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Informing preparedness planning: Applications of community-based vulnerability and capacity data in the Philippines

Di Domenico, Stefanie Eleanor LU (2018) VBRM15 20181
Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Abstract
Disasters are not natural, but rather a combination of a natural hazard and its impact on vulnerable people and resources. Therefore, when engaging in disaster risk reduction and coming to an understanding of disaster risk, existing conditions within society should be understood. As one component of disaster risk reduction, preparedness and respective planning efforts require an understanding of disaster risk based on both the vulnerabilities and capacities of community members. However, the strength of vulnerability and capacity data is within its source. Assessments to capture this data, such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCAs), have been widely implemented across the world, with... (More)
Disasters are not natural, but rather a combination of a natural hazard and its impact on vulnerable people and resources. Therefore, when engaging in disaster risk reduction and coming to an understanding of disaster risk, existing conditions within society should be understood. As one component of disaster risk reduction, preparedness and respective planning efforts require an understanding of disaster risk based on both the vulnerabilities and capacities of community members. However, the strength of vulnerability and capacity data is within its source. Assessments to capture this data, such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCAs), have been widely implemented across the world, with community members leading the process. Through focusing on VCAs conducted within “barangays”, the smallest community level in the Philippines, this research demonstrates how vulnerability and capacity data can be used by local government officials to inform preparedness planning. In presenting the importance of this data, success stories from barangays in the Philippines, as well as the challenges that have been encountered, this research presents ways forward to enhance the use of this data to ultimately strengthen preparedness as a component of disaster risk reduction. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Disasters are not natural, but occur once vulnerable people and the resources they value are impacted by a natural hazard. Given so, present vulnerabilities need to be understood by disaster risk management practitioners working toward disaster risk reduction.

Preparedness is one component of disaster risk reduction, but before governments and community members can prepare, they need to know what they are preparing for. Therefore, when engaging in preparedness planning, vulnerabilities and also the capacities of the community should be understood. Given that community members have the lived experiences and best knowledge of their own context, the vulnerability and capacity data that is informing preparedness planning should be... (More)
Disasters are not natural, but occur once vulnerable people and the resources they value are impacted by a natural hazard. Given so, present vulnerabilities need to be understood by disaster risk management practitioners working toward disaster risk reduction.

Preparedness is one component of disaster risk reduction, but before governments and community members can prepare, they need to know what they are preparing for. Therefore, when engaging in preparedness planning, vulnerabilities and also the capacities of the community should be understood. Given that community members have the lived experiences and best knowledge of their own context, the vulnerability and capacity data that is informing preparedness planning should be community-based.

To present how vulnerability and capacity data can be used to inform preparedness planning at the community level, a case study of the Philippines drew on experiences with Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments within “barangays”, the smallest community level in the country. These experiences were captured through 30 semi-structured interviews with practitioners from the global, regional, national and local levels.

The results illustrate both vulnerability and capacity impact the ability of communities to prepare. Vulnerability and capacity data should be used to inform preparedness planning. The use of this data is necessary as the data provides context, is a basis for preparedness planning, and given the importance of community-based data. Vulnerability and capacity data is used to inform preparedness planning, while also contributing to many other outcomes supporting local government officials in preparedness efforts. Following which, visible differences have been witnessed in the focus and structure of preparedness plans, the presence of trainings and evacuations, timeliness of response efforts, and a greater awareness and understanding among community members. However, there are challenges to using this data, including trust in the data by local government officials, the timely availability of the data, and maintaining up-to-date data. The assessment process can also present challenges, such as simplifying how the data has been analyzed within reporting. Moving forward, the data should be used as a basis for preparedness planning, be accessible to community members, shared and used for collaboration beyond the local level, with the potential to also be applied to mitigation, response and recovery efforts. These results are also supported by findings within the disaster risk management literature.

Thus, several recommendations are provided, including: reflecting the analysis of the data within report writing; undertaking efforts to ensure local government officials trust the data; ensuring the sustainability of the data usage; as well as data sharing and scaling up the application of the data beyond the community level. Ultimately, through using community-based vulnerability and capacity data to inform preparedness planning, sustainable preparedness measures can be achieved, with potential wider contributions to disaster risk reduction. (Less)
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author
Di Domenico, Stefanie Eleanor LU
supervisor
organization
course
VBRM15 20181
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Disaster risk reduction, preparedness, preparedness planning, community-based disaster preparedness, vulnerability, capacity, Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCAs), the Philippines
language
English
id
8948172
date added to LUP
2018-06-12 11:45:20
date last changed
2018-06-12 11:45:20
@misc{8948172,
  abstract     = {Disasters are not natural, but rather a combination of a natural hazard and its impact on vulnerable people and resources. Therefore, when engaging in disaster risk reduction and coming to an understanding of disaster risk, existing conditions within society should be understood. As one component of disaster risk reduction, preparedness and respective planning efforts require an understanding of disaster risk based on both the vulnerabilities and capacities of community members. However, the strength of vulnerability and capacity data is within its source. Assessments to capture this data, such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCAs), have been widely implemented across the world, with community members leading the process. Through focusing on VCAs conducted within “barangays”, the smallest community level in the Philippines, this research demonstrates how vulnerability and capacity data can be used by local government officials to inform preparedness planning. In presenting the importance of this data, success stories from barangays in the Philippines, as well as the challenges that have been encountered, this research presents ways forward to enhance the use of this data to ultimately strengthen preparedness as a component of disaster risk reduction.},
  author       = {Di Domenico, Stefanie Eleanor},
  keyword      = {Disaster risk reduction,preparedness,preparedness planning,community-based disaster preparedness,vulnerability,capacity,Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCAs),the Philippines},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Informing preparedness planning: Applications of community-based vulnerability and capacity data in the Philippines},
  year         = {2018},
}