Indicators of progress: guidance on measuring the reduction of disaster risks and the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action

Indicators of progress: guidance on measuring the reduction of disaster risks and the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action

Improving the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction policies and activities

Focusing on measuring the reduction of disaster risks, this paper presents a guide designed to assist all states with guidance on the development of nationally relevant indicators for application in policy, programming, monitoring, evaluation and review processes. It also discusses in-depth, the priorities for action for the next decade set out in the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: ‘building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters’.

It is stressed that the evidence of recent decades shows that many societies are not well-prepared for natural hazard events, and that disasters are increasing in scope and impact as a result of the combination of increasing population density and asset stocks, inappropriate and exploitative land use, unplanned settlements, and lack of awareness on risk reduction by authorities and citizens at large. However, there is growing recognition that the risks of disasters can be substantially reduced through specific actions such as wise land use planning, safe building design, public education, early warning systems and other preparedness measures.

The guide concludes by highlighting that:

  • identifying and implementing indicators is a complex task that must involve many actors, including individual states, regional and international organisations, local governments, non-governmental organisations and community-based groups
  • the task requires the blending of technical expertise and political and social realities in order to achieve good, usable indicator sets that can remain relevant for a reasonably long term
  • the random characteristics of disasters and disaster losses suggest the need to focus programmes on the vulnerabilities to hazards, and to orient indicators to measure vulnerabilities rather than disaster losses and their changes - indicators for losses must remain a key part of the indicator set
  • another challenge is to integrate and link action on indicators across the various policy frameworks and initiatives, for example across different sectors, between risk reduction and climate change, and between country-driven needs
  • the technical demands of indicator implementation will always remain a challenge - obtaining measurements and maintaining reliable meaningful data series requires dedicated expertise and resources and can be costly. Indicators must be recognised as only indicative of the real world, and not the reality itself.
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.