Data gaps and resilience metrics

Authored by: Cassidy Johnson , Emmanuel Osuteye

The Routledge Handbook of Urban Resilience

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138583597
eBook ISBN: 9780429506666
Adobe ISBN:


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Most local governments in urban areas in low-income countries lack basic information about the risks that women, men and children face. The information gap is especially true for smaller scale disasters and everyday risks, and particularly, but not exclusively, to those faced by dwellers living in informal settlements. The aim of this chapter is to review some of the recent initiatives to address the data gap on understanding risks in the city and to identify how risk information moves into policy making and practice. Based on experiences across two major research projects, conducted in collaboration with partners in multiple countries, this chapter examines three different kinds of methods for understanding risks: impact and loss studies, urban resilience frameworks, and community-generated methods. The findings indicate that loss and impact studies are useful for measuring risks, but still suffer from a lack of longitudinal continuity or limited geographical coverage. Urban resilience frameworks and community-generated methods are important for getting action as they often are part of an action-planning process. This chapter concludes that recent initiatives have gone a long way to addressing deficiencies in the methodologies yet there still needs to be a radical scaling-up of data collection on the spectrum of urban risks, as well systematic data such as census to build resilience both in informal settlements and across cities.

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