Dear Mr. Zupka,
Manythanks for your interesting and extremely important question! In fact, I canread it two ways: as a rather straightforward question providing therefore a straightforwardanswer, and as a very complex question that needs more deliberation. Let meaddress both.
Absolutelyagree with you that Integrated Disaster Risk Management has to be based on acomprehensive Disaster Risk Assessment. What is the best approach to integratedrisk management? The easy answer is that we are constantly learning, there is aconstantly changing disaster risk context, and therefore, each approachexplores certain important aspect of disaster risk (reflecting the level of ourlearning) and is equally relevant. New methodological developments would alsobe relevant if they go hand in hand with new technological and contextualdevelopments. The general answer has already been provided by Ross Ashby: onlyvariability absorbs variability.
The biggestchallenge, I’ve witnessed, is when policy-makers in developing countriesstruggle with incomplete (in time and space) disaster risk assessmentsoffered by various development partners, creating thereby fragmentation andconfusion at the community and national levels, rendering effectivedecision-making basically impossible. This is not an issue of methodological differences;this is a political and governance issue.
2. Answer to a verycomplex question
Your question has two components: IRM approachand DRA methodology.
Integrated Disaster Risk Management – everysingle word has been conceptualized and interpreted in many different ways bydifferent partners as each of them is in search of the answer to ‘what isintegrated’, ‘what is disaster’, ‘what is risk’, and ‘what is management of allthat’.
And here again I agree with you, that there areso many different approaches. So many that I’m not even absolutely sure whichone you referred to when listing some of the organizations in your question. But letme try to answer.
According to the IDRiM‘SDC,for instance, outlines three main phases: pre-assessment, appraisal, andmanagement. The ADB’sintegrated disaster management refers to three components: ‘integrate DRR intodevelopment, address the intersection between DRM and climate changeadaptation, and ensure that there are adequate financing arrangements in placeto reduce risk and to manage and transfer residual risk’. It has to bementioned that integrating DRR into development is high on the agendas ofalmost every organization (UN agencies, WB,etc.) and search for ‘adequate financing arrangements’ is becoming morearticulated too (WB, for instance). From the perspective of nationalgovernments, integrated disaster risk management can refer to awhole-of-government approach to identify, assess, and respond to disaster risks.This requires moving away from institutional confines of a single ministry (Ministryof Emergency Situation, for instance) and establishing functioning multi-agencyframeworks (National Platforms and suchlike) for preparedness, response, andrecovery.
Inyour question you referred to EU/EC, OECD, UK approaches…. If I understood youcorrectly, you are referring to the national risk assessments (NRA) and developmentof the national risk profiles. This is relatively new development, which coversnot only safety (natural and technological disasters) but also security (terrorism,conflicts, etc.) issues. In other words, it moves away from purely 'disaster risk' to a broader 'risk' perspective. In this sense, the integrated (disaster) riskmanagement has broader thematic focus. Indeed, different national states areusing different risk assessment methodologies however the impact criteria they use are largelycompatible (territorial security, physical security, economic security,ecological security, and social and political stability). They all approach NRAfrom a perspective of ‘what to avoid’ and define the scenarios to identify andassess risks. The ultimate goal is to strengthen national resilience throughnational risk assessment, which leads to defining the core capabilities (as forinstance, in The National Preparedness Goal in USA) orto defining the principles and requirements towards business continuity management (as incase of UK). Despitethese similarities there are significant differences in the language/conceptsthey use (crisis, disaster, or emergency), and of course, there are differentmethodologies to risk assessment they employ to meet their national interests. Importantto mention that WB has also embarked on this (in Morocco, for instance)addressing also opportunity management for national development. Each riskassessment methodology is designed based on the best knowledge and the needs ofeach state and as long as) evolvesalong with the concept itself.
Whatis my recommendation? I personally very much in favor of the national risk assessmentprocesses that are taking place within the EU and OECD member states. The NRAprocesse is not dragged in the ‘contest of precision’ while rating the risk butare focused on which capacities to build to be able to address the risk shouldit materializes.
Letme reiterate my point I mentioned in the introduction blog: while addressingsocietal risks we should be able to address three main questions: What toavoid? What to develop? What to preserve? This would be the most relevantapproach in my view. The risk assessment methodologies will follow.
Thankyou for your though-provoking question!