Step 6

Intervention Strategy

To set up objectives, priorities, and expected results within the timeframe of the Plan and define an intervention strategy accordingly.  

Normal Condition

At the end of this step, the team should be able to do the following:
a) Define objectives, priorities, and expected results within the timeframe of the plan
b) Evaluate intervention scenarios and define the intervention strategy based on maximization and optimization criteria
c) Identify main technical, legal and institutional challenges for the approval of the plan

Module Activity Output
6.1 Strategic framework for the intervention plan  6.1.1. Define objectives, priorities and expected results within the time frame of the plan  6.1.1. Define objectives, priorities and expected results within the time frame of the recovery and reconstruction plan
6.1.2. Define the legal and institutional basis for the plan  6.1.2. Define the legal and institutional basis for the recovery and reconstruction plan 
6.1.3. Define roles and coordination mechanisms for the formulation of the plan  6.1.3. Define roles and coordination mechanisms for the formulation of the reconstruction plan 
6.2 Intervention strategy  6.2.1. Identify lines of intervention and scale-up opportunities 6.2.1. Identify lines of intervention and scale-up opportunities for recovery and reconstruction
6.2.2. Define intervention scenarios and undertake cost-benefit analysis 6.2.2. Define intervention scenarios and undertake cost-benefit analysis for reconstruction
6.2.3. Define the intervention strategy  6.2.3. Define the recovery and reconstruction strategies 

 

Local partners and technical expertise

The table below presents a list of suggested local partners and technical expertise required to contribute to or lead the activities of this step.

Key agencies

  • Ministry of Education: decision makers
  • Ministry of Education: infrastructure manager and planning office 

 Contributing agencies

  • Ministry of Planning and Development (if any)
  • Ministry of Finance 

Technical Expertise

  • Senior structural engineer (usually external advisor) 
  • Senior disaster risk management specialist (usually external advisor)
  • Ministry of Education: senior engineers and education specialists 
  • GIS specialist
  • Information management specialist in charge of EMIS (if available)

 

Module 6.1. Strategic framework for the intervention plan

Through this module, task teams will discuss with decision makers the plan’s objectives and main expected results, as well as institutional roles and legal bases.

 

Activity 6.1.1. Define objectives, priorities, and expected results within the time frame of the plan

The formulation of the plan begins with the definition of three strategic drivers: objectives, priorities, and expected results. At this point, the diagnosis and analysis phases have been completed, providing a comprehensive understanding of the needs for intervention to improve the condition and capacity of school infrastructure. The task team’s role at this stage is to present the results of the previous phases and facilitate effective discussions with decision makers, leading to a proposal for the plan’s strategic drivers. Policymakers can now make decisions based on a solid technical foundation. 

Guidance:

This activity requires the capacity to synthesize information and for strategic thinking. Task teams should prepare a presentation for high-level decision makers and key stakeholders (if necessary) to validate the proposed objectives, priorities, and expected results. This is a back-and-forth process, possibly needing revision and adjustment along the way to ensure consistency with the government’s financial and implementation capacity and overall sector targets. 

School infrastructure plans should contribute to improving the condition of existing and new infrastructure, aligning capacity to the demand for classrooms in the long term, and strengthening institutional capacity to manage school infrastructure. Referring to the concepts introduced in the roadmap, improving the condition means improving safety (providing safer and resilient schools) and functionality (in terms of energy efficiency, classroom conditions, and water and sanitation facilities, among other aspects). Similarly, capacity is improved by optimizing the use of the infrastructure (the occupancy to design capacity ratio) and improving the accessibility of the school infrastructure network

This technical framework offers a structure to guarantee consistency and completeness. It also facilitates the definition of intervention lines and a results framework. The technically based proposal should be reformulated in line with the government’s policy framework. If, for example, the education policy emphasizes expanding coverage, the objective related to capacity becomes more relevant. Conducting a continuous dialogue with high-level decision makers ensures this alignment. 

Because implementing interventions in a large stock of school facilities is a medium- to long-term effort, the establishment of objectives and priorities is key to guiding the definition of realistic outcomes within the time frame of the plan. In principle, education policies should guide school infrastructure investments. The correlation between education policies and infrastructure requirements arising from these policies, however, is not always straightforward. Policy changes might lead to increased demands on school infrastructure, which may be unaffordable. Confirming priorities with high-level decision makers is key. Priorities may refer not only to lines of intervention, but also to education levels, geographic regions, or targeted population groups. 

