Mashhad, Iran (March 6-8, 2017)
In response to the invitation extended by the Mashhad Disaster Management Department, ADRC/IRP sent representative to the 8th Asian Safe Community Conference, 6-8 March 2017 in Mashhad, Iran. The representative imparted the message that "recovery is an opportunity to strengthen safe community agenda". Injuries and deaths are commonly exacerbated in times of disaster, especially if infrastructures like housing, buildings, roads, and offices are weak or vulnerable to hazards. To help build a safer community, past mistakes and failures can be corrected and mitigated during the recovery phase. Several case studies from around the globe were shared at the conference to illustrate the concept of build back better and to strengthen safer community programs.
Safe Community is a movement aimed at promoting safety and preventing injuries, and efforts depend largely on local engagement and regional networking, including academic centers and universities. In 1989 certification of safe communities has been started based on seven criteria developed by the Safe Community Network in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Based on agreed criteria, safe communities are those that have the following features: (i) an infrastructure based on partnership and collaboration, governed by a cross-sectional group that is responsible for safety promotion in their community; (ii) long-term, sustainable programs covering gender and all ages, environments, and situations; (iii) programs that target high-risk groups and environments, and programs that promote safety for vulnerable groups; (iv) programs that are based on all available evidence; (v) programs that document the frequency and causes of injuries; (vi) evaluation measures to assess the programs' processes and the effects of change; and (vii) ongoing participation in national and international Safe Communities networks. Since 1991, annual conferences on Safe Communities were organized in the regions to facilitate knowledge exchange.