Lack of clear standards and definitions is often considered as one of the major challenges in the compilation of reliable disaster loss data, as well as evidence-based disaster risk management and reduction. Sharing of information among different actors would be greatly facilitated by developing a common terminology and adopting standard measurement indicators, as well as interoperable assessment formats with a minimum set of standard indicators.
The aim of this document is to provide guidance on recording and aggregating damage and loss data pertaining to human and economic impacts of disaster events in the context of Nepal. The report provides an assessment of existing sources of data together with their associated methodologies and presents definitional guidance that can be applied in future for creating and maintaining damage and loss database.
The report provides a brief overview of some of the global damage and loss recording frameworks such as Desinvetar, EM-DAT and Natcat Service and the indicators used in these databases. For Nepal, and particularly in BIPAD context, only DesInventar could be used as a reference to the historical dataset given its wide spatial and temporal coverage as compared to other global databases. However, the Desinventar database does suffer from the lack of completeness and consistency.
The report provides an assessment of existing data sources that are currently available for immediate use and makes a comparative analysis on various indicators used. These data sources include Desinventar (1971-2011), DRR portal (2011-present) and Nepal Police incident reports. These data sources lack spatial and temporal comprehensiveness and consistency. However, in order to have a holistic understanding of disaster’s damage and loss across Nepal all these data sources need to be properly standardized before making any analytical judgements.
The guiding principles for recording and maintaining loss and damage database are briefly discussed. There is a need for incorporating these principles while collecting the damage and loss figures after the disaster event. The report further proposes a conceptual framework for measuring the human and economic impact of disasters in line with international standards and national initiatives. It provides a definition for the proposed indicators that are language independent to be clearly understood by diverse stakeholders in disaster risk management sector irrespective of their roles and levels.
Gaps in BIPAD’s Damage and Loss module are identified against the global frameworks and recommendations are made. The unique identifier for each disaster events, associated metadata and the provision for hazard classification are some of the components that can be readily incorporated in the module.
While the format developed by Nepal Police is comprehensive and is in line with global frameworks it has not been implemented to its full extent. The format itself is not intuitive for enumerators to understand its essence and record the damage and loss figures accurately. For this reason, there is an opportunity to develop an app that mirrors the methodology and indicators of Nepal Police format. This way, data could be recorded digitally with functionality to retroactively edit the figures as information may start to emerge several days after the event.
Currently, Nepal police and a few other government organizations seem to be involved in disaster loss assessment and subsequent data collection. More actors could be encouraged for these processes while ensuring consistency through standardized apps or assessment templates. It would, however, require substantial capacity building initiatives and investment in IT infrastructure.
To conclude, this report could act as a step further towards strengthening the systematic and standardized collection of information and data on the occurrence and impacts of disasters as an essential tool for governments and institutions in charge of relief and recovery activities, as well as for disaster risk management and reduction.
Is this page useful?Yes No Report an issue on this page
Thank you. If you have 2 minutes, we would benefit from additional feedback (link opens in a new window).