Quantitative results from the diagnosis and analysis phases help gauge the size of the investment needs under each of the objectives and identify prioritization criteria. Prioritization criteria will be particularly important for defining the investment plan (step 7) and implementation strategy (step 8). For task teams, it’s important to identify scalable solutions that can maximize benefits for the most children, bring international experience and expertise to the effort, and promote innovation. While this may seem evident, our experience suggests school infrastructure managers and decision makers tend to use only the case by case approach. This is an opportunity to begin promoting change and to present the intervention-at-scale approach.

Evidence-based information will guide the definition of the expected results and inform discussions with high-level decision makers to bring them on board. The Plan is formulated in a political environment, and the likelihood of its formal adoption may often depend on ownership by key decision makers. Task teams should build and establish an informed and evidence-based dialogue with these decision makers and address their needs and expectations. Having these discussions early on to define the expected results will help ensure decision-maker ownership throughout the process.

 

Activity 6.1.2. Define the legal and institutional basis for the plan

The purpose of this activity is to establish the legal and institutional framework for the adoption and implementation of the plan. Task teams must work with the sector’s legal team to identify the existing legal and regulatory framework under which the plan can be formally adopted and implemented. Under step 2, the competencies among agencies and levels of government (in decentralized systems) to deal directly or indirectly with school infrastructure management was mapped. Under this activity, task teams will create the institutional map for the plan. 

Guidance:

Note that it might be necessary to propose adjustments to the existing organizational setup if gaps are identified. In fact, in countries lacking experience in school infrastructure planning, this activity may require discussions to define and establish new units, roles, and tasks to support the implementation of the plan, once approved. 

Any reforms to improve the regulatory framework should be discussed with the sector’s legal team and integrated into the plan. The results from the diagnosis and analysis phases will often reveal a need to make adjustments to the regulatory framework. This activity should be discussed carefully with the sector’s legal team to gain an understanding of the timeline, dependencies with other planned reforms, and effort required. Reforms that are critical must be prioritized to ensure both that the plan can be adopted and implementation can begin. Task teams should also identify any potential impacts or delays in the timeline and the implementation of remaining RSRS activities.

Defining the legal and institutional basis for the plan can be sensitive and should be discussed and endorsed by high-level decision makers. The aim of the plan is to improve the planning and management of school infrastructure investments and interventions at scale. This may require changes to the institutional and regulatory framework and the way in which entities in charge operate, which may cause tensions among involved stakeholders. This may be the case, for example, in countries where school construction is used as a political tool to influence elections. Task teams should anticipate issues that may arise and address this as part of step 8, in particular the communications strategy.

In post-disaster conditions, as mentioned earlier, the government operates within an exceptional legal framework and through ad hoc implementation units for reconstruction work. The reconstruction process can be a multiyear effort. For task teams, it is essential to understand the legal and institutional reconstruction framework being used by the government or sector and align the reconstruction plan for school facilities accordingly. This alignment may require adjusting some responsibilities under the sector that are temporarily transferred when a centralized reconstruction agency is created.

 

Activity 6.1.3. Define roles and coordination mechanisms for the implementation of the plan

This activity defines the specific roles and coordination mechanisms for involved government agencies at national and subnational levels, school communities, and other relevant stakeholders. A range of government agencies will have a role in the implementation of the plan, including central government agencies (ministries of education, finance, and public works), local governments, public utility providers, regulatory bodies, and technical agencies. In addition, it will be important to clarify the role of nongovernmental and civil society organizations. 

Guidance:

Building on the plan’s institutional map, task teams should propose adjustments to roles and responsibilities (as needed) and clearly define the coordination mechanisms among the agencies involved to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure articulation of investments. The institutional map should also provide guidance and define the areas where nongovernmental organizations and communities can participate. As mentioned earlier, while the RSRS provides recommendations for communicating and engaging with school communities, their direct involvement in the actual design and construction activities is discouraged. Nevertheless, school communities, as the ultimate beneficiaries, are key players in this process, and their ownership is important.

Establishing coordination mechanisms between institutions and the different levels of government will ensure articulated implementation of the plan. Difficulties usually arise from a lack of coordination between central and local governments. Since many decisions are made at the local level during the implementation phase, a mechanism should exist for them to be communicated, discussed, and endorsed at the central level. Coordination mechanisms can be intra-institutional (within an institution) or multi-institutional (among different agencies and governments) and have various modalities, like committees and working groups, with defined protocols and reporting. The aim is to facilitate the timely exchange and flow of information, as well as decision making involving the key stakeholders.

