Disaster risk assessments and data management platforms are tools to serve the process of identifying risks and risk drivers in order to design and implement effective disaster risk management policies and investments. The research conducted in this study reconfirmed the persisting challenges in using risk information, including risk assessments, in public policies and plans. Some of the key reasons identified in this connection are:
- Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are yet not integrated into all sectors’ policy design, planning, and operations. This means the use of hazard and risk assessment is not well established and embedded in planning processes.
- The weakness in connections and relationships between science and policy entities is a barrier for translating objectives, approaches, and communication of risk information into risk reduction policies.
- The majority of risk assessments conducted by technical institutions are focused on the objective of research and scientific advancement and their success is measured by indicators that are commonly used in the research and academia (i.e. published journal articles). These objectives are not fully aligned with the focus, feasibility, and usefulness required for understanding disaster risk and effective disaster risk management in public policy and private investments, especially when considering limited resources and capacities in developing countries.
- Most risk assessments do not diagnose the causes of risk, are not accompanied by risk reduction options and do not evaluate the performance of those options including the risk reduction opportunities. This means the audience of risk assessment results is left with an unanswered question of: What can we do?
Based on preliminary research with inputs from regional entities and national institutions from four countries, the report provides an overview of available risk datasets covering the Asia and Pacific region or a sub-region, shares the findings on challenges, gaps in supply, and demand from national and regional entities, and provides five suggestions for the way forward to support countries in enhancing understanding disaster risk and using risk information for disaster risk reduction.