Evaluating locally led early action against heatwaves

In June 2021, Bright Star Development Society Balochistan (also known as BSDSB or Bright Star) were funded to assist in mitigating against the anticipated heatwave in Sibi (Pakistan). In this locally-led anticipatory action response Bright Star provided behaviour messaging in addition to "cooling facilities" with cold water and a place to rest. This paper summarises some of the evidence and learning from an evaluation of this response.

Some key findings include:

  • Heatwaves are a major problem in Sibi; they are getting worse each year and impact negatively on peoples’ health and livelihood.
  • People were using the cooling facilities and benefiting from them in terms of the health and wellbeing.
  • The cooling facilities represented something new for the community- a locally led public service – and acted as an example others could follow.
  • People felt that Bright Stars close consultation with the local administration and understanding of communities' needs were critical in establishing this culturally appropriate service.
  • People were able to benefit from the behavioural messaging, some messages were new and helped dispel myths, and they passed on messages to others.
  • People suggested ways to improve access to the messaging through, for example, using loudspeakers to cater to those who could not read.
  • People suggested access to the cooling facilities could be improved for girls and women by creating female friendly spaces.

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