This analysis can be a major success factor for the reconstruction process. As mentioned, one of the biggest challenges for government in the aftermath of a disaster is to restore education services and the capacity of the affected school network as soon as possible. This can only be done if the government leads a joint and coordinated effort, with the engagement of communities, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, IFIs, and development partners, as needed. The roadmap provides a tool to integrate key aspects of school infrastructure in one articulated reconstruction plan, which can also serve as the foundation for future planning. This approach proposed by the RSRS provides a mechanism through which communities and civil society can have a clearly defined role in this process, as well as make information available to them.

 

Module 6.2. Intervention strategy

Activities in this module will enable task teams to propose an intervention strategy to achieve the plan’s objectives and results.

 

Activity 6.2.1. Identify lines of intervention and scale-up opportunities 

This activity identifies the lines of intervention to improve the condition and capacity of school facilities in line with the plan’s objectives and expected results. As introduced in step 4, lines of intervention are physical interventions in school buildings, which can include structural retrofitting, replacement, rehabilitation, repair, and maintenance. School facilities may also need to be relocated and their capacity enlarged or reduced. The construction of new facilities is another option typically included in the plan. The need for specific lines of intervention is based on the results of the diagnosis and analysis phases.

Guidance:

The definition of the lines of intervention should have several characteristics. These include being organized through a hierarchical structure (described below), having the flexibility to be aggregated and disaggregated according to this structure, and being directly linked and contributing to the plan’s objectives and expected results. A proposed hierarchy for the plan proceeds from program to components to lines of intervention to activities. A program comprises several components, each of which comprises several lines of intervention, each of which in turn comprises several activities. Table 2 provides an example. 

Table 2. Example of a structure for an intervention strategy  

Program Components Lines of intervention  Activities
Seismic risk reduction in school infrastructure 1. Retrofitting of school buildings 1.1 Incremental retrofitting

1.1.1 Field inspection

1.1.2 Feasibility study and design

1.1.3 Retrofitting work 

    1.2 Full retrofitting   ...
   2. Replacement of school buildings   ... ...

 

The intervention strategy is organized through the logical structure above which also drives the investment plan and the implementation strategy. The plan’s intervention lines and activities will be carried out specifically to each school facility. 

Opportunities to scale up lines of intervention are provided by those with affordable engineering solutions that can be used most often and in the most school buildings in the portfolio. For those types of interventions required in hundreds or thousands of school buildings, any savings from either optimizing engineering solutions or reducing implementation costs can make implementation at scale affordable. In general, structural retrofitting, energy efficiency improvement, and school building replacement cost the most and take the most effort to implement. As identifying scalable solutions is essential and should be a priority, task teams, along with local senior experts, should conduct a thorough analysis of the proposed engineering solutions.

In affected facilities, the levels of damage and prevalent vulnerabilities will define the lines of intervention. The term “lines of intervention” is also applicable to the reconstruction process, where the damage assessment will inform the technical decision either to repair or replace the school buildings affected by a hazard event. For unaffected school buildings within the disaster area, the vulnerability and risk assessments will help define the lines of intervention, as described under normal conditions. Changes to the capacity of the school infrastructure can be undertaken as part of the reconstruction strategy, but this is contingent upon the availability and analysis of information related to the demand for classrooms (see step 2). 

 

Activity 6.2.2. Define intervention scenarios and perform cost-benefit analysis 

This activity focuses on defining intervention scenarios to maximize benefit, affordability, and scalability. In large school portfolios, relevant interventions usually include structural retrofitting, functional improvements, such as enhancement of energy efficiency, and the replacement of school buildings or the construction of new ones. Intervention scenarios consist of different combinations of intervention options (defined in previous activities) that offer different ratios of benefit to cost. By means of algorithms using the baseline database, a preliminary cost and expected benefits can be estimated for each intervention scenario. The cost-benefit analysis among different scenarios provides a basis for selecting the most worthwhile. 

Guidance:

One must distinguish between the case by case and at-scale approaches advocated by the RSRS. From this analysis, task teams will identify the important decisions regarding the plan’s intervention strategy and its potential results and outcomes and determine the overall sensitivity of the strategy to changes. This process necessitates the analysis of several scenarios and then an iterative tuning-up process. 

Governments are always faced with the challenge of addressing a high demand for school interventions nationwide with limited budgets. Table 3 illustrates the core of the problem surrounding interventions at scale: what combination of safety and functional interventions is optimal for maximizing benefits (that is, for providing the most improved learning environment) for the most children, given a specific limit on budget allocation?

The table presents a combination of levels of target improvements, ranging from basic to advanced, for different lines of intervention. At the extremes of the continuum are two scenarios: the least benefit (that is, the lowest gain in performance from the intervention) for the most children or the most benefit (the highest gain in performance) for the fewest children. In our experience, the most cost-efficient intervention strategies lie somewhere in the middle. 

