Review of three natural disasters revealed key categories and specific activities that can be used as an organizational framework to develop standardized disaster response measures and improve future disaster responses.
Setting Foundations for Developing Disaster Response Metrics
Published in: Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, [Epub February 2017], p. 1-5. doi:10.1017/dmp.2016.173
Posted on RAND.org on March 16, 2017
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- What factors are critical to disaster response, that could inform the development of a performance measurement framework and improve future response efforts?
There are few reported efforts to define universal disaster response performance measures. Careful examination of responses to past disasters can inform the development of such measures. As a first step toward this goal, we conducted a literature review to identify key factors in responses to 3 recent events with significant loss of human life and economic impact: the 2003 Bam, Iran, earthquake; the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Using the PubMed (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD) database, we identified 710 articles and retained 124 after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Seventy-two articles pertained to the Haiti earthquake, 38 to the Indian Ocean tsunami, and 14 to the Bam earthquake. On the basis of this review, we developed an organizational framework for disaster response performance measurement with 5 key disaster response categories: (1) personnel, (2) supplies and equipment, (3) transportation, (4) timeliness and efficiency, and (5) interagency cooperation. Under each of these, and again informed by the literature, we identified subcategories and specific items that could be developed into standardized performance measures. The validity and comprehensiveness of these measures can be tested by applying them to other recent and future disaster responses, after which standardized performance measures can be developed through a consensus process.
- Through review of 124 published papers with relevant information on three recent major natural disasters (2003 earthquake in Iran; 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; 2010 earthquake in Haiti), we developed an organizational framework for disaster response performance measurement.
- The framework includes five key disaster response categories: personnel, supplies and equipment, transportation, timeliness and efficiency, and interagency cooperation.
- Sub-categories and specific items identified in this study could be developed into standardized performance measures.
- In future work, a formal consensus process should be applied to determine which measures to standardize; policy and practice guidelines can be developed subsequently.