Resilience of educational communities in developing countries: A multidisciplinary approach

Rishi R Parajuli*, Maria Elizabeth Xanthou, Jitendra Agarwal, Anastasios Sextos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

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The resilience of the educational communities and the school infrastructure is of paramount importance to protect children from the various natural and man-made threats and to recover from the post-disaster trauma. However, after a natural disaster, it is typical for most efforts to focus on shelter, recovery and rapid reconstruction without due consideration of a wider framework for building back better school buildings and at the same time creating infrastructure, institutions and communities that are resilient to different shocks and stresses. Our current research which is conducted as part of a multi-disciplinary project SAFER (, using Nepal as a case study area, is addressing the above need. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to present the development of a tool for resilience assessment of educational communities. Central to this is the identification and organization of resilience indicators under four dimensions covering physical infrastructure, governance, curriculum and community structure. These are informed by recent developments and guidelines but more importantly, by findings from our continuing engagement with the major stakeholders amongst educational communities. Different mechanisms including surveys, semi-structured interviews and workshops were used to elicit stakeholders’ knowledge and to inform the design of a set of questions for the evaluation of resilience. These questions range from physical infrastructure to environment, hazard awareness to preparedness, and social state to governance. All the questions with objective responses from each stakeholder are quantified and evaluated with reference to importance of the questions under respective resilience indicators. This ultimately leads to a resilience index together with a graphical view of the multidimension resilience indicators for the educational community. A mobile application with the above sets of questions and assessment methodology has been in parallel implemented to facilitate data collection during the survey within the educational community, as well as offering
recommendations for resilience enhancement. The methodology and the tool can also be used for the self-assessment of resilience by the schools in developing countries and informing school improvement plans which are aligned to the Sendai Framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, 17WCEE
Place of PublicationJapan
PublisherJapan Association for Earthquake Engineering
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2020


  • school safety
  • disaster preparedness
  • education
  • community resilience


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