Public Awareness and Public Education for Disaster Risk Reduction "PAPE"

Harmonized risk messages save lives 

Why is it important?

Risk communication must be clear and simple

In our current times, to communicate risks effectively with populations, communities, families and individuals is essential for everyone to be better prepared when disaster and crisis hit. This is a challenging task, as normally people don’t want to hear about “dangerous things”. Some are afraid of even thinking about the possibility of an earthquake, a tropical cyclone, floods, landslides, tsunamis or even the most common household hazards, such as fire, hitting their homes.

Climate science is warning us and as we are seeing with our own eyes, hazards are on the rise in both frequency and intensity with increasing impacts on livelihoods and well-being. It is our duty to support people to understand the risks, and their important role in protecting themselves and being more resilient.

Every organization and government engaged in disaster risk reduction awareness must plan and communicate harmonized messages – a key element to avoid confusion. As a consequence, we increase people’s confidence in acting to make themselves safer. It starts with one individual, a family, neighbours, the whole community, a city, a country and even the whole region.

Consistent messages on risks is vital for credibility

We should never forget a basic lesson of communication: a message will only turn into real action if it’s clearly understood and believed by the people who receive it. Knowing that there are consistent actions that you can take to make YOU, your family, and your friends safer is the foundation to change behaviour.

What is PAPE about?

The Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies have a long tradition and experience in educating communities on disaster risks and increasing safety and resilience. Building on this valuable experience and aiming to increase the impact of public education and public awareness efforts for disaster risk reduction, IFRC designed the PAPE GUIDE + KEY MESSAGES.

The process

The PAPE Guide elaboration started with a comprehensive revision of 300 documents and websites following by interviews with more than 50 worldwide staff and volunteers from National Societies, IFRC regional and reference centers to collect their practices and learnings.

 As a result, it was identified the need to develop PAPE KEY MESSAGES which was done through a comprehensive validation, consensus building and expert feedback process. More than 17 authoritative sources were consulted followed by a global workshop with an interdisciplinary group coming from 23 National Societies and partners to filter and validate the first set of key messages. This draft was then submitted to 27 subject matter experts and 14 interested organizations for their final revision.

Who should use PAPE?

Everyone working to create a culture of safety and resilience within families, communities and larger populations.

 As part of our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity, providing life saving information is a crucial element of our work. Beyond helping people understand hazard risks, we must support people to act. It is not enough to make people just aware of the risks.


Therefore, we invite communities, governments, local and international organizations and partners to engage on this important global effort of harmonizing DRR key messages that can save more lives and protect livelihoods.

WHY now?

The wider adoption of PAPE KEY MESSAGES contributes the Post-2015 frameworks and other important initiatives, such as:



PAPE Promotional materials

Download PAPE presentation

Download PAPE one pager

Public Awareness and Education for DRR: key messages

PAPE key messages

The key messages have been translated into 22 languages.


Public Awareness and Education for DRR: guide

Guide - English

Guide Annex - English

Guide - Spanish

Guide Annex - Spanish

Guide - Arabic

Guide Annex - Arabic

Guide - French

Guide - Russian

PAPE Global Workshop Report

Public Awareness and Public Education - Global worshop report