Ensuring Robust Flood Risk Management in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) ranks fourth globally among port cities most vulnerable to climate change. It already experiences extensive routine flooding, but rising sea levels could permanently inundate a large portion of the city’s population, place the poor at particular risk, and threaten new economic development that has occurred in low-lying areas.
In this World Bank-sponsored project, RAND researchers worked with the HCMC Steering Committee for Flood Control (SCFC) to use robust decision making (RDM) to develop long-term flood defenses that will be robust to these uncertainties. RAND researchers traveled to HCMC and met with key stakeholders including the SCFC and local World Bank officers in order to understand the city’s flood concerns, existing infrastructure, and current planning efforts, as well as to present RDM.
RAND developed a design of the analysis of vulnerabilities, adapted the SCFC's models for this analysis, identified vulnerabilities, and evaluated adaptation options to develop a robust, iterative risk management plan. Researchers also presented their findings and recommendations at a workshop in HCMC.
Ho Chi Minh City faces significant and growing flood risk. Recent risk reduction efforts may not work if climate and socio-economic conditions diverge from earlier projections. Robust decisionmaking can help Vietnam's capital develop integrated flood risk management strategies despite this uncertainty.
RAND’s Analytica model allowed researchers to explore how options, including adaptation, retreat from non-protectable areas and infrastructure investments, could reduce risk over a range of uncertain conditions.