UNESCO CHAIR - Research Activities


Schools are very important infrastructure in a community, not only because most of the children (comparatively vulnerable during disasters) spend their day time in schools but also due to the fact that these are used as the evacuation sites and shelters after the disasters.

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Research Activities

UCL EPICentre has been involved in several research projects related to the disaster risks on school infrastructure in different regions. 
These projects are being funded by the World Bank, EPSRC, British Council Newton Fund and other institutions.
The overall aim of these projects lies at the core objective of reducing the disaster risks to school infrastructure thereby increasing their resilience.

UNESCO Workshop on the Resilience of Educational Infrastructure

On 22 October 2022, public school principals, disaster risk reduction practitioners, and infrastructures managers joined a whole-day workshop jointly conducted and facilitated by faculty members, formators, and students from University College London (UCL) and Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan (XU). 

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The resilience of integrated school and road systems using combined Agent-based & Bayesian network

Exposure of school infrastructure to multi-hazards poses a significant risk to vulnerable populations of students and their education process.  This project under the UNESCO Chair involves the development of a multi-hazard multi-criteria framework to model the resilience of school infrastructure systems. The project proposes to develop a probabilistic framework, combining the Agent-based (AB) and Bayesian network (BN) approaches for system disruption and resilience analysis.  

An integrated Agent-based and Bayesian network model (AB-BN) is being developed and employed to track the time-varying functionality of the integrated school-road networks, under damaging earthquakes and floods.

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Structural and Functional Resilience of Schools in Nepal (SFRES-Nepal)

This project develops a holistic assessment approach for schools to assess the multihazard structural safety and functional adequacy. Functional needs and adequacy is equally important to structural safety as these affect everyday teaching and learning activities. This research project contributes towards the 4th of the Sustainable Development Goals, to provide access to quality education for all.

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Global Library of School Infrastructure (GLoSI)

The Global Program for Safer Schools (GPSS) launched in 2014 by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) of the World Bank aims to boost and facilitate informed, large-scale investments for the safety and resilience of new and existing school infrastructure at risk from natural hazards, contributing to high-quality learning environments. The focus is primarily on public school infrastructure in developing countries.

At the global level, the GPSS Program has developed the Global Library of School Infrastructure (GLOSI), a repository of data and information about the structural performance/vulnerability of school buildings and alternatives to reduce associated seismic risk.

GLOSI repository is the outcome of technical ideas, analytical frameworks and continued research work developed by Prof Dina D'Ayala and Dr Rohit Kumar Adhikari at UCL in collarobation with a research team led by Prof Luis Yamin at Uniandes, Bogota, Colombia.

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Safer Communities through Safer Schools (SCOSSO)

The main aim of SCOSSO is to develop an innovative, advanced, multi-hazard risk assessment framework for school infrastructure in the Philippines. In order to achieve this, the following objectives are proposed:

Assess the impact of earthquakes, typhoons and flood on school buildings through new analytical and empirical vulnerability models, Investigate the enhancement of the multi-hazard resilience of schools through retrofitting of school buildings and disaster risk reduction education,

The project is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) small grants scheme.

Disseminate a culture of safe schools and safe communities through demonstration of school retrofitting, training of local engineers, community/regional workshops, and educational campaigns, Develop practical tools for multi-hazards impact assessment and demonstrate their capabilities by applying them to the case study of Cagayan de Oro.

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Philippines Resilience of Schools to Multi-Hazard (PRISMH)

The project, led by Prof Dina D’Ayala, supported by Prof Carmine Galasso, Dr Arash Nassirpour, Prof Joanna Faure Walker, and academic teams at De La Salle University and Xavier University, aims to develop an advanced resilience assessment framework for school infrastructure subjected to multiple natural hazards in the Philippines. The project investigates the effectiveness of buildings retrofit measures and social preparedness measures as means of preventing casualties, reducing economic losses and maintaining functionality of the school infrastructure and its role within the community in the event of natural disasters. In particular the project addresses risks from seismic, strong wind and flood hazards. The resilience assessment protocol will be used by civil protection and school authorities to improve their preparedness and implementation.

The PRISMH project is funded by the British Council (Newton Fund Grant Agreement Institutional Links) and Philippines’s Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for 24 months starting from 1st April 2017.

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Indonesia School Programme to Increase Resilience (INSPIRE)

The “INSPIRE: Indonesia School Programme to Increase Resilience” project, led by Dr Carmine Galasso at UCL aims to develop an advanced, harmonized and science-based risk assessment framework for school infrastructure in Indonesia subjected to cascading earthquake-tsunami hazards. The project will also investigate hard (e.g., building retrofitting) and soft (disaster risk reduction education) mitigation measures to reduce casualties, economic loss and disruption to school infrastructure, thus increasing community resilience.

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China Resilience of Schools to Seismic Hazard (CROSSH)

The “CROSSH: China Resilience of Schools to Seismic Hazard” project, led by PI: Dr Carmine Galasso along with Prof Dina D’Ayala, is carried out through a case study in Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County (Sichuan) with the aim of improving the understanding of seismic risk, and overcoming the barriers to increase resilience of schools to earthquakes in Sichuan province. This project investigates the physical vulnerability of school buildings, the effectiveness of different building retrofitting measures and social preparedness in terms of perceptions, perspectives and hazard adjustments of Chinese students regarding earthquakes.

The CROSSH project is funded by the Sharing and Learning on Community Based Disaster Management in Asia Programme (CBDM Asia) Phase II.

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Vulnerability assessment of masonry school buildings to seismic & flood hazards via Bayesian network

The project explores individual and combined flood-seismic risk assessment of confined masonry school systems. The study adopts applied-element method for physical capacity assessment at building level and Bayesian Networks approach for impact assessment at system level.

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Resilience of schools to extreme coastal flooding

ReSCOOL (Resilience Of Schools To Extreme Coastal FlOOding Loads) is a multi-disciplinary, collaborative project with the aim of assessing the multi-hazard vulnerability of schools.

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SMARTnet Research Project

Comparison and Refinement of Hand Calculations with Computer‐aided Simulation Models towards a Reliable Method for Seismic Design of Rubble Stone Masonry Buildings with Cement Mortar.

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Seismic Risk Mitigation Plan for School Buildings in El Salvador

The main aim was to design a short, medium and long intervention strategy to reduce the vulnerability of the educational infrastructure at the National level in El Salvador.

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Integration of Disaster Risk Management in Public Educational Infrastructure of Dominican Republic

Integration of Disaster Risk Management in The Management of The Public Educational Infrastructure of the Dominican Republic (DR)

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