Community Risk Assessment methodologies and case studies

The following methodologies and case studies were collected and analysed by Cape Town University, Ben Wisner and the ProVention Consortium Secretariat as part of a ProVention project. Guidance notes give a brief overview of the case studies and methodologies and allow users to identify the most appropriate assessment methodologies and applications. A search tool allows users to carry out searches in methodologies and case studies according to a wide range of predetermined categories. A glossary gives brief definitions of key terms used in the guidance notes and in the search tool. For further information about community based disaster risk management and participatory tools, check our additional links.

Image: Center for Disaster Preparedness



Register of methodologies

In the Toolkit, a distinction is made between five different types of methodological resources:

  • A comprehensive manual describes in detail both the conceptual framework which underlies the methodology concerned and the different steps required to carry out the risk assessment.
  • A step-by-step manual describes in detail the sequence of steps required to successfully carry out a community risk assessment and also highlights the different participatory and technical assessment tools required.
  • Guidelines provide a conceptual framework and key concepts for identifying, analysing and assessing communities' disaster risk but do not describe in detail the steps and tools required for actually carrying out an assessment.
  • An overview provides a summary description and analysis of a range of available methods and tools for assessing disaster risk at the community level. Overviews are mostly written from an academic perspective and aim at analyzing the relevance of the different methods in view of their contribution to improving risk reduction policy and practice.
  • A training manual aims at facilitating a learning and knowledge sharing process on the issue of community risk assessment either through a workshop or self-study, outlining the training methodology used and providing training material which supports the learning process.

Two additional sections deal with community-based climate adaptation tools and lessons learned on the use of CRA methodologies.

NB: The guidance notes for methods marked with an asterisk* will be developed at a later stage. These methods are not yet included in the search tool.

Comprehensive manuals

  • "How to do a VCA. A practical step by step guide for RC/RC staff and volunteers" - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    full document in English PDF, 3.3MB) ((in French - PDF 3.4MB) (in Arabic - PDF 1.8MB) / guidance note

  • Participatory Capacities and Vulnerabilities Assessment: Finding the Links Between Disasters and Development - Oxfam (PDF, 4.9MB)
    full document (PDF, 4.9MB) / guidance note

  • Community-Based Disaster Risk Management Field Practitioners' Handbook, Part 2 chapter 3: Participatory Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) & Part 2 chapter 4: Participatory Disaster Risk Management Planning - Asian Disaster Preparedness Center.
    full document (PDF, 1.2MB) / guidance note

  • Citizenry Based Development Oriented Disaster Response - Center for Disaster Preparedness Inc, Philippines
    full document (see chapter 3 - PDF, 6.7MB) / guidance note

  • Community-Wide Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment, CVCA - Government of Canada, Office of Critical Infrastructure and Emergency Preparedness
    full document (PDF, 0.3MB) / guidance note

  • Participatory Vulnerability Analysis, A Step-by-Step Guide for Field Staff - ActionAid
    full document (PDF, 0.2MB) / guidance note

  • Working with Women at Risk: Practical Guidelines for Assessing Local Disaster Risk - International Hurricane Center
    full document in English PDF, 1.3MB) (in Spanish - PDF 1.1MB) / guidance note

  • Household Livelihood Security Assessments: A Toolkit for Practitioners - CARE
    full document (PDF, 3.2MB) / guidance note

  • Participation by Crisis-Affected Populations in Humanitarian Action. A Handbook for Practitioners. (Chapter 3: Assessment, Chapter 4: Design) - ALNAP
    full document (PDF, 1MB) / guidance note

  • Reducing risk in our communities - Tearfund
    full document (PDF, 1MB) / guidance note

  • Central Asia Earthquake Safety Initiative, Urban Risk Reduction Framework - GeoHazards International
    full document (Word, 0.2MB) / guidance note

  • Gestion Comunitaria de Riesgos - Foro Ciudades para la Vida,
    full document (PDF, 5.7MB) / guidance note (in English / Spanish).