Table 3. Performance Level Combination Decision  

Table 3. Performance Level Combination Decision

Two levels of optimization are equally relevant: improving engineering solutions for a higher benefit-to-cost ratio within a given line of intervention (step 5) and the combination of different lines of intervention with a different performance target (described in this activity). 

 

Activity 6.2.3. Define the intervention strategy

Building on the results from previous activities, task teams are to define the intervention strategy in line with the plan’s objectives, results, and expected outcomes. The intervention strategy consists of a structured scheme of programs and lines of intervention, classified and grouped by school facilities in the plan. The classification is performed by means of a decision-making logic tree that considers eligibility criteria, dependency relationships (among lines of intervention), and cost-efficiency indicators. The process to define the intervention strategy will allow task teams to identify the specific interventions for each school facility based on its characteristics and needs for improvement. 

The logic tree allows task teams to map each school facility to one or more of the plan’s programs. The elaboration of the intervention strategy proceeds from the results of the scenario analysis, allowing task teams to justify the basis and advantages of each intervention option as compared with others.

Guidance:

The logic tree should be coded and integrated into the baseline database. Each school facility goes through the logic tree and is classified into one or more programs. The intervention strategy also needs to be flexible enough to be subdivided into information related to building types, spatial distribution (urban versus rural), education levels, or geographical areas (municipalities, regions, and so on). The results of this analysis will provide task teams with a preliminary overview of the plan’s structure and scope. 

Task teams should note several iterations are required along the process, as well as discussions with relevant team members to review results and adjust the logic tree as needed. Given that large amounts of data will be analyzed under this activity, task teams should make sure the IT platform and statistical software used can support the amount of data, and ensure they can be transferred to the sector or government entity in charge. 

Learning from Experience: The Case of Peru

When this analysis was undertaken for Peru, the baseline included an estimated 45,000 school facilities comprising 280,000 school buildings.

For the logic tree analysis, more than a dozen attributes for each school building and facility had to be included.

One key lesson learned from this project was the importance of using statistical software (in this case, Stata) to undertake this analysis. The original exercise did not use the proper software, which resulted in many challenges to running the analysis to address inconsistencies.

The process of transferring the data to Stata was time consuming, but doing so allowed all the inconsistencies to be addressed and facilitated the transfer of information and results to the government entity in charge.

 

The intervention strategy, investment plan, and implementation strategy are strongly correlated and must be finetuned and adjusted along this process. The development of the intervention strategy is followed by a cost estimate, analysis of financial options, and establishment of implementation requirements. In cases where the forecast investment exceeds the budget or overemphasizes a single program, adjustments must be made to the intervention strategy, which will generate a new round of estimates, analyses, and requirements. This process will play out over multiple attempts to balance the intervention strategy (step 6), investment plan (step 7), and implementation strategy (step 8) until they are clearly articulated.

The intervention strategy is the cornerstone of the plan and must be endorsed by key decision makers. Task teams should present the intervention strategy to key decision makers, such as ministries of education, finance, and public works. During the ensuing discussions, it will be important to highlight the rationale and technical soundness behind the strategy and the benefits of using the interventions-at-scale approach. The planning process on which the roadmap hinges aims to provide the maximum benefit to the most children. The intervention strategy outlines how. This is the strongest argument to “sell” the intervention strategy to appropriate authorities.

The definition of the intervention strategy for reconstruction follows a similar approach. The main driver of the intervention strategy in this case, however, is to accelerate the recovery capacity of school facilities while ensuring resilient reconstruction and is the principal point of distinction from the intervention strategy under normal conditions. In the aftermath of disasters, decision makers are willing to trade cost efficiency for a faster recovery pace when choosing among different intervention options. 

The intervention strategy should define when a damaged school building is either going to be repaired or replaced. In addition to the level of damage, other elements should be factored in when assessing the level of damage and deciding whether a building is beyond repair—for example, the number of school buildings in a similar condition, the location of the schools, and accessibility conditions, among others. 

 

Output

The completion of activities under each module will result in one or more output(s). For post-disaster conditions, the arrows in the chart below highlight the additional information that should be included in the output. 

