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Key activity 1: Diagnostics A diagnostic assessment helps development actors understand the broad cultural, environmental and political context in which they are working. This provides a solid foundation for any safer school construction program. The assessment may occur at the country level for large programs or at the district or community level for small programs. A model “Education Sector Snapshot for Comprehensive School Safety and Education in Emergencies” typically developed by the national education authority, in partnership with education sector development and humanitarian partners, provides a sound template for this analysis. Program managers should have available the following components in these diagnostics: SECTION III: MOBILISATION • Education sector analysis. Early in the strategic planning process, it is vital to understand what drives the need for safer schools and potential stakeholders. When the gap between demand for schools and access to schools is great, new construction may be warranted. When the gap is small or when existing schools are in poor repair, the more pressing problem is fixing existing facilities. Sometimes repairs are too costly and schools need to be rebuilt from scratch. Rather than focusing on large new construction programs, the program may focus on rapid assessment and prioritisation of schools needing repair, retrofit or replacement and then carrying out these options for the weakest facilities (see the case study ‘Rapid visual assessment for retrofitting’ in the Community Planning Stage). • Contextual analysis. Safer school construction happens in both a hazard and socio-cultural context. Gathering existing hazard maps, hazard studies and descriptions of past disasters can help orient the program to some of the major safety issues they need to address. Local hazards and a more nuanced understanding of impacts emerge through community engagement in the Planning Stage. An analysis of historical, socio-cultural and political processes also helps situate the role of education within past and present community development. • Stakeholder analysis. Conceptually mapping the key stakeholders and interests, their relative powers and capacities can unearth local champions of safer schools. Bringing champions into each stage of the program increases the long-term ownership and replication of the process. Once program managers have identified stakeholders, they can invite them to engage in a participatory social assessment to help understand each stakeholder’s priorities and needs. Without this direct dialogue, program managers have difficulty tailoring projects to local needs. • Analysis of school construction. Constructing or retrofitting schools using a community-based approach is rooted in the local building culture, which may require analysis. 35 Components of an Education Sector Snapshot for Comprehensive School Safety and Education in Emergencies 1. Introductory Demographics 2. Education Sector Overview 3. Hazards and Risks Overview 4. Disaster Risk Management Overview 5. Comprehensive School Safety Overview • Pillar 1: Safe School Facilities: Policies, Practices & Programs • Pillar 2: School Disaster Management & Educational Continuity: Policies, Practices & Programs • Pillar 3: Risk Reduction and Resilience in Education: Policies, Practices & Programs Program managers need to understand the technical capacity of the broader society, usually with support from external experts or existing technical assessments. It is vital to understand the current knowledge of hazardresistant construction and assessment that exists within local universities, governments, vocational schools and trades. At times, this important knowledge may be limited, or even lacking. Where knowledge is insufficient, safer school construction programs need to build technical capacity – creating a sustained impact across a society. The analysis should also identify known weaknesses in school construction or past school construction programs. Local engineering experts may be well-acquainted with systemic failures in vernacular construction or national building codes, where they exist. Past disasters may also paint a vivid picture of failings – roofs consistently blown off in high winds or dangerous cracking in columns after earthquakes. Program managers can use these historical weaknesses to implement strategies that avoid such problems in the current project. A review of funding and legal responsibility for school building construction supports this analysis. Wider school construction analysis helps program managers shape programs that build on and support existing processes and systems. Coordinating with other groups strengthens the long-term sustainability of safer school construction and helps integrate safer school construction into national, regional and local programs.