Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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HFA progress reports highlight that governments have not only committed to the policy objective of disaster risk reduction, they have also made considerable efforts to achieve that objective.
Since 2007, 146 governments have participated in at least one cycle of the HFA review using the online HFA Monitor. In 2011-2013, 136 countries submitted reports, and governments have reported growing levels of HFA implementation (Figure II.1) over time. The 2013-2015 assessment cycle is ongoing as part of the preparations for the successor framework to the HFA, and country reports will contribute to a complete picture of progress over the course of the HFA.
However, from the HFA Monitor alone it is difficult to gauge how much of the progress reported has really led to measurable outputs and outcomes in terms of reduced disaster risks. In other words, while there is no doubt that the HFA has been a resounding success in terms of catalysing activity, it is far less clear how effective all that activity has really been.
The HFA Monitor is constructed around 22 core indicators spread across five priorities for action. These core indicators are broad and generic, aggregating the far more specific guidance on key activities provided in the HFA itself and referring to multiple areas of public policy and actions by different stakeholders.
As such, it is often unclear from progress reports which (and whose) actions have made a real contribution to the progress reported under each core indicator. For many of the key activities, it is also unclear whether any progress has been made at all. As a result, where disaster risks have
been reduced it is often difficult to identify which policies, strategies or instrumental systems are responsible.
At the same time, the core indicators measure inputs into disaster risk reduction rather than outputs and outcomes. For example, the HFA Monitor provides information on the adoption of new national policies (input) but has no way of measuring the level of implementation (output) or whether it has led to a real reduction in risk (outcome). Therefore, while the momentum of the disaster risk management sector under the HFA is undeniable, its effectiveness is unclear. Increased inputs do not necessarily indicate achievement of the desired outcome.
Furthermore, while the HFA Monitor captures activities in the disaster risk management sector, it does not necessarily include actions under agendas such as the environment, poverty reduction, energy or climate change that may have contributed to disaster risk reduction or actions from other stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society.
The archive of accumulated national HFA progress reports now represents the most comprehensive body of information available on how countries have implemented the HFA. However, seen from a broader perspective, this information is largely self-referential. The HFA Monitor documents real achievements in developing the policies, legislation, information systems and institutional frameworks recommended by the HFA, but not the achievement of the policy goal of reducing disaster risk.
Where success in implementing parts of the HFA is conflated with success in reducing disaster risk, there is a real possibility of delusion in the disaster risk management sector. The rapid growth of the sector and its apparent success in implementing the HFA may have generated a selfreinforcing hyper-reality (Baudrillard, 1994

Baudrillard, Jean. 1994,Simulacra & Simulation, The Precession of Simulacra. University of Michigan Press.. .
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