Step-by-step manuals

  • *Participatory Impact Assessment, A Guide for Practitioners - Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
    full document in English (PDF, 2.7MB)

  • *Weathering the storm: participatory risk assessment for informal settlements - Disaster Mitigation for Sustainable Livelihoods Programme, University of Cape Town
    full document in English (PDF, 5MB)

  • Child Oriented Participatory Risk Assessment and Planning (COPRAP) - Center for Positive Future, Center for Disaster Preparedness
    methodology in English (PDF, 0.7MB) / guidance note / trainer's manual (PDF, 6.6MB)

  • VCA toolbox with reference sheets - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    full document in English (PDF, 5MB) / guidance note

  • Guidelines for Community Vulnerability Analysis, An Approach for Pacific Island Countries - UNDP/UNDHA/SPDRP
    full document (PDF, 4.4MB) / guidance note

  • Make that change, Community Based Disaster Management, Facilitators Manual - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    full document (PDF, 2.5 MB) / guidance note

  • Community Vulnerability Assessment Tool - NOAA
    full document (PDF, 0.3MB) / guidance note

  • Hazard, Risk Vulnerability Analysis Tool Kit - British Columbia, Provincial Emergency Program
    full document (PDF, 1.5MB) / guidance note

  • Preparing for disaster, A community-based approach - Philippine National Red Cross/Danish Red Cross
    full document (PDF, 3.5MB) / guidance note

Guidelines

  • What is VCA? An Introduction to Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment" - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    full document in English PDF, 1.3MB) (in Spanish - PDF 1.1MB) (in French - PDF 1.1MB) (in Arabic - PDF 1.1MB) / guidance note

  • Community-based Risk Screening Tool Adaptation and Livelihoods (CRiSTAL) - IISD, IUCN, SEI-US, Intercooperation, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
    brochure (PDF, 3.3MB) / manual (PDF 1.4MB) / spreadsheet (excel, 0.4MB) / guidance note

  • Risk Analysis, a Basis for Disaster Risk Management: Guidelines - GTZ
    full document (PDF, 2.7MB)/ guidance note

  • Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment, An International Federation Guide - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 1999
    full document (PDF, 4.2 MB) / guidance note

  • Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment Toolbox - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    full document (PDF, 0.2MB) / guidance note

  • Assessing Resilience and Vulnerability in the Context of Emergencies: Guidelines - Victorian Government (Department of Human Services)
    full document (PDF, 0.2MB) / guidance note

  • Assessing Resilience & Vulnerability: Principles, Strategies and Actions. Guidelines - Emergency Management Australia
    full document (PDF, 1MB) / guidance note

Overviews

  • Disaster risk reduction. Mitigation and Preparedness in development and emergency programming. HPN Good Practice Review (Chapter 4: Project Planning) - John Twigg
    full document (PDF, 0.4MB) / guidance note

  • Social vulnerability, Sustainable Livelihoods and Disasters, Report to DFID - Terry Cannon, John Twigg and Jennifer Rowell
    full document (Word, 0.8MB) / guidance note

  • *Climate Proofing Tool, Strengthening local adaptation and mitigation capacities in community-level development projects. Working Paper, Version 3. June 2009, HEKS -
    full document (in English - PDF 0.4MB) (in French - PDF 0.6MB) (in Spanish - PDF 0.4MB)

Training manuals

Compendia of Community Based Adaptation Tools

Lessons learned

  • "Vulnerability and capacity assessment: Lessons learned and recommendations" - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    full document (in English PDF, 1.4MB) (in Spanish - PDF 1.7MB) (in French - PDF 1.7MB) (in Arabic - PDF 0.6MB)



Compendium of case studies

We have distinguished two kinds of case studies in the CRA toolkit.

  • There are those that use participatory methods for research alone, or for purposes other than developing an action plan with the community. For instance, participatory methods may be used to develop priorities for a national NGO or a national Red Cross or Red Crescent Society. We refer to these case studies as Participatory Research (PR) case studies. The guidance notes for them use the format of an Explanatory Note (EN).
  • There are also case studies that use participatory methods for the development of an action plan with a community, and that plan is actual put into play. We refer to these case studies as Participatory Action Research (PAR) case studies, and their associated guidance notes have the format of a Guidance Note (GN).

