Since the RSRS addresses a wide range of topics and activities, this section introduces the guide’s approach, scope and structure.
Phases of the RSRS
The RSRS follows a logical sequence from diagnosis to analysis and planning. The diagnosis phase aims to establish a structured and quantitative information set about the condition and capacity of school infrastructure. Based on that information, work is performed in the analysis phase to assess risk, make estimates, and conduct scenario analysis. The planning phase helps to determine what to do (intervention strategy), how much investment is needed to that end (investment plan), and finally, how solutions will be implemented (implementation strategy).
Getting ready for implementation
One can only start by prompting decisions at the highest political level. The Minister of Education, the Minister of Finance, the mayor (in a municipality) are the chief decision makers in this matter. The challenge is to draw their attention to the importance of making schools safer and resilient at scale. Unfortunately, most of the Safer School programs were triggered by the catastrophic losses of schoolchildren lives in the wake of a natural disaster (China in 2008, Mexico in 1985, Turkey in 1999). Even though the safety of schoolchildren should be a priority for both communities and politicians, the reality is that school interventions are complex to implement, leading to inaction. The RSRS aims to promote a change. The paragraphs below present recommendations along these lines.
Implementing the school infrastructure plan
At this point, the formulation of the plan has been finalized. In this section, several activities are proposed to adopt and communicate the plan, as well as to facilitate engagement with key players.
Key considerations behind the RSRS
The Roadmap emanates from the experience of World Bank task teams working on the Safer School agenda in dozens of developing countries. The need for shared understanding, language and concepts drove the preparation of this guidance note. More importantly, the creation of a methodological framework will help foster efficient stakeholder interaction. Here are the underlying considerations behind the design of the RSRS:
Nothing happens without the will of the government. The decision to invest and intervene in school infrastructure at scale is both a technical and political challenge. The RSRS focuses on the former, while indirectly contributing to the latter. By following this process, all agencies involved get a common understanding of the intervention needs and potential solutions so that an informed dialogue between decision makers can ensue. The leading force in this undertaking should be the government’s school infrastructure manager, supported by relevant agencies. By no means can this process be implemented by or transferred to a third party (namely a consultancy or NGO).
School infrastructure safety is not a black-and-white issue. Perhaps the only common global perception about safer schools is that no children should die or be harmed in the event of a natural disaster due to the failure of school infrastructure. However, such aspiration takes on a different tone in the space of public policy. On one hand, there is no “zero risk”, nor can elements exposed to natural hazards be absolutely safe in a given spatial context and time frame. Disaster risk management concerns the reduction in probability of adverse consequences, meaning that societies will always have to deal with some level of remnant or residual risk. What different countries or communities consider a level of “acceptable risk” (i.e. the socially accepted residual risk) may vary, hence the many nuances imparted to the concept of safety.
On the other hand, safety relates not only to physical consequences but also to the indirect impact from the accumulative effect of alterations in children’s physical, environmental, social and emotional well-being.
Safety is just one of the conditions that a quality learning environment should meet. Providing safer schools should not be a stand-alone policy for two main reasons. First, safety is required but not sufficient to ensure a quality learning environment. Second, the implementation of safety as a stand-alone policy is wrongly perceived by beneficiary communities. Under the term “functional condition”, the RSRS gathers all other aspects of school infrastructure, such as energy efficiency, water and sanitation, air quality or climate control, etc. Therefore, the resulting RSRS implementation should either be integrated and articulated into a broader school infrastructure program or address the improvement of functional conditions when the former does not exist.
Reducing the vulnerability of a large portfolio of school facilities is a medium- to long-term effort. Improving the performance of thousands of school buildings is, in itself, an enormous task in terms of resources, planning and implementation. Competing needs, like functional improvements or new classrooms, can make the challenge for governments even more difficult. It can take many years to complete the intervention. During that time, some schoolchildren will remain at risk. Therefore, it is a priority that a Safer School program maximize the benefits of safety and the cost efficiency of its investments. Through a risk-informed prioritization, the RSRS makes it possible to target groups of children at highest risk.
