The Government of Viet Nam, in partnership with UNICEF, appointed Molino Stewart Pty Ltd to develop and implement an innovative approach to assess and map risk from natural hazards to children, named Child-Centred Risk Assessment (CCRA).

The scope of a CCRA is to use accurate, child-specific vulnerability indicators to find out where and why children are most at risk. This allows taking appropriate prevention actions targeting the key issues identified each location.

In 2017, Viet Nam ranked sixth in the list of the countries most affected by climate - related disasters globally (Eckstein et al., 2018). In the last few decades, the combined effect of natural disasters and climate change has resulted in severe impacts on Vietnamese children, and particularly on the most disadvantaged ones, who are known to be up to four times more likely to die or be injured in a natural disaster than the general population (Myiagi Prefecture, 2012).

A recent case in point was the 2015-2016 El Niño season, which caused the most severe drought in more than 60 years to hit Viet Nam. During this event alone, over 520,000 children and one million women were impacted  by severe malnutrition and acute water shortages. As a result, thousands of children left school and were forced to live in the streets, begging for food. Sadly, this exposed them to violence, exploitation and abuse.

This project assessed and mapped risk to children in Vietnam from four types of natural hazard types: flash flooding and mudslides (in the northern mountain region), riverine flooding (in the Mekong River delta), drought (in the southern province of Ninh Thuan), and tropical cyclones (in the central coastal region). Child vulnerability to these hazards was measured with a composite index aggregating 66 dimensions of child vulnerability to disasters, including aspects of education, nutrition, health, wealth, access to water and sanitation, infrastructure and emergency management capabilities.

The project included also in-country training. In October 2018, a five day training workshop was held in Da Nang, Viet Nam. The aim of the training was to help VDMA personnel, UNICEF staff and selected stakeholders:

  • become familiar with the CCRA risk mapping methodology;
  • learn how to interpret the study results and maps;
  • learn how to independently manipulate and update the input data, should new data become available in the future.

The training was designed to allow the trainees to become trainers themselves, and re-deliver the training workshop to others.

The project outcomes included 17 thematic GIS maps, showing the spatial distribution of risk and its main components (i.e. hazard, exposure, vulnerability). The mapping informed the identification of location-specific, targeted risk reduction measures, which were presented to UNICEF and the Viet Nam Government for implementation.

To date, Molino Stewart has successfully undertaken CCRA studies for UNICEF in eleven countries in the East Asia and Pacific Region.

Training Workshop in Da Nang, October 2018