Safer and Resilient Schools in Seismic Regions: A Systems Perspective

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Sustainability of school infrastructure and resilience of educational communities to natural hazards are of paramount importance to provide the safety and protection against various natural and man-made threats children face. The 2015 Nepal earthquake and its impact on schools confirms this approach at multiple levels, since schools are built as structures, supported as financial entities by the state, and function as social clusters within each community. In the literature there are various guidelines and frameworks for safety and resilience of schools. Notable amongst these, the UNISDR’s Comprehensive School Safety Framework consists of three pillars including safe school facilities, school disaster management and risk reduction education. A systems perspective requires a holistic approach to resilience of schools incorporating the safety of school buildings, governance and funding, provision of supporting infrastructure, school curriculum and more importantly, the resourcefulness of educational communities. The purpose of this paper is two-fold: first, to present a quantifiable, holistic framework for the resilience of schools, and secondly, to demonstrate how the framework is rooted in a systems thinking perspective. 'The novelty of the proposed framework lies in resilience assessment using a participatory, multi-disciplinary and holistic approach tailored to the salient features of a low-income country.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-149
Number of pages21
JournalCivil Engineering and Environmental Systems
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • systems thinking, systems model, socio-technical system, educational communities, resilience, disaster risk management


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