Reducing vulnerability of school facilities is not only about physical intervention. Policy reforms and engagement with school communities are indispensable. Once the diagnosis of the capacity and condition of existing infrastructure has been performed, it is necessary to identify gaps in such areas as regulation, institutional structure, and information management. Gaining an understanding of the institutional environment and regulatory framework around school infrastructure is critical to the successful implementation and sustainability of Safer Schools programs.
In low-income countries especially, communities have an important role to play in the construction and maintenance of school infrastructure. Their participation and ownership of the intervention strategy is central to success. In that respect, the RSRS provides recommendations for communicating and engaging with school communities, while discouraging their direct involvement in the actual design and construction activities.
“Will we value and invest in school disaster resilience for the sake of our children’s safety and the future of our communities? Or will we fail to act until after our schools and communities experience irrecoverable loss that could have been prevented? This is a choice and we choose the former. We hope you do the same.” —anonymous
Taken from FEMA, 2017, “Safer, Stronger and Smarter: a guide to improving School Natural Hazard Safety”.
Interventions at scale - a strategy of articulated and prioritized interventions to progressively meet safety and functional targets in a large portfolio of existing school facilities.
The RSRS offers a methodological framework that can be adapted to the local context and specific needs/capacity of the government. The RSRS is not a prescriptive methodology. Following a logical sequence from diagnosis to analysis and planning at scale, several steps address different contributing factors of disaster risk. The Roadmap may be implemented in its entirety, or progressively when resources, capacity or available information are limited. Further, the scope of each step can be adjusted to meet actual needs. In any case, there are two key recommendations: first, do not skip a step, or you might lose information critical to the design of the intervention strategy; second, focus on identifying scalable solutions and maximizing benefits for children.
The RSRS methodology looks at representative statistical conditions rather than individual building assessments. For large portfolios of school facilities, the assessment ‘building by building’ is neither affordable nor efficient. By identifying school building types, typically associated with standard school designs, the portfolio can be disaggregated into groups that share similar characteristics and performance in the face of hazard events. A detailed assessment and engineering analysis can then be conducted to define representative buildings (index building) in each group (GLOSI). This approach enables scalable and tailored solutions for each group of building types. However, a ‘building by building’ assessment might be required under special conditions (in the case of state islands with small portfolios or cultural heritage schools, for instance).
Capacity and condition are the two main characteristics of school infrastructure. Capacity refers to the number of students of a given education grade in a school facility designed to accommodate a single shift. It means that the school facility offers the appropriate number and size of classrooms, laboratories, equipment, toilets, etc., in accordance with national regulations. The capacity of school infrastructure is commonly expanded. Nonetheless, there is a growing trend in developing countries to revert to the single shift policy as part of the governments’ efforts to increase the quality of the learning process.
Condition refers to the school facility’s current situation in terms of safety and functionality. Safety relates to the expected performance of school buildings in the face of hazard events. Functionality relates to the quality and functioning of water and sanitation facilities, energy efficiency, recreational areas, among others.
Although the RSRS lays emphasis on safety, the proposed methodology also considers the challenges raised by the notions of capacity and functionality.
Though not hazard-dependent, the RSRS was initially developed in and applied to earthquake-prone countries. Given the catastrophic impact of earthquakes in the education sector, seismic risk was prioritized under the Global Program for Safer Schools. The RSRS has already been implemented in more than 15 countries to reduce the seismic vulnerability of school infrastructure. That said, the RSRS’s methodology is not restrictive and can be applied to other natural hazards. It is the use of quantitative risk assessment that is key.
The RSRS can be applied at the national or local level. The RSRS’s methodology focuses on large school portfolios. As a result, the Roadmap has primarily been implemented at a national scale, covering thousands of school facilities and school buildings. The methodology is particularly well-suited to address the issue of scale. More recently, implementations at the municipal level have shown promising results. Although some simplification is required at each step, given the reduced number of school facilities, the Roadmap’s methodology has proven to be fully applicable at this scale. For very small portfolios (less than a hundred school buildings), however, we recommend that a ‘building by building’ assessment be conducted.