NB: The guidance notes for case studies marked with an asterisk* will be developed at a later stage. These case studies are not yet included in the search tool.

The case studies below are sorted by region

Africa

  • Ethiopia and Kenya - Participatory Risk Mapping for Targeting Research and Assistance: With an Example for East African Pastoralists
    Case study (PDF, 0.2 MB) / case study cover / explanatory note

  • Kenya - An Investigation into Community Perceptions and Response to Flood Risks in Western Kenya
    Case study (PDF, 0.3 MB) / guidance note

  • Lesotho - Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment in Maqoala, Malebanye, Ha Sankatana and Ha Mapotsane
    Case study (PDF, 2.5 MB) / explanatory note

  • Lesotho - Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment in Mafeteng and Quthing
    Case study (PDF, 0.3 MB) / guidance note

  • Madagascar - Community Risk Assessments, Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Plan (DPMP)
    case study (PDF, 1 MB) / guidance note

  • Mozambique - Assessing the Role of Local Institutions in Reducing the Vulnerability of At-Risk Communities in Bzi, Central Mozambique
    case study (0.8MB) / explanatory note

  • Mozambique - Local Livelihoods Risk Assessment: Construction and Operation of Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Dam
    case study (0.4MB) / explanatory note

  • Rwanda - Using the vulnerability and capacity assessment tool in Rwanda
    Case study (PDF, 1.6 MB) / explanatory note

  • Sierra Leone - Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VAC) Report for 19 Communities in Kono and Tonkolili Districts
    case study (PDF, 0.5 MB) / guidance note

  • South Africa - Fire Hazard and Vulnerability in Imizamo Yethu Informal Settlement
    case study (PDF, 0.8 MB) / guidance note

  • South Africa - Community Risk Assessment in Haarlem, Uniondale, Eden District
    case study (PDF, 0.1 MB) / guidance note

  • South Africa - A transect walk undertaken in the informal settlement of Itereleng to observe community vulnerability
    case study (PDF, 2.6 MB) / explanatory note

  • Zambia - Vulnerability Capacity Assessment: Sinazongwe District
    case study (PDF, 0.6 MB) / guidance note (this guidance note has been updated with new information in March 2008)

  • Zimbabwe - Beating Hunger: The Chivi Experience
    case study (PDF, 3.9 MB) / guidance note (this guidance note has been updated with new information in February 2008)

  • Zimbabwe - Impact Assessment of the Zimbabwe Dams and Gardens Project
    case study (PDF, 2 MB) / explanatory note

Asia

  • Bangladesh - Hazard Mapping and Vulnerability Assessment for Flood Mitigation
    case study (PDF, 0.5 MB) / guidance note

  • Cambodia - Cambodian community based flood mitigation and preparedness project
    case study (PDF, 0.1 MB) / guidance note

  • India - Development & risk reduction in hazard-prone communities of Andhra Pradesh in India
    case study (PDF, 0.6 MB) / guidance note

  • India - Community-based disaster risk reduction in the Indian State of Bihar
    case study (PDF, 0.6 MB) / guidance note

  • India - Peripheral Heartland: Floods in Eastern Uttar Pradesh
    case study (PDF, 2.8 MB) / explanatory note

  • India - Challenges and Prospects for Adaptation: Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction in Coastal Tamil Nadu
    case study (PDF, 0.7 MB) / guidance note

  • Lao PDR - Community-Based Disaster Management Project in Champasack District
    case study (PDF, 0.2 MB) / guidance note

  • Nepal - Flood Disaster Impacts and Responses in Nepal Tarais Marginalised Basins
    case study (PDF, 4 MB) / guidance note

  • Nepal - The Snake and the River Dont Run Straight: Local knowledge on disaster preparedness in the Eastern Terai of Nepal
    case study (PDF, 0.8 MB) / guidance note

  • Pakistan - Becoming a Model: Community Managed Flood Preparedness Project
    case study (PDF, 0.6 MB) / guidance note (this guidance note has been updated with new information in February 2008)

