Methods Matter:  Social Vulnerability Assessment Changes Drastically for Hierarchical and Inductive Approaches - a Case Study from Burkina Faso

43 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2023

See all articles by Lotte Savelberg

Lotte Savelberg

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ylenia Casali

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Marc van den Homberg

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jazmin Zatarain Salazar

Delft University of Technology

Tina Comes

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Social vulnerability assessments play a crucial role in guiding the allocation of budgets and resources for effective disaster preparedness and humanitarian response. Climate change, escalating conflicts, and the climate finance and humanitarian funding gap make social vulnerability assessments essential. Despite advances in data collection, availability, and analysis, there remains a lack of consensus regarding the most suitable method to assess social vulnerability.  This study sheds light on the consequences of methodological choices on social vulnerability assessments by comparing two commonly used methods in space and over time: the inductive principal component approach and the hierarchical INFORM approach. Our analysis focuses on a case study of the 351 communes in Burkina Faso from 2015 to 2022, a period marked by conflicts and extreme weather events. By comparing the two methods, we find important differences in the rankings of the communes' social vulnerability. By investigating the spatial and temporal results, we offer insights into the potential consequences of using different methodological choices. Our findings underscore the need for contextualized approaches.

Keywords: social vulnerability, Principal Component Analysis, INFORMRisk Index, comparative case study, humanitarian response, Disaster Risk Reduction

Suggested Citation

Savelberg, Lotte and Casali, Ylenia and van den Homberg, Marc and Zatarain Salazar, Jazmin and Comes, Tina, Methods Matter:  Social Vulnerability Assessment Changes Drastically for Hierarchical and Inductive Approaches - a Case Study from Burkina Faso. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4575377 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4575377

Lotte Savelberg (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Ylenia Casali

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Marc Van den Homberg

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Jazmin Zatarain Salazar

Delft University of Technology ( email )

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

Tina Comes

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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