This study provides evidence in support of the main objective: To
undertake a rapid desk based study to identify the evidence and apparent
gaps in evidence, in the school construction design and retrofitting to
achieve disaster resilience, to inform the development of a DFID
business case. To meet the objective, a search of publically available
material was undertaken as a desk exercise.
The rapid desk study did not find significant statistical evidence to
demonstrate that safer school buildings have resulted in a reduction of
loss of life, injuries, or disruption. However, post-2015 Nepal
earthquake studies provided some evidence that safer schools save lives,
prevent injury and reduce disruption.
There is a great deal of evidence for the impacts on increased loss of
life, injuries and increase in disruption to services from not having
The evidence shows that safer school projects do bring benefits to the
community other than the ‘hard’ infrastructure, including improved
preparedness, technical skills and livelihoods. The evidence found was
generally anecdotal and there did not appear to be many monitoring
evaluation and learning studies, especially post-disaster.
There are numerous examples of national and international projects to
improve the structural and non-structural safety of schools. The
evidence found that projects generally focus on common areas, such as
the structural safety – either through retrofitting or new build, codes
and standards, or labour skills in resilient construction. A holistic
approach, with preparedness elements supporting technical interventions,
appeared successful in many cases.
The evidence did not find absolute global standards relating to safer
schools. Most standards comprise advisory initiatives to help ensure a
holistic view is taken of disaster risk reduction work in schools and
provide minimum standards in various thematic areas both technical and
non-technical. These are generally ‘high level’, programmatic aims,
which have been developed by global actors involved with school safety.
These global standards are then adopted by implementation organisations
within their safer school programmes.
This report has been produced by IMC Worldwide Ltd for Evidence on
Demand with the assistance of the UK Department for International
Development (DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment,
Infrastructure and Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied
Knowledge Services (CEIL PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which
incorporates HTSPE Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited.
Fitzmaurice, S. A rapid desk based survey: school construction and retrofitting to achieve disaster resilience. Evidence on demand, UK (2015) i + 48 pp. [DOI: 10.12774/eod_hd.november2015.fitzmaurices]