The RSRS is a living document that is being improved over time, as we gain experience and see the results of its application in developing countries.
Context of application
The RSRS has been designed around two conditions: normal and post-disaster. Under normal conditions, the planning process takes place within the regular operations of the education system. Under post-disaster conditions, the planning process takes place in an exceptional situation in which the infrastructure managers’ priority is to restore the education services affected by a hazard event. Conceptually, the approach and steps of the planning process under both conditions are the same. In practice, the post-disaster condition poses additional challenges in terms of damage assessment, temporary measures, time constraints, and an increased demand from school communities.
Progress in reducing vulnerability, under normal or post-disaster conditions, brings a variety of benefits. Although the aim of a Safer School program is to intervene in schools before a hazard event, there is often little capacity on the ground to facilitate interventions at a large scale. Thus, infrastructure managers should also increase their capacity to respond to needs associated with post-disaster recovery. It has been demonstrated that in the aftermath of a disaster there is a window of opportunity to move risk-reduction policies forward. The reconstruction of damaged schools offers the opportunity to reduce the vulnerability of both affected and non-affected school buildings. On the other hand, any progress made on ex-ante risk-reduction interventions leads not only to lower impact but also facilitates the reconstruction planning process in case of disaster. The implementation of the RSRS provides a comprehensive set of data and intermediate results that ultimately help increase school infrastructure managers’ ability to respond.
Under post-disaster conditions, the RSRS assists in the design of both the recovery and reconstruction plans. Recovery and reconstruction are two interconnected phases. Reconstruction planning is challenging as it must also integrate decisions about the recovery plan. The manner in which the recovery phase is managed may either pave the way for a successful reconstruction or generate an adverse environment. The RSRS provides tools to skillfully navigate this dynamic decision-making process. Again, informed decisions lead to more efficient interventions, which is ultimately the cornerstone of any recovery and reconstruction process. We know through experience that school infrastructure managers tend to have difficulties engaging in a planning process while coping with the complexity of a disaster aftermath. The RSRS is intended to help them make informed decisions even under extreme conditions and social pressure.
Structure of each step
All steps in the Roadmap are organized into modules and activities. The purpose, objectives (under normal and post-disaster conditions), structure, local partners, and required technical expertise are presented at the beginning of each step. Activities are described as follows: guidance and outputs.
In addition, each step is linked to a toolkit offering related technical notes, terms of reference, country cases, videos, apps and templates (if applicable), as well as references.
This phase covers two initial steps: School Infrastructure Baseline (Step 1) and School Infrastructure Policy (Step 2). The former focuses on collecting data about the existing school infrastructure’s condition and capacity, and establishing a structured database of school facilities with a selected group of attributes. The latter focuses on the institutional and policy framework under which school infrastructure is operated, and the estimate of future demand for classrooms. A quality baseline is the foundation for a quality planning process. As in any other infrastructure sector, a proper and updated inventory of the school’s assets (facilities, buildings, campus, etc.) is the primary source of data required to create a baseline. The completeness and reliability of the baseline will significantly affect the quality of the analytic work performed.
Difference between inventory and baseline
Inventory: gathering of data about capacity, condition and location of school facilities required to manage the school infrastructure network.
Baseline: subset of inventory data required to conduct analysis (such as risk assessment or cost-benefit analysis) to create an intervention plan.
If there is no inventory, or if the inventory is only partial or out-of-date, take the implementation of the RSRS as an opportunity to progressively bridge those gaps. Without an up-to-date inventory, it is not possible to manage infrastructure, let alone build an investment plan. Further, the inventory should be a dynamic tool systematically updated and improved over time. A specific action plan that includes resource allocation will be required (see references). For large numbers of school facilities, the action plan can be broken down into two or more phases: the first phase deals with the collection of basic information, along with the data necessary to create the baseline.
