Conference Evaluation Results
A survey was sent out following the World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2011. We received feedback from 206 delegates, approximately half those who attended – a great response.
The survey overwhelmingly praised and supported the World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2011, including its aim of highlighting child drowning in low and middle income countries and its goal of building a global platform to prevent drowning. Both were considered relevant and necessary.
While overwhelmingly positive, the survey did identify some areas that we could have done better. These concerns have been taken on board and we hope that all feedback will help future conference organisers.
I would like to thank all those who took time to respond to the survey and, once again, to thank all delegates for making the conference the success that it was.
Some key results are outlined below.
The World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2011 was considered a valuable experience by 97.6% of survey responders.
The conference had the goal of ‘building a global platform to reduce drowning’. Over 95% of responders thought this was relevant to the conference with a similar percentage believing the conference was well-aligned to this purpose.
The Global Platform to Reduce Drowning is intended to continue post-conference. 98.5% of responders supported this intention.
The majority of responders found the conference program well reflected the conference themes. Those themes, with their survey results were: Drowning in Low and Middle Income Countries (94%); Drowning Research (89.4%); Child Drowning (94.9%); Emergency Response and Medical Issues (69.8%); Advances in Lifesaving (63.1%); Swimming and Water Safety (84.3%); Partnerships and Programs (65.4%); Activities and Occupations (53.1%); Disasters and Climate Change (52.4%); and, Lifesaving Sport and Development (50.2%).
It was important for an international conference that championed drowning prevention in low and middle income countries to hear from those voices. Thus the scholarship fund was created to enable the attendance and participation of delegates from LMICs who would not normally be in a position to attend such a conference. Apart from the benefits to the scholarship recipients, the majority of other delegates found that the scholarship program enhanced their own experience (62.1%); added diversity in perspective and background (73.2%); added good content to the program (66%); and believed such a program should be part of future conferences (75.6%).
It was hoped that the conference would facilitate new partnerships and collaborations and renew old ones. New contacts were made by 95.1% of survey responders; newly developed collaborations are likely to occur between 87%; specific research projects are likely to result from 69.2%; specific training or program support, 66.9%; and an increased advocacy to government is likely from 61%.
97.5% were supportive of the conference program overall.
Great conference, relevant theme, good organization and participation.
Carel de Rooy, UNICEF
This was a well organised and very relevant event. Its high profile and expert contributions should enable the basis of a truly global platform. It was good to see first-hand many of the issues many of us have only read about.
Clive Holland, RLSS UK; ILS and ILSE Board.
The conference, issues relating to WCDP, the networks and partnerships were extremely beneficial and important in the global scheme. The positive relationships and partnerships between organisations is possibly the most important aspect; singularly we just push a barrow, together as organisations we can make significant change in education and drowning prevention.
Carolyn Veldhuyzen, AUSTSWIM
This conference was eye opening to me. It made me realize that we all, regardless of culture, income, or infrastructure share the same challenges in drowning prevention. Linda Quan, Seattle Children’s Hospital, University of WA School of Medicine ILS has undertaken an important shift in its approach to the World Drowning Conferences, by framing the role and focus of these conferences as a forum in which a globally relevant, public-health based approach to drowning prevention can be advanced through high level technical exchange and collaboration. This is a vital role for the conferences and for the ILS as a whole, and is an important contribution to a global public health issue that has long been overlooked.
Dr David Meddings, World Health Organization
Thanks to what I have learned, and the knowledge I have acquired at the World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Danang, Vietnam, I am going to address the drowning problem in my country Cameroon.
Justin Bakinga, RLSS Cameroon Branch President
It was great to attend a conference where I actually learnt something at each of the sessions.
Pamela Simon, Surf Life Saving Australia
There is no room in the lifesaving community for politics and this conference went a long way to achieving a common partnership with a common objective and a clear sense of direction.
John C Barwick MBE, Deputy Commonwealth President, Royal Life Saving Society
Excellent event. This is one of the few conferences which successfully brought together the medical and public health community, policy leads and practitioners. I came away with a greater understanding of the issues and with the belief that we can tackle this issue.
David Walker, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, UK
As a representative from a low income country, I found the conference excellent, praise-worthy, and very resourceful. I personally gained a lot of experience which will help me in contributing in drowning prevention in my country.
Dr.Md.Mizanur Rahman Arif, Directorate General of Health Services, Bangladesh
I came away from the WCDP 2011 a much wiser life saving practitioner. I was much impressed with the enthusiasm and the friendliness of all the delegates. I was also very impressed at the professional way in which the many speakers delivered their abstracts. I will remain ever so grateful to have been given this opportunity to attend WCDP 2011, and I am certainly a better life saving practitioner because of it. Attendance at the conference was such a wonderful learning experience.
Chan Kwai Fong, Life Saving Society Malaysia
I was so grateful to have the chance of attending the conference which I would not have done so without sponsors. I was also impressed with the level of organisation and dedication of the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia.
Austin Andemani, Royal Life Saving Society-Uganda
The Word Conference on Drowning Prevention (WCDP) has expanded the new horizon of water safety and life saving. As a public health professional working on drowning prevention in LMICs, I particularly appreciated the leadership of ILS, in partner with Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, and TASC, expanded its focus to drowning preventions into LMICs where 96% of the drowning occurs. This conference was the first giant step to bridge the life saving/water safety community at HICs and the drowning prevention communities at LIMCs. I hope there will be many more future opportunities to facilitate the communication between these two groups, so that they can benefit from each other’s experience.
Huan Linnan, Child injury prevention consultant
The WCDP 2011 in Vietnam was in my view the single most important event in the global battle against drowning, since the formation of ILS in 1993.
Eric Bech, Surf Life Saving Denmark