45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction_0 (2015) - Page 4

SECTION I: INTRODUCTION Terminology Architects work with communities to plan and design school and site layout. They ensure schools meet functionality standards. Architects seek the services of a structural engineer to provide safety calculations. Capacity is the combination of strengths, attributes and resources available within a community, society or organisation that can be used to achieve disaster reduction and prevention. Capacity development is the process by which people, organisations and society systematically stimulate and develop their capacities over time to achieve social and economic goals, including through the improvement of knowledge, skills systems and institutions. Children – in this document – refer to individuals from birth to age 18. In the context of community-based school construction, community is a group of individuals sharing a common geographic location at or below the smallest political unit of a country. In the context of school construction, a community is often bound within the catchment area of the school or otherwise connected to a school as students, parents, teachers and staff. Community-based construction covers a spectrum of possible community involvement, from making informed programmatic planning and design decisions to directly taking part in building construction. Communities may receive funding, technical assistance and other support from government agencies or development organisations. Community-driven development is a decentralised approach where governments empower communities to implement small-scale infrastructure programs including decisions about project design and implementation, as well as resource management. Community-based school construction often occurs when community-driven development strategies are used. Development actors are non-profit organisations – national or international – that pursue activities in support of community wellbeing. In the case of this document these actors may be part of or outside the United Nations system. They may be focused exclusively on education sector activities or development more broadly. Those working in post-disaster contexts may pursue humanitarian aims in accordance with globally recognised humanitarian guidelines. A disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society that involves widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, and which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources. III Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and manage the causal factors of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events. Engineers apply science, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Structural engineers are qualified to design structures and certify their safety, although many do not have specialised training in hazard-resistant design. Exposure occurs when people, property, systems or other elements are present in hazard zones and are thereby subject to potential losses. Mitigation is the lessening or limiting of the adverse impacts of hazards and related disasters. Natural hazards are natural processes or phenomena that may cause loss of life, injury, other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. Hazard events can cause disruption, or even disaster, to communities when they are vulnerable to such events. In the context of safe school buildings other hazards may also be of concern. These include proximity to industrial sites, overhead and underground utilities, traffic, school fires, conflict, abduction and bullying. Many of these hazards can be mitigated through careful site selection and design. International and national non-government organisations (NGOs) are private organisations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interest of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or undertake community development; many of the larger NGOs are headquartered in developed nations. Most are not for profit. Resilience is the ability of a system, community, or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate, and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions. Risk is the combination of the probability of an event and its negative consequences. Disaster risk is a function of hazard, exposure and vulnerability. An increase in any of these three components drives the scale and impact of disasters. Retrofit is the reinforcement or upgrading of existing structures so that they become more resistant to or able to accommodate the damaging effects of hazards.