From event analysis to global lessons: disaster forensics for building resilience

Authors:   Keating A, Venkateswaran K, Szoenyi M, MacClune K, Mechler R

Program:   RPV

Publication Year:   2016

Reference:  Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Article in press (Published online 29 February 2016)


With unprecedented growth in disaster risk, there is an urgent need for enhanced learning about and understanding disasters, particularly in relation to the trends in the drivers of increasing risk. Building on the disaster forensics field, we introduce the Post Event Review Capability (PERC) methodology for systematically and holistically analyzing disaster events, and identifying actionable recommendations. PERC responds to a need for learning about the successes and failures in disaster risk management and resilience, and uncovers the underlying drivers of increasing risk. We draw generalizable insights identified from seven applications of the methodology to date, where we find that across the globe policy makers and practitioners in disaster risk management face strikingly similar challenges despite variations in context, indicating encouraging potential for mutual learning. These lessons highlight the importance of integrated risk reduction strategies. We invite others to utilize the freely available ERC approach and contribute to building a repository of learnings on disaster risk management and resilience.


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313