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SECTION III: PLANNING Achieving a safe school building in a specific community begins with the Planning Stage. During this stage, needs and risks are identified, and school sites are chosen. It is also at this stage that early choices about materials and construction processes are made. These choices can impact the quality of the school building, its fragility to local hazards, and the ease of community maintenance and operations. During the Planning Stage, community assets and concerns should be weighed against technical concerns. While constantly balancing these two, the Planning Stage moves safer school projects from a mere idea to solid conception, complete with an initial strategy for achieving it. School management committees, in collaboration with program managers, should execute three key activities: Government agencies provide: • Regional hazard information • Land for school construction • Hazard specialities Community planning key activities: • • • • Needs assessment Feasibilty study Draft Implementation plan Key activity 1: Needs assessment The school management committee and program managers should initiate planning by coming to agreement on what needs a school building will address. While a safe school building may already be a known need, other issues may also arise that are important for creating an appropriate learning environment. It is important to understand the underlying factors driving these needs. School management committees should lead the needs assessment, which may be as simple as a community meeting or as extensive as a community survey and factfinding process. Either way, program managers must vet community needs against the wider community. Working with local governments is essential. Local community provides: • Community needs • Knowledge of local hazards • Knowledge of community practices SECTION III: PLANNING The Community Planning Stage School management committee Commitment to safer schools Implementing organisation (e.g. NGO, CBO, local authority) provides: • Program manager to facilitate process • Technical experts to collaborate with community • Project scope • Funds During the Community Planning Stage, school management committees, in collaboration with program managers, should carry out a needs assessment, feasibility student and draft an implementation plan. 44