Module Output(s)
6.1. Strategic framework for the intervention plan
  • Document for the plan: three sections (one by activity) to be incorporated in the main body of the text

Document for the recovery and reconstruction plan: three sections (one by activity) to be incorporated in the main body of the text

  • Annexes including details about activities 6.1.2 and 6.1.3
6.2. Intervention strategy
  • Document for the plan: intervention strategy 

Document for the recovery and reconstruction plan: intervention strategy 

  • Annexes: results of scenario analysis 

Post-disaster Condition

At the end of this step, the team should be able to do the following:
a) Define objectives, priorities, and expected results within the timeframe of the recovery and  reconstruction plan
b) Define short-term interventions to be included in the recovery plan
c) Evaluate intervention scenarios and define the medium- and long-term intervention strategy for reconstruction based on maximization and optimization criteria
d) Identify main technical, legal and institutional challenges for the approval of the plan

Module Activity Output
6.1 Strategic framework for the intervention plan  6.1.1. Define objectives, priorities and expected results within the time frame of the plan  6.1.1. Define objectives, priorities and expected results within the time frame of the recovery and reconstruction plan
6.1.2. Define the legal and institutional basis for the plan  6.1.2. Define the legal and institutional basis for the recovery and reconstruction plan 
6.1.3. Define roles and coordination mechanisms for the formulation of the plan  6.1.3. Define roles and coordination mechanisms for the formulation of the reconstruction plan 
6.2 Intervention strategy  6.2.1. Identify lines of intervention and scale-up opportunities 6.2.1. Identify lines of intervention and scale-up opportunities for recovery and reconstruction
6.2.2. Define intervention scenarios and undertake cost-benefit analysis 6.2.2. Define intervention scenarios and undertake cost-benefit analysis for reconstruction
6.2.3. Define the intervention strategy  6.2.3. Define the recovery and reconstruction strategies 

Local partners and technical expertise

The table below presents a list of suggested local partners and technical expertise required to contribute to or lead the activities of this step.

Key agencies

  • Ministry of Education: decision makers
  • Ministry of Education: infrastructure manager and planning office 

 Contributing agencies

  • Ministry of Planning and Development (if any)
  • Ministry of Finance 

Technical Expertise

  • Senior structural engineer (usually external advisor) 
  • Senior disaster risk management specialist (usually external advisor)
  • Ministry of Education: senior engineers and education specialists 
  • GIS specialist
  • Information management specialist in charge of EMIS (if available)

 

Module 6.1. Strategic framework for the intervention plan

Through this module, task teams will discuss with decision makers the plan’s objectives and main expected results, as well as institutional roles and legal bases.

 

Activity 6.1.1. Define objectives, priorities, and expected results within the time frame of the plan

The formulation of the plan begins with the definition of three strategic drivers: objectives, priorities, and expected results. At this point, the diagnosis and analysis phases have been completed, providing a comprehensive understanding of the needs for intervention to improve the condition and capacity of school infrastructure. The task team’s role at this stage is to present the results of the previous phases and facilitate effective discussions with decision makers, leading to a proposal for the plan’s strategic drivers. Policymakers can now make decisions based on a solid technical foundation. 

Guidance:

This activity requires the capacity to synthesize information and for strategic thinking. Task teams should prepare a presentation for high-level decision makers and key stakeholders (if necessary) to validate the proposed objectives, priorities, and expected results. This is a back-and-forth process, possibly needing revision and adjustment along the way to ensure consistency with the government’s financial and implementation capacity and overall sector targets. 

School infrastructure plans should contribute to improving the condition of existing and new infrastructure, aligning capacity to the demand for classrooms in the long term, and strengthening institutional capacity to manage school infrastructure. Referring to the concepts introduced in the roadmap, improving the condition means improving safety (providing safer and resilient schools) and functionality (in terms of energy efficiency, classroom conditions, and water and sanitation facilities, among other aspects). Similarly, capacity is improved by optimizing the use of the infrastructure (the occupancy to design capacity ratio) and improving the accessibility of the school infrastructure network

This technical framework offers a structure to guarantee consistency and completeness. It also facilitates the definition of intervention lines and a results framework. The technically based proposal should be reformulated in line with the government’s policy framework. If, for example, the education policy emphasizes expanding coverage, the objective related to capacity becomes more relevant. Conducting a continuous dialogue with high-level decision makers ensures this alignment. 

Because implementing interventions in a large stock of school facilities is a medium- to long-term effort, the establishment of objectives and priorities is key to guiding the definition of realistic outcomes within the time frame of the plan. In principle, education policies should guide school infrastructure investments. The correlation between education policies and infrastructure requirements arising from these policies, however, is not always straightforward. Policy changes might lead to increased demands on school infrastructure, which may be unaffordable. Confirming priorities with high-level decision makers is key. Priorities may refer not only to lines of intervention, but also to education levels, geographic regions, or targeted population groups. 

