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cultural knowledge shapes design thinking

What is a post-event on-site damage and risk assessment? Carrying out a situation analysis helps to identify the tangible and intangible heritage assets that require rapid on-site inspections. These are known as post-event on-site damage and risk assessments. The selection of heritage assets for such assessments is based on their respective significance, the degree of damage they have suffered and the risk of further damage. On-site damage and risk assessment involves the visual inspection and documentation of damage and losses. It is useful for the evaluation of immediate risks, which, if left untreated, could cause more harm to cultural heritage. Based on pre-event information, it records the extent of the physical damage and what can be salvaged. Additionally, it assesses losses – for example, the way in which the disaster has affected people, their income and their infrastructure. It is important to undertake integrated post-event damage and risk assessments for all types of cultural heritage, i.e. movable, immovable and intangible. Failing to do so could lead to an inefficient use of time and resources, and the incorrect estimation of recovery needs. This is essential, as it will inform the strategic plan for the implementation of the on-site actions outlined during the situation analysis. A team conducting on-site damage and risk assessment at Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum in Kathmandu, Nepal, 2015. Photo: ICCROM. 44 First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis | 1. Handbook Why undertake on-site damage and risk assessment? A first-hand inspection of the affected site(s) allows you to gather further information on the state of the site/building/object that could not be obtained or verified during the situation analysis. On-site assessment provides the opportunity to: • Assess the physical nature of the affected heritage within its environment, and identify the required security and stabilisation actions. • Note the ways the disaster has affected the broader group of stakeholders, e.g. by talking to the community, local leaders, vendors who sold souvenirs on or near the site, or operators of nearby guesthouses. • Identify immediate risks and their respective mitigation measures. • Estimate site-specific costs for security and stabilisation actions and full recovery. On-site damage and risk assessment can be used to secure the necessary funds for cultural heritage first aid and recovery. Such an assessment can inform a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA): a multi-sector assessment method, which helps affected governments to determine direct effects, long-term impacts