Community disaster resilience: A systematic review on assessment models and tools

Abbas Ostadtaghizadeh, Ali Ardalan, Douglas Paton, Hossain Jabbari, Hamid Reza Khankeh

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    Introduction: Recent years have witnessed community disaster resilience becoming one of the most heavily supported and advocated approach to disaster risk management. However, its application has been influenced by the lack of assessment tools. This study reviews studies conducted using the resilience concept and examines the tools, models, and methods adopted. It examines the domains, indicators, and indices have been considered in the tools. It provides a critical analysis of the assessment tools available for evaluating community disaster resilience (CDR).

    Methods: We investigated international electronic databases including Scopus, MEDLINE through PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL), and Google Scholar with no limitation on date, and type of articles. The search terms and strategy were as follow: (Disaster* OR Emergenc*) AND (Resilience OR Resilient OR Resiliency) that were applied for titles, abstracts and keywords. Extracted data were analyzed in terms of studied hazards, types of methodology, domains, and indicators of CDR assessment.

    Results: Of 675 publications initially identified, the final analysis was conducted on 17 full text articles. These studies presented ten models, tools, or indices for CDR assessment. These evinced a diverse set of models with regard to the domains, indicators and the kind of hazard described. Considerable inter dependency between and among domains and indicators also emerged from this analysis.

    Conclusion: The disparity between the articles using the resilience concept and those that offer some approach to measurement (675 vs. 17) indicates the conceptual and measurement complexity in CDR and the fact that the concept may be being used without regard to how CDR should be operationalized and assessed. Of those that have attempted to assess CDR, the level of conceptual diversity indicates limited agreement about how to operationalize the concept. As a way forward we summarize the models identified in the literature and suggest that, as a starting point for the systematic operationalization of CDR, that existing indicators of community disaster resilience be classified in five domains. These are social, economic, institutional, physical and natural domains. A need to use appropriate and effective methods to quantify and weigh them with regard to their relative contributions to resilience is identified, as is a need to consider how these levels interrelate to influence resilience. Although assessment of disaster resilience especially at the community level will inform disaster risk reduction strategies, attempts to systematically do so are in preliminary phases. Further empirical investigation is needed to develop a operational and measurable CDR model.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalPLoS Currents
    Issue numberDISASTERS
    Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2015


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