VISUS (Visual Inspection in defining Safety Upgrading Strategies of School Facilities) is a methodology for assessing school safety levels by considering five issues: site condition, structural performance, local structural criticalities, non-structural components, and functional aspects. This methodology was developed by the Earth Science Sector and Geohazard Risk Reduction Section at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, and the SPRINT (Safety and Protection Intersectoral) laboratory within the Polytechnic Department for Engineering and Architecture at the University of Udine, Italy. Since 2013, VISUS has been tested in 1,022 schools in Italy, 100 schools in El Salvador, 6 schools in Lao, and 160 schools in Indonesia. Currently, VISUS is also being implemented in Peru and Haiti.

The implementation of the VISUS Programme is fully supported by multiple donors and the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Work, and National Disaster Management Agency within each country. Outputs from the VISUS Programme include:

  1. Trained surveyors with a technical background in construction and architecture from local university and vocational schools
  2. A VISUS Survey application that can be operated using a tablet or android
  3. A comprehensive description and recommendations on the safety conditions of individual schools, enabling government officials to decide where and how to invest available resources to strengthen the safety of schools in an efficient and economical way.

As a result of the success of the implementation of the VISUS programme in these countries so far, the UNESCO Office, Jakarta, will take the lead in implementing the VISUS Programme in the South East Asia Region (SEA) in 2017.

In the context of education and school safety in South East Asia, UNESCO have previously worked in partnership with Save the Children in Lao and the Philippines on a Psychosocial Support Programme post Typhoon Haiyan. UNESCO is a member of the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES).

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