Towards Safer School Construction

A community-based approach to school construction seeks to achieve the twin goals of safer schools and more resilient communities. It treats school construction as a community learning opportunity to better understand risks, collectively commit to safety, and to learn and apply strategies for safer construction. A community-based approach builds community capacity in tandem with the laying of foundations and erecting of classroom walls. It also prepares communities to be knowledgeable caretakers of schools, able to maintain the physical safety of the structures and the culture of safety among those who use it.

Download: Toward Safer School Construction Guide 2015 (.docx)

Purpose of this manual: This manual shows how community-based approaches to safer school construction can do more than just provide safer school buildings in hazard-prone places. It can also:

The scope of this manual: The focus of this manual is on the process of community-based school construction. It should supplement technical guidance on appropriate construction materials and techniques, such as UNESCO’s 2013 Guidelines for Earthquake-Resistant Non-Engineered Construction. This manual considers community-based school construction in depth, supplementing the broader Guidance Notes on Safer School Construction published in 2009 by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) of the World Bank and the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). 

Intended audience of this manual: 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.