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Monitoring and Evaluating Disaster Risk Reduction

Given the growing risks of natural hazards and the need to adapt to climate change, there is a pressing need for national and local governments to understand what constitutes effective investment in disaster risk reduction. Limited attention has been given to M&E methods specifically for disaster risk reduction (DRR). This is, for example, reflected in the lack of training courses, tools and guidelines in relation to M&E DRR. As a result, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) has been one of the weakest areas of DRR programme management to date, partly due to the methodological challenges that it presents. Measuring the impact of DRR programmes is a major challenge, because of what has been called its ‘reverse logic’: i.e., the success of an intervention is that something – the disaster or a particular form or level of loss in the event of a disaster – does not happen. Unfortunately, there is a lack of M&E tools and approaches for DRR. It is clear that much more research is needed in this area.

However, interest in M&E for DRR is rapidly increasing. Growing awareness and support for investment in disaster prevention and preparedness has generated demand for tools to appraise disaster risk reduction projects, identify the most cost effective investments, and measure their impact. For example, cost-benefit analysis is increasingly being used in DRR, both to design programmes and to demonstrate impact. Cost–benefit analysis is generally held to make a convincing case for risk reduction, but it is very difficult to carry out – particularly in pricing the environmental, social, political and psychological costs and benefits.

Recommended reading...

Updating the Indicators of Disaster Risk and Risk Management for the Americas
O., D. Cardona (ed); M., L. Carreño (ed) / Journal of Integrated Disaster Risk Management 2011
In order to improve disaster risk understanding and disaster risk management performance in Latin America and the Caribbean a transparent, representative and robust system of indicators was developed by the Institute of Environmental ...
A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Practical Action’s Livelihood-Centred Disaster Risk Reduction Project in Nepal
D. Willenbocke (ed) / Practical Action [Intermediate Technology Development Group] 2011
This study provides a systematic cost-benefit analysis of a community-based disaster risk management project led by Practical Action in two districts of Nepal over the period 2007 to 2010. The objectives of the project are: ...
Learning to ADAPT: monitoring and evaluation approaches in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction – challenges, gaps and ways forward
P., S Villanueva / Eldis Community 2011
This working paper is a methodological contribution to the emerging debate on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in the context of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Effectively managing disaster risk is critical ...