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1. Key activities of the Strategic Planning and Community Mobilisation Stage SECTION II: OVERVIEW The first stage of a community-based approach seeks to understand the broad, physical, social, cultural and political environment in which the program occurs. Community mobilisation follows, culminating in the formation of a school management committee that is broadly representative and committed to safer schools. • Performing diagnostics. A diagnostic assessment of the education, construction and development sector helps ground projects in local realities and identify champions of school safety. • Identifying tools. Tools for risk awareness, disaster risk reduction and construction training may already exist. Identifying them ensures the program supports existing community activities. Burmese monks identifying risks in their local community. Photo: Sam Lu/Save the Children. • Raising awareness. Before communities commit to building safer schools or retrofitting existing ones, they need to understand the risks and believe in the project. • Forming a school management committee. The school management committee oversees the process. They ensure community needs are met and safety is prioritised. Stage 1. Strategic planning and community mobilisation Advantages Challenges Strategies • Builds community risk awareness • Inaccurate understanding of risks or ineffective risk communication Risk communication is a two-way dialogue. It’s important to understand stakeholder perspectives but it’s also essential to share good practice and lessons learnt in risk communication. • Increases knowledge of risk reduction strategies • Lack of short-term benefit caused by a focus on future risks Awareness campaigns should emphasise tangible and effective strategies for reducing risks and not focus too much on hazards and community vulnerability. • Provides community oversight of the safe school construction project • Cost, aesthetics or other concerns may be more highly valued than school safety Build a commitment to comprehensive school safety at the formation of the committee while also recognising the importance of other community priorities. 24