The baseline is established by grouping existing school buildings that share similar capacity and condition characteristics. The baseline is a subset of inventory data needed to group actual buildings into index buildings to create the virtual inventory, or exposure database. It is important that the attributes of the school buildings included in the baseline be aligned with the methodologies that will be used in such areas as risk assessment, cost-benefit analysis, and budgeting.
The RSRS proposes to use quantitative methods in all aspects, from vulnerability and risk assessments, to cost benefit analysis, and recovery and reconstruction scenarios. Structural engineering models can be used to assess the vulnerability of school buildings, while a probabilistic or deterministic approach will be taken to evaluate risk. Cost-benefit analyses are based on quantitative indexes derived from vulnerability and risk assessments. The estimation of the future demand for classrooms or accessibility assessment are other examples of quantitative analysis. As such, sensitivity and scenario analyses can be conducted in order to define an intervention strategy and build an investment plan.
Education policy should be the primary driver of school infrastructure policy. The learning process takes place in a physical space that should meet specific requirements in terms of location, comfort, accessibility, occupancy, etc. Those requirements are ultimately defined by education policies. As many countries are implementing the one-shift policy, they face the challenge of enhancing the school network’s capacity in addition to responding appropriately to demographic changes. Therefore, the biggest challenge is to find a balance between the condition and capacity of school infrastructure and the dynamic demand of education policy and demographic evolution. However, at the same time, it is a unique opportunity to optimize investments in large school networks. In that respect, the estimated future demand for classroom space within the plan’s timeframe is a critical segment of the diagnosis phase.
This phase centers on three steps: Construction Environment (Step 3), Financial Environment (Step 4), and Risk and Resilience Assessment (Step 4). The objective is to first understand the context under which school infrastructure is planned, designed, built, operated and maintained. Secondly, it is to quantify the potential damage and loss (together with their spatial distribution) future natural hazard events are likely to cause.
Analysis of the construction environment reveals vulnerability factors of poorly performing infrastructure. The focus of the analysis is to track contributing risk factors from the decision-making process to implementation, and from planning to maintenance of the infrastructure. Typically, weak planning and design, gaps in regulation, corrupt construction management and even cultural practices are common contributing factors of risk. This understanding is both critical to proposals for policy reforms and interventions that are realistic, efficient, affordable and sustainable. Our experience has shown that identification of contributing factors along the continuum is a powerful insight for policy makers and managers to engage in long-term reforms.
There are financial challenges with large school infrastructure intervention. The education sector tends to drive the highest expenditure of public funds within national budgets of developing countries. Though school infrastructure does not usually rank highest among the education sector’s competing expenditure, financing agencies consider investments in school infrastructure to be an important part of their charge. The absence of master plans and proper maintenance of school infrastructure presents a mounting demand for school facility intervention whereby policy makers and financing agencies can base feasible and affordable solutions. Therefore, the financial analysis is not only looking at the origin of resources, allocation mechanisms and expenditure but also opportunities to increase the efficiency of existing investments.
For public policy purposes, measuring “risk” to inform decisions and investments is particularly important when it comes to large school infrastructure. We stress the need to use quantitative methods to assess disaster risk. Quantitative metrics provide rich information about the magnitude of the problem (potential impacts) and its spatial distribution. Through the analysis of alternative interventions, these metrics are used to quantify the benefits from different alternatives (safety and functionality) and compare costs. Moreover, these analyses are useful to prioritize and monitor the implementation of the plan. A quantitative risk assessment is an unavoidable requirement to maximize benefits and increase efficiency of the school infrastructure investments.
Planning at scale
This phase relates to three steps: Intervention strategy (Step 6), Investment Plan (Step 7) and Implementation Strategy (Step 8). These three steps should enable the task team to deliver an articulated proposal of intervention, investment and implementation of school infrastructure with the aim of maximizing benefits, increasing efficiency of investments and facilitating interventions at scale. This proposal will serve as the formal planning instrument (called Plan, Master Plan, Program, etc.) through which the institutional, legal and investment framework will be discussed and finally adopted. The closer this technical path is to the political path, the higher the Plan’s chance for success.
