The CUIDAR Finale

The CUIDAR Finale took place in Lisbon on the 22nd and 23rd of May 2018. The aim was to show the project’s main findings to an international audience of decision-makers, practitioners, and researchers.  Participants experienced and discussed the main outcome from the project – a child-centred disaster management framework for Europe, which will help those working in the field engage with young people in emergency planning and disaster risk reduction. Young people who participated in CUIDAR’s activities were actively engaged during the event.


Close to 130 stakeholders participated (see below), plus 19 young people who had worked on CUIDAR throughout and took part in the Finale workshops (nine from Portugal, six from Italy and four from Spain).

Participants in the CUIDAR Finale

  • Portugal (42)
  • United Kingdom (36)
  • Spain (18)
  • Italy (12)
  • Greece (8)
  • Japan (3)
  • Australia (2)
  • Belgium (2)
  • Brazil (2)
  • USA (2)
  • France (1)

The event included poster presentations on projects about disaster risk reduction, public understanding of disaster/hazard warnings and/or the perspectives of children and young people. In total, 19 posters were presented at the event.


The first session was mostly of an academic nature, starting with a keynote speech by Lori Peek, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Natural Hazards Research Centre (University of Colorado Boulder, US) and co-author of the book Children of Katrina (University of Texas Press, 2015) with Alice Fothergill. This was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Disasters in a Global Perspective: working with children, families and communities’, chaired by Antony Spalton (Risk Reduction and Resilience Specialist, UNICEF), with the participation of Professor Aya Goto (Fukushima Medical University, Japan), Professor Mervyn Hyde (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia), Professor Manuel Tironi (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, via Skype) and Dr Briony Towers (RMIT University, Australia).

The abstracts and PowerPoints of these presentations can be found in the event website and in the booklet distributed during the event.

The first day ended with a poster session, in which authors and other participants had the chance to discuss the findings over a welcome drink.

Poster session

Keynote speech from Lori Peek


Day Two was mostly stakeholder-oriented and devoted to showcasing the CUIDAR results. First, the CUIDAR International Film Transforming disaster planning – a child centred approach was presented by Professor Maggie Mort who explained the process behind the production of the film. Next, six thematic workshops were conducted by the CUIDAR partner teams, some with the participation of young people involved in the project:

  • Participative approaches: building disaster resilience with children and young people, Save the Children, Italy
  • The participation of children with sensory disabilities in disaster risk reduction, University of Thessaly, Greece
  • Children and Disaster Risk Reduction in dialogue: an interactive exhibition, ICS-ULisboa, Portugal
  • Making young people visible in disasters: problematising preparedness in public space, UOC, Spain
  • Flood Snakes & Ladders: interactive workshop, Lancaster University, UK
  • Putting it all into Practice, Save the Children, UK

The workshop abstracts, the PowerPoints of the presentations and short reports on each workshop (written by teams and members of the Advisory and Ethics Boards) can be found in the event website.

Workshop: Building disaster resilience with children and young people, Save the Children Italy

Workshop: The participation of children with sensory disabilities in disaster risk reduction, UTH, Greece

Workshop: Making young people visible in disasters, UOC, Spain

Workshop: Flood Snakes & Ladders interactive game, Lancaster University, UK



Workshop: Children and Disaster Risk Reduction in dialogue: an interactive exhibition, ICS-ULisboa, Portugal

Workshop: Putting it all into Practice, Save the Children UK









Day 2 morning was ended by Ana Sotto-Mayor, member of the CUIDAR Ethics Board, thanking young people for their participation and offering them the chance to reflect on their perceptions and experiences with CUIDAR. During the afternoon the 19 youngsters went on a ‘paper chase’ in Lisbon city centre.

After lunch the CUIDAR Child-Centred Disaster Management Framework for Europe was presented by the Lancaster University team. Each participant was given a Framework Box (see Fig 5), containing the Framework booklet, a Key Messages card (in ‘LogoLoop’ form), a Finale postcard on which participants wrote pledges (afterwards inserted in a custom-made post-box), and a pen drive containing the CUIDAR international film and other resources. Professor Mort’s Prezi presentation is available online and all the materials from the box are available on the project website.

We received 53 postcards from people with Pledges – here are some examples:

  • I will… Work every day thinking to include your voice in DDR projects.
  • We will improve the educational project on forest fires, making it more participatory for children and guide them to communicate the message to the rest of the community. The result could be a community more prepared for the wildfires.
  • I will… Carry out more and more investigation studies to effect children’s resilience after natural disaster.
  • I will… Share the CUIDAR message and materials with others through my networks. Implement the participatory practises in my research, teaching, and professional leadership roles, to the extent I can. Offer to be of support and service to the team to assist as I can. Influence policy makers to update the message. Thank you so much for your voice and leadership. Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK and Europe- you are GLOBAL role models for so much good! Thank you.
  • I will… Do my best so that the project CUIDAR reaches more children and young people.
  • I will… 1. Explore how children might shape content of flood warning messages to ensure it includes what they want to know. 2. Consider how we might use children as a starting point to build resilience in communities i.e. identifying groups they belong to and seeing if they would like to work with us.

The following panel discussion  ‘Policy Responses to the Framework and issues raised by CUIDAR’, was chaired by Dr Cath Larkins (Co-Director of the Centre for Children & Young People’s Participation, University of Central Lancashire, UK) with the participation of stakeholders from the five CUIDAR countries: Andrea Nobili (Marche Region Children and Young Peoples Ombudsman, Italy); Julie Walker (Strategic Resilience Lead, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, UK); Luís Carvalho (Civil Protection Municipal Service, Municipality of Amadora and Coordinator of the United Nations Resilient Cities Program in Portugal); Sergio Delgado (Deputy-Director of Civil Protection of Catalonia, Spain) and Zafeiria Kollia (Head of Department of Volunteerism & Training, General Secretariat for Civil Protection, Greece). The PowerPoints of the presentations are available on the Finale website.

The event ended with closing remarks from Helen Braithwaite OBE (Assistant Director of UK Resilience, Training, Doctrine and Standards; UK Cabinet Office – Civil Contingencies Secretariat) and Jorge Dias (Senior Officer for the Communication and Awareness Division, Portuguese National Authority for Civil Protection, representing the Secretary of State of Civil Protection).

Keeping in touch

The CUIDAR Finale had significant showing on social media and the Twitter account @CUIDARProject carries on

  • there were more than 100 tweets using #CuidarFinale;
  • In the Portuguese Facebook page, the CUIDAR post about CUIDAR Framework was shared 13 time and reached 3,827 people. Posts about the event were also published by the National Civil Protection Authority, the Amadora Municipality civil protection department and a Fire Department in the vicinity of Lisbon.

Problem analysis tree – Lorca, Spain

In terms of media in Portugal, the press release was published by an online media outlet. Afterwards, one national radio station in Portugal published a news article on the event and in another station the event was discussed in a weekly debate broadcast.

Teams continue to receive very positive feedback from the stakeholders present in the event. Lancaster University received emails from the Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Adults Service expressing the benefits of hearing about and linking up with the responses internationally which will be useful in how they shape their programmes going forward, as well as the intention of following up with a few of the speakers and facilitators. The Portuguese team received an email from the Senior Officer of Communication and Awareness Division at the Portuguese National Authority for Civil Protection requesting a meeting to present the CUIDAR findings to other officers and to explore of further collaboration. The Italian team received positive feedback from the Marche Region Civil Protection agency, who participated at the event and they proposed to disseminate the Italian CUIDAR Policy Brief  to the local municipalities and to meet again to explore future collaborations.