This handbook forms part of a series of knowledge products developed in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) institutions and ASEAN member countries. The series is designed to increase skills and promote institutional development for countries wishing to embrace innovative space-based information in disaster risk management. The products can be used as training manuals and reference guides, addressing the needs of both geospatial information providers and disaster decision makers.
This handbook provides an overview of innovations in disaster rapid assessment. It is aimed at disaster managers, post-disaster assessment analysts and field staff collecting data. While there is a robust long-term recovery and reconstruction framework in place for disaster-affected countries through formal post-disaster needs assessments (PDNAs), these assessments are often carried out only upon the request of governments and can take a number of weeks, if not months to complete. Rapid assessments can address these constraints.
The problem is that rapid assessments are somewhat sectoral and often lack standardization; many agencies and actors can be conducting such assessments at the same time, which poses additional coordination challenges for national disaster management authorities (NDMAs). Sectoral assessments carried out in isolation often lack the recovery and reconstruction considerations necessary to promote early recovery, in comparison to a well-coordinated, asset-based multisectoral assessment.
This handbook addresses these concerns by providing a methodology for performing rapid disaster assessment by using new and emerging methodologies for asset-based damage and loss estimates, while integrating innovations in technology, data and information for impact-based perspectives that can increase the precision of early estimates of recovery and reconstruction needs.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), collaborated with United Nations partners, the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), space agencies and NDMAs in ASEAN countries, in compiling this handbook. The handbook was developed in close collaboration with operational staff during a series of workshops held over the course of 2016 and 2017, and it is based on emerging methodologies from a variety of sectors. The principles behind this handbook were refined through focused consultation with the AHA Centre and its Emergency Rapid Assessment Team.
It is our hope that this handbook and its innovative techniques, methodologies and best practices will significantly contribute to strengthening disaster resilience in the ASEAN region.