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The evolution of a community-based approach SECTION II: OVERVIEW The need for community involvment in all stages of safer school construction may lessen as societies develop safer construction practices. When governments have the capacity to build schools safely, their role in providing education and safer schools to their constituents is paramount. However, even when safety is ensured through strong codes and robust construction oversightmanagement, community involvement in school construction remains valuable. • When local school management committees and broader stakeholders are part of school project planning and design, the schools better reflect cultural norms and community aspirations. Communities also better understand how their schools perform during natural hazards. • When communities are invited to participate in safer school construction, the process can prompt discussion about disaster risk reduction and be a venue for alerting communities to the changing state of knowledge about hazard exposure. Local communities may find out about newly discovered seismic faults, sea level rise, increased severity or frequency of cyclones brought on by climate change, or how land-use patterns have altered flood plains. Safe school construction provides a local and immediately tangible focus for these conversations. • Safer school construction also supports a diffused knowledge about the hazard-resistant infrastructure. While few local households may apply safer school construction techniques to their own homes in communities with mature construction industries, community involvement helps maintain the existing culture of safety. • Broad awareness of and involvement in safer school construction projects also helps maintain the political will needed for funding school maintenance and retrofits, and the safe construction of new school buildings – even if these projects come with costs. As a strong culture of safety emerges, community involvement in safe school construction becomes part of the wider process of a transparent, democratic and participatory community development process. It becomes one aspect of a resilient community. A training session for local construction workers. Photo: Save the Children. 33