Why do we need GLOSI?
Safer school projects have taught us that there are three main challenges to global dissemination of knowledge surrounding school building performance: communication to decision makers, the lack of a common language, and facilitation of quantitative risk assessment.
Global knowledge about school infrastructure performance needs to reach decision makers
The engineering community has achieved immense progress in the past few decades towards understanding building performance against natural hazards and devising scalable risk-reduction solutions. However, this knowledge has not reached decision makers nor has it been used to drive school infrastructure investments. Without this knowledge, the opportunity to maximize benefits from intervention and optimize investments in school safety can be lost.
Many people know that a damaging earthquake hit Mexico in 1985, but perhaps only a few are aware that the country put in place a seismic retrofitting program after this disaster to improve the performance of many school buildings. In the recent 2017 earthquakes there, the retrofitted buildings proved to be much safer than those that had not. Developing countries in different parts of the world have school buildings with a similar performance to the Mexican buildings but are not aware that solutions exist. How we can make vulnerability data on school infrastructure available globally?
The first objective is to create a universal “language”
School buildings tend to follow standard designs, yet buildings with similar vulnerability are still difficult to identify in different countries, or even within a country. This is largely due to the lack of a systematic classification system and consistent vulnerability assessment framework.
The GLOSI offers a solution by making a taxonomy and vulnerability assessment framework for school buildings globally applicable, and oriented to produce quantitative risk information that will inform large investments in school safety and resilience.
The GLOSI is a tool to mainstream quantitative risk assessment in investment planning
By using a systematic taxonomy, the GLOSI includes a catalog of typical school building types found in different parts of the world with the respective vulnerability data needed to conduct quantitative risk assessments. Countries can map their school facility portfolios with the catalog and use the GLOSI data to perform quantitative risk assessments or vulnerability analyses to identify cost-efficient retrofitting solutions. The availability of this information will ensure that results are scalable across countries and safer school engagements in each country begin with a solid existing technical foundation.
The GLOSI is a living global one-stop-shop which will evolve over time and where partners all over the world can access and contribute to the most up-to-date data about school infrastructure vulnerability. This is a goal without precedent to answer the call to reduce school infrastructure risk at scale in developing countries.
Technical foundation for the Roadmap for Safer and Resilient Schools
The Roadmap for Safer and Resilient Schools (RSRS) is a step-by-step guide for governments of developing countries that are exposed to natural hazards. It provides support for designing intervention strategies and investment plans to make schools safer and more resilient, as well as encompassing the recovery and reconstruction of school facilities affected by disasters. As the essential technical foundation for the RSRS, the GLOSI gives stakeholders the tools they need to identify vulnerable school buildings, categorize them into groups, and devise efficient, scalable risk reduction solutions.
The figure above enumerates the eight steps of the RSRS, which follow a sequence from diagnosis to analysis to planning at scale, and shows how the GLOSI supports implementation of some of the key technical steps:
- Step 1: School Infrastructure Baseline
The GLOSI taxonomy allows the stock of school buildings to be sorted into groups with similar characteristics and performance under hazard events, which are then organized in a catalog of building types from different countries. This process enables a scalable approach to address representative statistical conditions rather than individual buildings.
- Step 5: Risk and Resilience Assessment
The catalog provides a model for assessing buildings, along with fragility and vulnerability information for the representative building models identified in different countries. This gives users access to global knowledge and international experience to help them design their own strategies for improving school infrastructure resilience.
- Step 6: Intervention Strategy
The GLOSI helps guide the development of strategies to reduce the vulnerability of school facilities that are scalable, affordable, and sustainable. By working with representative building models, countries can identify and optimize retrofitting solutions they can apply to many buildings with similar performance, not only to make them safer and more resilient to disasters, but also to improve the quality of the learning environment, sanitary conditions, energy efficiency and inclusiveness.
- Step 7: Investment Plan
The GLOSI offers guidance on cost-benefit analysis, based on technical and objective indicators, to support decision makers in implementing efficient large-scale investments in school infrastructure resilience.
How to use GLOSI?
GLOSI is an open access library. The in-country data section is limited to country data sharing policies. The most common queries in the GLOSI are the following:
• Collecting data on school buildings. The GLOSI provides tools to collect data on the structural, architectural and functional conditions of school facilities, which will help develop the school infrastructure baseline to be used in quantitative risk assessments.
• Classification of school buildings. In the taxonomy section, the user can learn how to use the GLOSI taxonomy to classify school buildings and assign a taxonomy string. There are available guidelines explaining how to evaluate each of the taxonomy parameters, as well as application examples.
• Understanding school building vulnerability. Countries can map their own school buildings with the representative GLOSI index buildings, and obtain information on the index buildings’ fragility and vulnerability. This allows school infrastructure managers to gain a first understanding of the school buildings’ vulnerability, and to assess the need for further structural assessment.
• Facilitating quantitative risk assessment. Use of the GLOSI index buildings’ fragility and vulnerability data can facilitate national/sub-national quantitative risk assessments which provide a quantitative estimation of expected economic losses, fatalities, and service disruption in school infrastructure under different hazard scenarios. The GLOSI provides guidance and input to support and facilitate the process.
• Guiding development of scalable and cost-efficient vulnerability reduction solutions to maximize safety for children. The GLOSI offers technical notes and examples of applications of engineering solutions to reduce school infrastructure vulnerability at scale. It includes economic analyses conducted under several World Bank-financed projects which evaluate the impact of risk reduction interventions on school safety and resilience.
• Learning and sharing knowledge from global experience to make schools safer and resilient at scale. Systematically capturing and giving access to global experiences of safer school programs in developing countries is perhaps the GLOSI’s biggest contribution. Through country case studies, the GLOSI presents the approaches used, the results obtained and lessons learned.
How to Contribute?
The GLOSI is an evolving library of which information and data will be enriched and updated over time to integrate the contributions of partners from various regions of the world. As the GLOSI administrator, the World Bank will facilitate and guide contributions through the Global Program for Safer Schools. We would particularly encourage input on the following topics:
- School building survey data from different regions/countries
- Data on typical school infrastructure building types and respective vulnerability from different regions/countries
- Examples of retrofitting solutions on school infrastructure used in different parts of the world, and lessons learned
- Efficient data collection methodologies and tools
- Examples of disaster risk reduction programs for school infrastructure implemented all over the world, results and lessons learned