This article summarizes the growing theoretical and empirical literature on the impact of education on disaster vulnerability with a focus on Southeast Asia. Education and learning can take place in different environments in more or less formalized ways. They can influence disaster vulnerability as the capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist, and recover from natural hazard in direct and indirect ways. Directly, through education and learning, individuals acquire knowledge, abilities, skills and perceptions that allow them to effectively prepare for and cope with the consequences of disaster shocks. Indirectly, education gives individuals and households access to material, informational and social resources, which can help reducing disaster vulnerability. We highlight central concepts and terminologies and discuss the different theoretical mechanisms through which education may have an impact. Supportive empirical evidence is presented and discussed with a particular focus on the role of inclusiveness in education and challenges in achieving universal access to high-quality education. Based on situation analysis and best practice cases, policy implications are derived that can inform the design and implementation of education and learning-based disaster risk reduction efforts in the region.
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