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International Recovery Platform

Innovations in Disaster Rapid Assessment

This handbook provides an overview of innovations in disaster rapid assessment. It is aimed at disaster managers, post-disaster assessment analysts and field staff collecting data. While there is a robust long-term recover and reconstruction framework in place for disaster-affected countries through formal post-disaster needs assessments (PDNAs), these assessment are often carried out only upon the request of governments and can take a number of weeks, if not months to complete. Rapid assessments can address these constraints. The problem is that rapid assessments are somewhat sectoral and often lack standardisation; many agencies and actors can be conducting such assessments at the same time, which poses additional coordination challenges for national disaster management authorities (NDMAs). Sectoral assessments carried out in isolation often lack the recovery and reconstruction considerations necessary to promote early recovery, in comparison to a well-coordinated, asset-based multisectoral assessment. This handbook addresses these concerns by providing a methodology for performing rapid disaster assessment by using new and emerging methodologies for asset-based damage and loss estimates, while integrating innovations in technology, data and information for impact-based perspectives that can increase the precision of early estimates of recovery and reconstruction needs.

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