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SECTION I: INTRODUCTION Intended audience This manual is intended for decision makers and program managers in agencies involved in, or intending to begin, school construction in hazard-prone areas. The manual is intended primarily for humanitarian and development actors – the organisations often building and repairing schools in hazard-prone locations – as well as government authorities seeking to introduce or oversee community-based school construction programs. The manual also provides insight for community disaster risk reduction and disaster management practitioners within the education sector. This manual provides guidance for school construction projects that have one or more of the following characteristics: • Local school committees or community leaders contributing to the funding, planning, construction or oversight of school buildings in hazard-prone areas. NGO and government staff in a planning session preparing to support the Ministry of Education’s work on Comprehensive School Safety. Photo: Danielle Wade/Save the Children. • Construction that may enhance existing or planned disaster risk reduction education. • A local construction sector that does not already include robust hazard-resistant design, construction and oversight practice. • Combined post-disaster reconstruction and disaster risk reduction. While the focus of the manual is on schools built through community-based processes, the guidelines may also enhance more traditional school construction processes, such as when government agencies directly build schools or hire contractors to do so. Integrating community awareness activities and collaborating with communities in the planning and design stages can strengthen community capacity for disaster risk reduction. Such community engagement builds community capacity for maintaining the school and helps ensure the school constructed takes into account both local hazards and community aspirations. Consultations with Laos PDR Ministry of Education and Sport staff on the implementation of a Comprehensive School Safety program. Photo: Save the Children. VI