There are two key considerations when planning for school infrastructure intervention at scale: categorization and optimization of solutions. Fortunately, school infrastructure has usually been built with standard designs that change from time to time. Hence, it can be classified into different building types according to engineering criteria, location, use, condition, etc. It is assumed that school facilities under a given building type share similarities in terms of design, condition, performance and, consequently, intervention needs. The next order is to optimize engineering solutions for a number of index buildings representative of each building type. Through this approach, the large network of school facilities is simulated by a virtual and smaller network of representative index buildings.
The intervention strategy and investment plan are highly correlated, so there is always a need to closely coordinate throughout the formulation process. There are wide ranges of intervention options and outcomes in terms of benefits, cost, timeframe, etc. Methodologically, the investment plan design starts with the intervention cost estimate; and then, intervention scenario analysis is conducted in order to identify optimal solutions. Since this is a time-consuming process involving big database management, it is necessary to ensure consistency across intervention lines and costing algorithms. The task team should use robust data management software to reduce processing time and minimize calculation errors. In mid- and long-term infrastructure plans, the investment plan is likely to be adjusted over time given changes in policies, budget allocation, and priorities. Thus, it is important that the investment plan’s structure, costing algorithms, data and methodology be transparent and available to infrastructure managers over the implementation phase.
Prioritization, organization, capacity building and communication are four main challenges in the design of an implementation strategy. In our experience, the definition of implementation priorities is a very sensitive issue among decision makers, stakeholders, politicians and beneficiary communities. In this phase, the task team should inform and facilitate this discussion by bringing evidence-based arguments from analysis results. As an implementation plan resulting from this process will likely pose challenges to institutions and infrastructure managers, this last step aims to identify detailed implementation arrangements and capacity building needs for involved stakeholders at different government levels. Finally, the engagement and communication with beneficiary communities is a critical success factor. No matter how technically strong a Plan, it will not be possible to implement it without the ownership of school communities and local stakeholders.
Making the case for decision makers
The lack of information, data and clarity is usually the first deterrent. The diagnosis and analysis phases laid out in the Roadmap provide basic knowledge, making it easier to grasp the concepts of building vulnerability and the need for interventions at scale for safer schools. The initial action may be to conduct a preliminary diagnosis based on available information, which usually requires a reduced number of resources. As an example, rapid diagnoses performed under the World Bank Global Program for Safer Schools usually amount to a one-week field consultation with stakeholders and two weeks of desk work. This is only possible if the activity is led by the relevant government agency and the available information is provided to the designated task team. Results from technical reports are intended for non-experts and decision makers. Clear and simple language should be used when communicating to this audience.
It is essential to take a quantitative approach. Eventually, improving the condition of large school facility portfolios is a question of benefit maximization and investment optimization. Therefore, planning on a quantitative basis is an absolute prerequisite. While there are many methodologies available to evaluate the safety of schools qualitatively, we emphasize the importance of using quantitative risk assessment. A quantitative basis allows task teams to define indicators related to safety benefits, cost-efficiency, budgeting, investment scenarios, and implementation timeframe, among many other aspects.
From our experience, evidence-based knowledge derived from quantitative scientific methods is much appreciated by stakeholders and decision-makers. Most importantly, as disaster risk management is inherently linked to uncertainty, it must be tackled using quantitative methods, and accurate data communicated appropriately and effectively to decision-makers.
Opportunities can come from existing investments in the education sector, even when the Safer School perspective has not already been incorporated. Usually, the education sector as a whole makes up an important share of public budget, receiving large investments annually. Although only a small part is allocated to school infrastructure, the investment remains significant given the countries’ financial capacity. As economic losses associated with natural disasters jeopardize government efforts, the integration of risk reduction is crucial to ensuring the sustainability of those investments.
