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International Recovery Platform

A Typology Framework for Trade-offs in Development and Disaster Risk Reduction

Development and disaster risk are deeply linked. Disasters reverse development gains; development initiatives influence the risk, vulnerability, and exposure of people, assets, and environments to disasters. Hence, knowledge of key dimensions of the potential trade-offs between development and disaster risk reduction (DRR) may inform decision-making processes, goals, and initiatives in ways that have potential to address unsustainable development practices that are commonplace in countries of all economic levels. This paper presents, explores, and tests a conceptual framework for analysing the trade-offs that underpin this relationship as evidenced through policy goals, initiatives, and decision-making processes. We categorise key dimensions of relevant trade-offs into five specific dimensions: (i) The aggregation of development and DRR gains and losses, (ii) risk prioritisation when seeking to reduce multiple risks, (iii) the equity of decision-making processes and outcomes, (iv) the balancing of near- and long-term goals, and (v) the distribution of power and participation. By framing key questions related to each trade-off dimension, we test the framework in the context of a major disaster recovery process in Tacloban, the Philippines, following Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in November 2013. We consider how decision-making trade-offs can be made more visible and useful in the pursuit of transformative change in development and DRR.

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