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International Recovery Platform

Build Back Better (BBB) has been commonly accepted as a global recovery philosophy, but it still often remains as a political slogan not yet rigorously standardized among nations or disasters. According to the definition of BBB, "reducing existing risk" or "increasing resilience of nations or communities" is necessary in the recovery process. Based on such a definition, practitioners should consider the costs for reducing the disaster vulnerability or risk that inherently existed before disasters as recovery needs even if such risk was not directly manifested as damage and loss fortunately. On the other hand, the Post-disaster Needs Assessments Guidelines (hereinafter referred to as "PDNA guidelines") were published as recovery needs assessment instruments, but they are presenting basic principles and procedural steps to estimate the recovery needs primarily based on what was damaged and lost with disasters i.e. visible physical damages in particular. Regarding the reflection of BBB, PDNA is basically estimating the recovery needs with considering costs of "quality improvement" for recovering the damages. However, PDNA is not explicitly taking into account the other factors that were not directly associated with the damages but have actually incurred the damages, although there is a conceptual description for calculation. These factors should be vulnerability or risks that had already existed in the nations or communities before the disaster. Consequently, the concluded recovery needs under current PDNA tend to focus on the visible damages by not putting priorities on the other invisible aspects like social, economic or institutional vulnerability. In the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), "Understanding disaster risk" is adopted as a priority for action, and several risk assessment indices have been developed. As one of the most well-known indices, the World Risk Index (WRI) was initiated in 2011 and has been globally accepted as standards to evaluate the disaster risk at national level. Since BBB requires "reducing existing risk" or "increasing resilience of nations or communities", WRI might be utilized as a reference tool to formulate valid recovery needs for BBB. With using WRI as a reference, practitioners would be able to recognize the inherent vulnerability of the nations, and to properly identify the recovery priorities to reduce existing risks. Recognizing such potential of WRI, this paper will, based on the preliminary analysis results, exhibit a basic framework of the sectoral breakdown of WRI as an initial step toward establishing a practical reference to guide recovery needs for BBB in Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). This paper is a contribution to the 2019 edition of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR 2019).



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