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Why undertake a situation analysis for cultural
heritage first aid?
In a rapidly evolving crisis, a situation analysis can help to reduce
risks and contain, or prevent, damage to cultural heritage. If
undertaken at the beginning of a field operation to safeguard
cultural heritage, a situation analysis can help to determine the
location(s), timing, scale and scope of the operation.
Based on pre-event information about the type(s) and significance
of cultural heritage affected, a situation analysis assists in
answering critical questions, such as what to prioritise and how
to intervene. At the same time, it helps to identify the actors and
stakeholders who could assist in implementing first aid.
For a conflict-induced emergency, a situation analysis may
expand to include an assessment of the conflict, known as conflict
analysis (see page 38).
Situation analysis outcomes are used to develop a context-specific
plan for securing and stabilising affected cultural heritage, which
may be adapted as on-site damage and risk assessments
provide more data (see page 42).
A church damaged by earthquake in Bohol, Philippines, 2013.
Photo: Aparna Tandon, ICCROM.
Situation analysis 27
How situation analysis helped to contain damage
and reduce risks in an unfolding crisis:
Kyiv, Ukraine
In February 2014, public protests broke out in Kyiv, Ukraine. In
downtown Kyiv, protestors and riot police surrounded several
cultural heritage institutions and sites. Based on a situation
analysis of the unfolding scenes outside, the first floor of the
National Art Museum of Ukraine was evacuated, and valuable
artefacts were temporarily moved to a safer location before
the protests turned into violent riots. In addition to relocating
parts of the collection, the museum staff contacted security
forces, urging them to prevent vandalism. These timely actions
saved the museum collection from extensive damage, while a
neighbouring museum had part of its collection stolen during
the riots.