Risk Management in Humanitarian Program: A Quantitative Model to Overcome Hazards at Different Hierarchy Level

Posted: 9 Nov 2012

Date Written: November 8, 2012


Considerable researchers have examined components of risk and level of risk centers. So is risk defined by several researchers. The Society of Risk Analysis gave up defining risk after four years of efforts of the committee appointed specifically to define risk, when the committee failed to have universal definition of risk. This paper intends to identify essential elements of risk that remains prevalent in vulnerable people and communities. The objective of presentation is to build a conceptual model to prevent and overcome hazards to vulnerable or affected people and community. We intend to classify and quantify the risk factors in order to measure vulnerability level and establish center of risk.

We argue that vulnerability, the exposure to risk exists at different unit or level e.g. individual, family, community, local government, state government and national government. Chambers (1989) put these empirical findings on a conceptual level and argued that vulnerability has an external and internal side. People are exposed to specific natural and social risk. People possess different capacities to deal with their exposure by means of various strategies of action, therefore if focus limited to the stresses associated with a particular vulnerability analysis will be insufficient for understanding the impact on and responses of the affected system or its components (Kaperson et al 2003). The humanitarian agencies may more effectively help people in mitigating the hazards, if its actions are based on scientific method to ascertain vulnerable population, unit of vulnerability and root cause of vulnerability internal capacities of unit of vulnerability to cope with hazards.

On the basis of above premise, our research is in four parts. In the first part, after identifying essential elements of risk studied from current literature, we classify risk factors into human, economic, social, technical and political. The second part of the paper deals with establishing center of risk into individual, family, community, local, province/state & national government. The third part of the paper deals with quantifying above matrix (type of risk factor for a given unit/center) to identify vulnerability level. We explain only one aspect in detail to substantiate our approach in this abstract, while full paper will carry out each element probed thoroughly. We have sub-classified human indicators into gender, age, health, poverty, house quality, social class etc. We have linked each factor to find out cut off limit between vulnerable, less vulnerable and non-vulnerable. To probe ‘poverty’, we have considered income, loan & assets held by family, quality of assets, cash & cash equivalent. Income of family is than measured with per capita income of the nation and region to test their level of vulnerability. The concluding part discusses construction of a model to suggest point of actions, the timings of actions, the unit or center where actions should be initiated and creation of effective monitoring system by humanitarian agency.

Keywords: risk, vulnearbility, mapping, indexing, model

JEL Classification: D8

Suggested Citation

Sapovadia, Vrajlal K., Risk Management in Humanitarian Program: A Quantitative Model to Overcome Hazards at Different Hierarchy Level (November 8, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2172628

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