Quantitative results from the diagnosis and analysis phases help gauge the size of the investment needs under each of the objectives and identify prioritization criteria. Prioritization criteria will be particularly important for defining the investment plan (step 7) and implementation strategy (step 8). For task teams, it’s important to identify scalable solutions that can maximize benefits for the most children, bring international experience and expertise to the effort, and promote innovation. While this may seem evident, our experience suggests school infrastructure managers and decision makers tend to use only the case by case approach. This is an opportunity to begin promoting change and to present the intervention-at-scale approach.

Evidence-based information will guide the definition of the expected results and inform discussions with high-level decision makers to bring them on board. The Plan is formulated in a political environment, and the likelihood of its formal adoption may often depend on ownership by key decision makers. Task teams should build and establish an informed and evidence-based dialogue with these decision makers and address their needs and expectations. Having these discussions early on to define the expected results will help ensure decision-maker ownership throughout the process.

 

Activity 6.1.2. Define the legal and institutional basis for the plan

The purpose of this activity is to establish the legal and institutional framework for the adoption and implementation of the plan. Task teams must work with the sector’s legal team to identify the existing legal and regulatory framework under which the plan can be formally adopted and implemented. Under step 2, the competencies among agencies and levels of government (in decentralized systems) to deal directly or indirectly with school infrastructure management was mapped. Under this activity, task teams will create the institutional map for the plan. 

Guidance:

Note that it might be necessary to propose adjustments to the existing organizational setup if gaps are identified. In fact, in countries lacking experience in school infrastructure planning, this activity may require discussions to define and establish new units, roles, and tasks to support the implementation of the plan, once approved. 

Any reforms to improve the regulatory framework should be discussed with the sector’s legal team and integrated into the plan. The results from the diagnosis and analysis phases will often reveal a need to make adjustments to the regulatory framework. This activity should be discussed carefully with the sector’s legal team to gain an understanding of the timeline, dependencies with other planned reforms, and effort required. Reforms that are critical must be prioritized to ensure both that the plan can be adopted and implementation can begin. Task teams should also identify any potential impacts or delays in the timeline and the implementation of remaining RSRS activities.

Defining the legal and institutional basis for the plan can be sensitive and should be discussed and endorsed by high-level decision makers. The aim of the plan is to improve the planning and management of school infrastructure investments and interventions at scale. This may require changes to the institutional and regulatory framework and the way in which entities in charge operate, which may cause tensions among involved stakeholders. This may be the case, for example, in countries where school construction is used as a political tool to influence elections. Task teams should anticipate issues that may arise and address this as part of step 8, in particular the communications strategy.

In post-disaster conditions, as mentioned earlier, the government operates within an exceptional legal framework and through ad hoc implementation units for reconstruction work. The reconstruction process can be a multiyear effort. For task teams, it is essential to understand the legal and institutional reconstruction framework being used by the government or sector and align the reconstruction plan for school facilities accordingly. This alignment may require adjusting some responsibilities under the sector that are temporarily transferred when a centralized reconstruction agency is created.

 

Activity 6.1.3. Define roles and coordination mechanisms for the implementation of the plan

This activity defines the specific roles and coordination mechanisms for involved government agencies at national and subnational levels, school communities, and other relevant stakeholders. A range of government agencies will have a role in the implementation of the plan, including central government agencies (ministries of education, finance, and public works), local governments, public utility providers, regulatory bodies, and technical agencies. In addition, it will be important to clarify the role of nongovernmental and civil society organizations. 

Guidance:

Building on the plan’s institutional map, task teams should propose adjustments to roles and responsibilities (as needed) and clearly define the coordination mechanisms among the agencies involved to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure articulation of investments. The institutional map should also provide guidance and define the areas where nongovernmental organizations and communities can participate. As mentioned earlier, while the RSRS provides recommendations for communicating and engaging with school communities, their direct involvement in the actual design and construction activities is discouraged. Nevertheless, school communities, as the ultimate beneficiaries, are key players in this process, and their ownership is important.

Establishing coordination mechanisms between institutions and the different levels of government will ensure articulated implementation of the plan. Difficulties usually arise from a lack of coordination between central and local governments. Since many decisions are made at the local level during the implementation phase, a mechanism should exist for them to be communicated, discussed, and endorsed at the central level. Coordination mechanisms can be intra-institutional (within an institution) or multi-institutional (among different agencies and governments) and have various modalities, like committees and working groups, with defined protocols and reporting. The aim is to facilitate the timely exchange and flow of information, as well as decision making involving the key stakeholders.