 According to DataBank data for 264 countries, education expenditure was an average of 15% of the total government expenditure in 2017. Minimum and maximum values on the database range from 0.02% in Guyana to 30% in Costa Rica.
Once the decision has been made to address disaster risk in school facilities, several preliminary activities are required to proceed with the implementation of the Roadmap.
Set specific objectives, outputs and timeframe for the implementation of the RSRS. As stated earlier, the implementation of the RSRS should help meet the specific needs of school infrastructure managers. To begin, these needs must be defined. The scope, objectives, expected output and timeframe of the RSRS’s implementation will then be determined accordingly. The expected outputs may either be the school infrastructure plan (full implementation) or intermediate results from one or more steps (partial implementation). A document summarizing this overall vision should be prepared to drive the creation of a detailed action plan and identify the human and financial resources required. In post-disaster conditions, this initial discussion focuses mainly on understanding the reconstruction managers’ expectations around the recovery and reconstruction plans.
Define a core task team, contributors and coordination mechanisms. Defining and setting up the implementation arrangements, roles and responsibilities, and coordination mechanisms will ensure that activities are completed within a specific timeframe. It will be necessary to: (i) select the core team and project coordinator who will lead implementation and oversee the entire process, and (ii) identify the technical expertise required to complement the core team, and local partners who can contribute during each of the Steps. The senior advisor and local coordinator are key team members of the core task team. International financing and development agencies’ task teams working with governments will need to have a core team in place and bring areas/topics of added value through knowledge sharing of international experiences and mobilization of international expertise.
Develop an action plan and identify resources for the implementation of the RSRS. Obtain endorsement of relevant decision makers. A detailed action plan should include: (i) the description of activities to be carried out in line with the RSRS Steps, (ii) a description of expected outputs, (iii) team member requirements, (iv) timeframe (particularly relevant in post-disaster conditions) and (v) estimated costs (if additional resources are needed to complete activities). The core team should develop this action plan and ensure all activities are implemented in an orderly manner. This action plan should be presented to relevant high-level decision makers for endorsement, and to secure buy in.
Develop an information management strategy. Given the large amount of information and data to be gathered, shared, and produced throughout this process, it is critical to discuss and agree to a platform that will be utilized for collaboration (i.e. OneDrive, Google Drive). This information should be organized, systematized and kept updated so that all relevant stakeholders can have access to the information and data they need to carry out their respective activities.
Conduct the kick-off workshop. A kick-off workshop should be conducted to present, discuss and agree on the overall objectives, action plans, timeframes, coordination mechanisms, etc. This should include the participation of all key stakeholders (core team, contributing technical experts, and local partners) involved in the implementation of the RSRS. At the end of the workshop, participants should have an understanding of the overall scope of activities, their respective role and responsibilities, and agree on the next steps to take in order to start the actual implementation.
To begin implementation, the plan must be formally adopted. The implementation of the RSRS and the formulation of the plan may leave task teams feeling overwhelmed by the volume of documents, databases, and information generated. The final step in this process is crucial, however, and it requires the team to work together to prepare the formal document (the plan) that will ultimately have to be adopted by key decision makers.
We recommend discussing, for example, the actual structure of the document, including the table of contents and key chapters, and defining how the supporting documents will be organized and presented. We also recommend a specific team be designated to write and integrate all outputs so as to deliver a cohesive document. Doing this will allow task teams to prepare the information, assign writing and reviewing roles, and identify the administrative and legal process and procedures to follow within an agreed timeline.
This task is particularly demanding in countries where governments and sectors are not accustomed to or do not use master plans. In such cases, task teams should anticipate needing additional time to prepare and adopt the plan.
Based on our experience, the formulation of the plan can start after the analysis phase of the RSRS has been completed. At this stage, task teams should have a good understanding of the main needs in terms of condition and capacity of the existing school infrastructure.
