May 4, 2009
Leading experts from global and regional organisations gathered in Costa Rica in May to evaluate progress in the development of DARA’s new Risk Factor Index.
The meeting conducted one of the first systematic examinations of the underlying risk factors in natural disasters, such as hurricanes, volcanoes and earthquakes, and how these are managed.
DARA’s aim is to develop an index that will measure the effectiveness of policies, strategies and activities for reducing the impact of natural disasters on vulnerable local communities. With a unique focus on what works, the index will also aim to capture issues related to climate change that are often ignored. In terms of geographical scope, the Risk Reduction Index will initially focus on the countries of Central America and the Caribbean, one of the most geologically unstable regions of the world and one of the worst affected by hurricanes.
Hyogo Framework for Action
The index methodology will be based on the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction published by the UN’s International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and on the five priorities of the Hyogo Framework for Action, (HFA) the first international agreement on disaster reduction. As such the eventual aim is to develop a methodology applicable to other regions of the world. The two-day workshop in Costa Rica (28-29 May) was financed by the UN Development Programme in Latin America. The index for 11 countries in Central America and the Caribbean is financed by the Spanish International Agency for Development Cooperation (AECID).
The meeting was attended by disaster risk reduction experts from a range of international and regional organisations including:
- UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)
- UNDP Costa Rica
- UNDP México
- Organisation of American States (OAS)
- Programa Regional de Reducción de la Vulnerabilidad y DegradaciónAmbiental (PREVDA)
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
- Global Network for Disaster Risk Reduction
DARA’s team of experts will now pilot the methodology in the eleven selected countries and work to expand the experience to other countries in Africa and Asia, where partners are being identified.