This analysis can be a major success factor for the reconstruction process. As mentioned, one of the biggest challenges for government in the aftermath of a disaster is to restore education services and the capacity of the affected school network as soon as possible. This can only be done if the government leads a joint and coordinated effort, with the engagement of communities, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, IFIs, and development partners, as needed. The roadmap provides a tool to integrate key aspects of school infrastructure in one articulated reconstruction plan, which can also serve as the foundation for future planning. This approach proposed by the RSRS provides a mechanism through which communities and civil society can have a clearly defined role in this process, as well as make information available to them.

 

Module 6.2. Intervention strategy

Activities in this module will enable task teams to propose an intervention strategy to achieve the plan’s objectives and results.

 

Activity 6.2.1. Identify lines of intervention and scale-up opportunities 

This activity identifies the lines of intervention to improve the condition and capacity of school facilities in line with the plan’s objectives and expected results. As introduced in step 4, lines of intervention are physical interventions in school buildings, which can include structural retrofitting, replacement, rehabilitation, repair, and maintenance. School facilities may also need to be relocated and their capacity enlarged or reduced. The construction of new facilities is another option typically included in the plan. The need for specific lines of intervention is based on the results of the diagnosis and analysis phases.

Guidance:

The definition of the lines of intervention should have several characteristics. These include being organized through a hierarchical structure (described below), having the flexibility to be aggregated and disaggregated according to this structure, and being directly linked and contributing to the plan’s objectives and expected results. A proposed hierarchy for the plan proceeds from program to components to lines of intervention to activities. A program comprises several components, each of which comprises several lines of intervention, each of which in turn comprises several activities. Table 2 provides an example. 

Table 2. Example of a structure for an intervention strategy  

Program Components Lines of intervention  Activities
Seismic risk reduction in school infrastructure 1. Retrofitting of school buildings 1.1 Incremental retrofitting

1.1.1 Field inspection

1.1.2 Feasibility study and design

1.1.3 Retrofitting work 

    1.2 Full retrofitting   ...
   2. Replacement of school buildings   ... ...

 

The intervention strategy is organized through the logical structure above which also drives the investment plan and the implementation strategy. The plan’s intervention lines and activities will be carried out specifically to each school facility. 

Opportunities to scale up lines of intervention are provided by those with affordable engineering solutions that can be used most often and in the most school buildings in the portfolio. For those types of interventions required in hundreds or thousands of school buildings, any savings from either optimizing engineering solutions or reducing implementation costs can make implementation at scale affordable. In general, structural retrofitting, energy efficiency improvement, and school building replacement cost the most and take the most effort to implement. As identifying scalable solutions is essential and should be a priority, task teams, along with local senior experts, should conduct a thorough analysis of the proposed engineering solutions.

In affected facilities, the levels of damage and prevalent vulnerabilities will define the lines of intervention. The term “lines of intervention” is also applicable to the reconstruction process, where the damage assessment will inform the technical decision either to repair or replace the school buildings affected by a hazard event. For unaffected school buildings within the disaster area, the vulnerability and risk assessments will help define the lines of intervention, as described under normal conditions. Changes to the capacity of the school infrastructure can be undertaken as part of the reconstruction strategy, but this is contingent upon the availability and analysis of information related to the demand for classrooms (see step 2). 

 

Activity 6.2.2. Define intervention scenarios and perform cost-benefit analysis 

This activity focuses on defining intervention scenarios to maximize benefit, affordability, and scalability. In large school portfolios, relevant interventions usually include structural retrofitting, functional improvements, such as enhancement of energy efficiency, and the replacement of school buildings or the construction of new ones. Intervention scenarios consist of different combinations of intervention options (defined in previous activities) that offer different ratios of benefit to cost. By means of algorithms using the baseline database, a preliminary cost and expected benefits can be estimated for each intervention scenario. The cost-benefit analysis among different scenarios provides a basis for selecting the most worthwhile. 

Guidance:

One must distinguish between the case by case and at-scale approaches advocated by the RSRS. From this analysis, task teams will identify the important decisions regarding the plan’s intervention strategy and its potential results and outcomes and determine the overall sensitivity of the strategy to changes. This process necessitates the analysis of several scenarios and then an iterative tuning-up process. 

Governments are always faced with the challenge of addressing a high demand for school interventions nationwide with limited budgets. Table 3 illustrates the core of the problem surrounding interventions at scale: what combination of safety and functional interventions is optimal for maximizing benefits (that is, for providing the most improved learning environment) for the most children, given a specific limit on budget allocation?

The table presents a combination of levels of target improvements, ranging from basic to advanced, for different lines of intervention. At the extremes of the continuum are two scenarios: the least benefit (that is, the lowest gain in performance from the intervention) for the most children or the most benefit (the highest gain in performance) for the fewest children. In our experience, the most cost-efficient intervention strategies lie somewhere in the middle. 

