assessment can be used as an impact assessment for safety training was to regions within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, if training is given to a region, this assessment can be conducted again in order to measure the impact that the training has delivered in those schools.
- Future studies should include deficit types (training, infrastructure, staff/personnel) including a question on type of deficit that affects safety preparedness.
- Emergency specific training should be targeted to regions who are prone to disasters ad should take into account geographical differences for previously disaster affected areas.
- There remains an ongoing need for safety training resulting in the development of a school safety plan specific to each school. Doing so increases confidence in emergency preparedness.