Rapid Diagnostic of School Infrastructure
Findings about schools' vulnerability to natural hazards, climate change, and infrastructure deficiencies will inform plans to make schools safer and more resilient.
A series of earthquakes and hurricanes since 2008 have caused significant damage to Haiti’s school infrastructure and completely destroyed numerous schools. This project for the World Bank developed a better picture of the risk factors and challenges across the country. Our team’s findings and recommendations will help the Government of Haiti to prioritize measures for improving school facilities and the safety of students.
Using a methodology developed by the World Bank’s Global Program for Safer Schools, we conducted a Rapid Diagnostic of Haiti’s school infrastructure using desk research of existing data and documents, interviews, and selected site visits. Our aim was to develop an informed understanding of the school infrastructure’s vulnerability to natural hazards and impacts of climate change, functional deficiencies, and contributing risk factors.
We found that some schools are currently situated in tsunami inundation or flood hazard areas. Large areas of the country remain at high risk from earthquakes and tropical cyclones, as the maps below show. Recurring natural disasters and climate change hazards threaten student safety, thwart educational gains, and take schools out of service at a time when the country is striving to increase equitable access to education.
Historical tropical cyclone tracks for Haiti, 1851-2019. Only storm tracks intersecting the pink zone (Haiti) are included. Source: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Historical Hurricane Tracks data portal
In addition, most schools lack potable water, have inadequate sanitation facilities, insufficient open space, and lack adequate access and security. Hazard-resistant school designs are available, but the number of new, safer schools being built is only a fraction of what is needed.
Scaling up repair and construction of new public schools is a government priority to meet Haiti's education access and equity goals. With this rapid diagnostic, we proposed a set of practical recommended actions that could begin to address identified risks and challenges to school infrastructure, which the government is now in the process of reviewing.
The Rapid Diagnostic was co-financed by the Africa Caribbean (ACP) – European Union (EU) Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program, an initiative of the ACP Group of States, funded by the EU and managed by the World Bank-led Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).