Table 3. Performance Level Combination Decision  

Table 3. Performance Level Combination Decision

Two levels of optimization are equally relevant: improving engineering solutions for a higher benefit-to-cost ratio within a given line of intervention (step 5) and the combination of different lines of intervention with a different performance target (described in this activity). 

 

Activity 6.2.3. Define the intervention strategy

Building on the results from previous activities, task teams are to define the intervention strategy in line with the plan’s objectives, results, and expected outcomes. The intervention strategy consists of a structured scheme of programs and lines of intervention, classified and grouped by school facilities in the plan. The classification is performed by means of a decision-making logic tree that considers eligibility criteria, dependency relationships (among lines of intervention), and cost-efficiency indicators. The process to define the intervention strategy will allow task teams to identify the specific interventions for each school facility based on its characteristics and needs for improvement. 

The logic tree allows task teams to map each school facility to one or more of the plan’s programs. The elaboration of the intervention strategy proceeds from the results of the scenario analysis, allowing task teams to justify the basis and advantages of each intervention option as compared with others.

Guidance:

The logic tree should be coded and integrated into the baseline database. Each school facility goes through the logic tree and is classified into one or more programs. The intervention strategy also needs to be flexible enough to be subdivided into information related to building types, spatial distribution (urban versus rural), education levels, or geographical areas (municipalities, regions, and so on). The results of this analysis will provide task teams with a preliminary overview of the plan’s structure and scope. 

Task teams should note several iterations are required along the process, as well as discussions with relevant team members to review results and adjust the logic tree as needed. Given that large amounts of data will be analyzed under this activity, task teams should make sure the IT platform and statistical software used can support the amount of data, and ensure they can be transferred to the sector or government entity in charge. 

Learning from Experience: The Case of Peru

When this analysis was undertaken for Peru, the baseline included an estimated 45,000 school facilities comprising 280,000 school buildings.

For the logic tree analysis, more than a dozen attributes for each school building and facility had to be included.

One key lesson learned from this project was the importance of using statistical software (in this case, Stata) to undertake this analysis. The original exercise did not use the proper software, which resulted in many challenges to running the analysis to address inconsistencies.

The process of transferring the data to Stata was time consuming, but doing so allowed all the inconsistencies to be addressed and facilitated the transfer of information and results to the government entity in charge.

 

The intervention strategy, investment plan, and implementation strategy are strongly correlated and must be finetuned and adjusted along this process. The development of the intervention strategy is followed by a cost estimate, analysis of financial options, and establishment of implementation requirements. In cases where the forecast investment exceeds the budget or overemphasizes a single program, adjustments must be made to the intervention strategy, which will generate a new round of estimates, analyses, and requirements. This process will play out over multiple attempts to balance the intervention strategy (step 6), investment plan (step 7), and implementation strategy (step 8) until they are clearly articulated.

The intervention strategy is the cornerstone of the plan and must be endorsed by key decision makers. Task teams should present the intervention strategy to key decision makers, such as ministries of education, finance, and public works. During the ensuing discussions, it will be important to highlight the rationale and technical soundness behind the strategy and the benefits of using the interventions-at-scale approach. The planning process on which the roadmap hinges aims to provide the maximum benefit to the most children. The intervention strategy outlines how. This is the strongest argument to “sell” the intervention strategy to appropriate authorities.

The definition of the intervention strategy for reconstruction follows a similar approach. The main driver of the intervention strategy in this case, however, is to accelerate the recovery capacity of school facilities while ensuring resilient reconstruction and is the principal point of distinction from the intervention strategy under normal conditions. In the aftermath of disasters, decision makers are willing to trade cost efficiency for a faster recovery pace when choosing among different intervention options. 

The intervention strategy should define when a damaged school building is either going to be repaired or replaced. In addition to the level of damage, other elements should be factored in when assessing the level of damage and deciding whether a building is beyond repair—for example, the number of school buildings in a similar condition, the location of the schools, and accessibility conditions, among others. 

 

Output

The completion of activities under each module will result in one or more output(s). For post-disaster conditions, the arrows in the chart below highlight the additional information that should be included in the output. 

Module Output(s)
6.1. Strategic framework for the intervention plan
  • Document for the plan: three sections (one by activity) to be incorporated in the main body of the text

Document for the recovery and reconstruction plan: three sections (one by activity) to be incorporated in the main body of the text

  • Annexes including details about activities 6.1.2 and 6.1.3
6.2. Intervention strategy
  • Document for the plan: intervention strategy 

Document for the recovery and reconstruction plan: intervention strategy 

  • Annexes: results of scenario analysis