Lessons Learned from Measuring Flood Resilience

Laurien F, Keating A, Mechler R, Etienne E, Velev S, Szoenyi M, McQuistan C, Ianni F, et al. (2019). Lessons Learned from Measuring Flood Resilience. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-19-007

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Abstract

The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (ZFRA) has identified the measurement of resilience as a valuable ingredient in building community flood resilience. Measuring resilience is particularly challenging because it is an invisible or latent characteristic of a community until a flood occurs.
The Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC) framework measures “sources of resilience” before a flood happens and looks at the post-flood impacts afterwards. The FRMC is built around the notion of five types of capital (the 5Cs: human, social, physical, natural, and financial capital) and the 4Rs of a resilient system (robustness, redundancy, resourcefulness, and rapidity). The sources of resilience are graded based on Zurich’s Risk Engineering Technical Grading Standard. Results are displayed according to the 5Cs and 4Rs, the disaster risk management (DRM) cycle, themes and context level, to give the approach further flexibility and accessibility.
In the first application phase (2013-2018), we measured flood resilience in 118 communities across nine countries, building on responses at household and community levels. Continuing this endeavor in Phase II (2018 – 2023) will allow us to enrich the understanding of community flood resilience and to extend this unique data set.
We find that at the community level, the FRMC enables users to track community progress on resilience over time in a standardized way. It thus provides vital information for the decision-making process in terms of prioritizing the resilience-building measures most needed by the community. At community and higher decision-making levels, measuring resilience also provides a basis for improving the design of innovative investment programs to strengthen disaster resilience.
By exploring data across multiple communities (facing different flood types and with very different socioeconomic and political contexts), we can generate evidence with respect to which characteristics contribute most to community disaster resilience before an event strikes. This contributes to meeting the challenge of demonstrating that the work we do has the desired impact – that it actually builds resilience. No general measurement framework for disaster resilience has been empirically verified yet , but the FRMC framework has been developed to eventually generate the data needed to demonstrate empirically which ex-ante measures are most effective for communities.
Our findings suggest that stronger interactions between community functions induce co-benefits among the five capitals, thus providing evidence for a virtuous cycle type effect where higher resilient capacity in one capital fosters the community’s capacity for resilience in other capitals.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Risk & Resilience (RISK)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2019 08:46
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2019 08:46
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16065

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