An Assessment-Based Toolkit for Management of Urban Disasters

  • Iftekhar AhmedEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Disaster Risk Reduction book series (DRR)


This paper is derived from a toolkit that was developed for World Vision (WV) to support disaster management in urban areas. There are very few agencies specialised in managing urban disasters in developing countries, but there is growing acknowledgement of the need to address the severe impacts of disasters in cities there; agencies such as WV that include disaster management within other development activities are becoming sensitised to this need and thus commissioned the development of this toolkit. Disaster management in the past has dealt mainly with the emergency stages of a disaster, but now there is agreement about anticipatory pre-disaster activities. A “disaster risk management” (DRM) approach is now more widely recognised, but it places less emphasis on post-disaster response and recovery, which was thus taken into consideration in the toolkit. The toolkit was developed for WV national offices to allow them to assess strengths and shortfalls in existing urban disaster management programs and thereby establishing action plan agendas across the different stages of disaster management relating to the operations and programmatic needs of urban projects relevant to developing countries. The toolkit follows an exploratory method consisting of an assessment-based approach structured along the operational dimensions (OD) of World Vision’s DM cycle—Early Warning, Preparedness, Disaster Mitigation, Response, Recovery and Transition. Each OD consists of five dimensions—physical, social, economic, institutional and natural. Each of these dimensions consists of four parameters, used in assessment matrices. The matrices allow assessing availability and/or extent, quality and satisfaction of inputs in each parameter, and an overall rating for each dimension and the links between the different ODs are also considered. Strengths and shortcomings of the program inputs in each OD can be identified with a corresponding plan of action. Disaster risk reduction and resilience underpin the toolkit.


Urban disasters Assessment toolkit Disaster management cycle World Vision 



This paper is derived from a project commissioned by World Vision International (see Ahmed and Charlesworth 2014).


  1. ACT (2001) Emergency management training manual. ACT (Action by Churches Together), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  2. ALNAP (2012) Meeting the urban challenge: adapting humanitarian efforts to an urban world. ALNAP (Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action) and ODI (Overseas Development Institute), LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahmed I (2013) Project conclusion report: building resilience of urban slum settlements. Habitat for Humanity Australia, ParramattaGoogle Scholar
  4. ADPC (2017) Resilient cities and urban risk management: disaster risk management for urban communities. ADPC (Asian Disaster Preparedness Center), Bangkok. Retrieved on 13 Oct 2017 from
  5. Ahmed I, Charlesworth E (2014) Urban disaster management toolkit: an assessment-based approach to world vision’s disaster management dimensions. World Vision International, Monrovia. Retrieved on 10 Oct 2017 from
  6. Banks N et al (2011) Neglecting the urban poor in Bangladesh: research, policy and action in the context of climate change (working paper). Brookes World Poverty Institute, ManchesterCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dodman D et al (2012) Understanding the nature and scale of urban risk in low- and middle-income countries and its implications for humanitarian preparedness, planning and response. DFID (Department for International Development), LondonGoogle Scholar
  8. EM-DAT (2014) The international disaster database. CRED (Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters), Louvain. Retrieved on 12 Oct 2017 from
  9. GoI-UNDP (2005) Information and communication technology in disaster risk management. GoI (Government of India), New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  10. Global Food Security Cluster (2015) Lessons learned in the urban response initiative: Nepal earthquake emergency April 2015. Retrieved on 13 Oct from
  11. IFRC (2010) World disasters report 2010: focus on urban risk. IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  12. IFRC (2014) About disaster management: IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), Geneva. Retrieved on 12 Oct 2017 from
  13. Lloyd-Jones T (2006) Mind the gap! Post-disaster reconstruction and the transition from humanitarian relief. Max Lock Centre, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. MacLeod H (2014) Disaster management 2020—brief overview. In: World vision international (2014b) Humanitarian & emergency affairs: Annual report 2013. World Vision International, Monrovia, USAGoogle Scholar
  15. Shaw R (2014) Urban disaster risk reduction framework: assessing urban resilience in world vision project sites in Bangladesh, Indonesia and China. World Vision International, SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  16. Stockton N (2015) Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do (in Wired). Retrieved on 13 Oct 2017
  17. SKAT, IFRC (2012) Sustainable reconstruction in urban areas: a handbook. SKAT (Swiss Resource Centre and Consultancies for Development) and IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  18. Thompson Reuters Foundation (2013) Women in disasters. Retrieved on 9 Sep 2014
  19. Turnbull M et al (2013) Toward resilience: a guide to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Practical Action Publishing, RugbyCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. UNISDR (2005) Hyogo framework for action 2005–2015: building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. UNISDR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  21. UNISDR (2009) Terminology on DRR. UNISDR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction), Geneva. Retrieved on 11 Oct 2017 from
  22. UNESCAP (2012) Asia Pacific disaster report: reducing vulnerability and exposure to disasters. UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific), BangkokGoogle Scholar
  23. UN-Habitat (2013) State of the world’s cities 2011–2013: prosperity of cities. UN-Habitat, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  24. UNOPS (2013) Earthquakes don’t kill people, collapsed buildings do. UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services), Copenhagen. Retrieved on 10 Oct 2017 from
  25. United Nations (2014) World urbanization prospects: the 2014 revision. United Nations, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. UNISDR (2015) Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction 2015–2030. UNISDR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  27. UNISDR (2017) Making cities resilient: my city is getting ready. Retrieved on 13 Oct 2017 from
  28. World Vision International (2010) Strategic intent 2010–2015. World Vision International, MonroviaGoogle Scholar
  29. World Poverty (2014) World poverty: a look at causes and solutions. Retrieved on 12 Oct 2017 from
  30. World Vision International (2014a) Disaster management 2020 (DM2020) (unpublished internally circulated strategy document). World Vision International, Monrovia, USAGoogle Scholar
  31. World Vision International (2014b) Humanitarian & emergency affairs: annual report 2013. World Vision International, MonroviaGoogle Scholar
  32. World Vision (2016) Urban programmes. Retrieved on 13 Oct 2017 from

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

Personalised recommendations