Since the plan will be formally approved, and in some cases become a legal document, the structure and content should be in line with the country’s regulatory framework for these types of documents. It can be divided into three parts: main document, annexes, and supporting documents.
The main document should present all the key information. Although a standard template is not available, we recommend the following approach to preparing it:
- Prepare an executive summary. It’s important to synthesize information for policymakers who often only have time to read this section.
- Follow a two-part structure: the first part presents the policy framework and diagnosis (summarizing results from steps 1 to 5), while the second describes the actual intervention proposals (summarizing results from steps 6 to 8). Each part can be divided into separate chapters, as needed.
- In part 1, clearly describe the policy drivers the plan has identified for school infrastructure improvement, report the diagnosis results (condition, capacity, and management), and discuss the findings. Part 2 can follow the same sequence as the RSRS: intervention strategy, investment plan, financing strategy, and implementation strategy.
- Keep the main document concise and as straightforward as possible. Include a summary box with key figures and messages at the beginning of each chapter for better readability.
Annexes are supplementary to the main document and will usually contain graphs, tables, figures, maps, and so on. The briefer the annexes, the better.
Finally, supporting documents will include the original versions of all the reports, databases, documents, and presentations produced over the course of the implementation.
Even though the implementation of the RSRS promotes the active participation of key stakeholders throughout, a final consultation may be important to secure approval of the plan. Consultation practices vary widely from one country to another. In the case of infrastructure planning at the national level, consultation emphasizes the institutional and political levels rather than the community level. Task teams should understand the context and prepare materials to communicate the plan accordingly, taking into account the target audiences. The following are among the key aspects to highlight:
- The gains for children’s learning environment are considerable.
- One must keep a long-term perspective.
- The plan is built on a robust technical foundation.
- The plan is aligned with the government’s policies.
- A clear link exists among diagnosis, strategy, and outcomes.
- The financial strategy is strong and the implementation strategy realistic.
Although the topic of safer schools enjoys wide political support globally, some stakeholders may be apprehensive that the plan’s recommended policy and investment reforms will go against their traditional approach. We encourage task teams to preempt this situation by means of evidence-based arguments and the presentation of benefits at scale.
The adoption of the plan is the materialization of political will to prioritize and modernize school infrastructure. As stated earlier, the decision to prioritize and make investments at scale in school infrastructure is both a technical and political process. Task teams should inform their management of and systematically discuss with them all findings and proposals generated during the implementation. This interaction allows the team to get feedback from decision makers while inducing them to take ownership of the plan.
The group of political stakeholders in this field goes far beyond the direct decision makers, such as the ministries of education or public works. Ministries of finance, energy, health, and social affairs, local governments, members of parliament, nongovernmental organizations dedicated to improving education, and religious institutions are also highly interested in such policy reforms and investments.
Not only must the plan be formally adopted by a legal instrument, but ancillary administrative actions generally need to be taken to make it conform to existing instruments or systems (such as public investment systems, land use instruments, and development plans). Therefore, task teams should share the details of this process with relevant agencies.
A communications campaign should be launched to announce the formal adoption of the plan and begin implementation. The communication strategy should aim to create an enabling environment for the government to engage with communities and begin to prepare for the implementation phase. The wide dissemination of this information will place an additional layer of pressure on the government to deliver results, so it is important to communicate clearly the plan’s objectives, timeline, and expected results and outcomes from the beginning and throughout implementation. Information is power, and a community that is continuously engaged and informed about the process can become an ally to move implementation forward. Citizen ownership is vital to guaranteeing the sustainability of the plan’s proposals to advance policy reforms and bring about structural change in how school infrastructure is managed. Civic participation can ensure continuity and foster an environment that promotes transparency and accountability, regardless of changes in government.
- Key considerations behind the RSRS
- Context of application
- Structure of each step
Phases of the RSRS
- Planning at scale
Getting ready for implementation
- Making the case for decision makers
- Kick-off activities
Implementing the school infrastructure plan
- Formal adaptation
- Stakeholder engagement
- Communication strategy