  • Pakistan - Navigating the Contours of the Pakistani Hazardscapes: Disaster Experience versus Policy
    case study (PDF, 2.6 MB) / explanatory note

  • Pakistan - Herders of Chitral: The Lost Messengers? Local Knowledge on Disaster Preparedness in Chitral District
    case study (PDF, 0.6 MB) / guidance note

  • Philippines - Enhancing Local Government Unit Capacities in Disaster Preparedness, Prevention & Mitigation
    case study (PDF, 0.6 MB) / guidance note

  • Philippines - Child Oriented Participatory Risk Assessment and Planning in San Mateo, Rizal
    case study (PDF, 0.5 MB) / guidance note

  • Sri Lanka - Matara Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment Report
    case study (PDF, 0.2 MB) / guidance note

  • Turkey - Umraniye Women's Outreach Community Disaster Preparedness Project
    case study (PDF, 2 MB) / guidance note (this guidance note has been updated with new information in March 2008)

  • Turkey - Vulnerabilty and Capacity Assessment, Faik Pasa and Mirali Neighbourhood Project
    case study (PDF, 2.1 MB) / guidance note

Latin America

  • Belize - Belize Red Cross Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment Workshop
    case study (PDF, 0.4 MB) / guidance note

  • Belize - Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment in Ladyville and Caledonia
    case studies (PDF, 2 MB) / guidance note

  • Brazil - Vulnerability and Resilience: Case studies and analysis in urban and rural areas (Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro)
    case studies (PDF, 0.6 MB) / explanatory note

  • Costa Rica - Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment in Linda Vista (La Unin) and El Meco (Ciudad Quesada)
    case studies (PDF, 6.6 MB) / guidance note [English] [Spanish]

  • El Salvador - Program for Prevention and Mitigation of Flood Disasters in the Lower Lempa River Basin
    case study (PDF, 0.3 MB) / guidance note (this guidance note has been updated with new information in August 2008)

  • Guatemala - Communities Vulnerable to Disasters in the Metropolitan Area of Guatemala City
    case study (PDF, 0.7 MB) / guidance note

  • Guatemala - Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments in the communities of Nuestra Seora del Carmen zona 12 and Anexo Forestal zona 13
    case study (PDF, 7.4 MB) / guidance note [English] [Spanish]

  • Guatemala - Emergency Capacity Building Project (ECB) Participatory Disaster Risk Reduction Model Guatemala Pilot
    case studies (PDF, 0.7 MB) / guidance note

  • Honduras - Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment in Colonia Nueva Esperanza, Tegucigalpa, and El Zamorano community, Jamastrn, El Paraso
    case study (PDF, 6 MB) / guidance note [English] [Spanish]

  • Mexico - A Community Participatory Approach for Disaster Prevention in the Municipality of Tlatlauquitepec, Sierra Norte de Puebla, Mexico
    case study (PDF, 4 MB) / guidance note

  • Peru - Capacity Building Workshop in Disaster Prevention and Risk Management for Communities of Caylloma District affected by the 2004 Cold Wave
    case study (PDF, 1.8 MB) / guidance note (this guidance note has been updated with new information in February 2008)

  • Trinidad & Tobago - Vulnerability Capacity Assessment, Speyside Community, Tobago
    case study (PDF, 7.3 MB) / guidance note

  • Venezuela - Pilot Study of Community Based Disaster Management Strategy for Earthquakes
    case study (PDF, 0.7 MB) / guidance note

  • Venezuela - Local and popular folklore and culture on hazard and vulnerability meets geographical information system for the risk reduction preparedness of the people of the Barrio San Antonio of Naiguat, Estado Vargas
    case study (PDF, 0.4 MB) / guidance note

Small island developing states

  • Cuba - Weathering the Storm: Lessons in Risk Reduction from Cuba
    case study (PDF, 1 MB) / guidance note (this guidance note has been updated with new information in October 2008)

  • Jamaica - Community Led Risk Assessment and Action Planning in White Horses
    case study (PDF, 0.4 MB) / guidance note

  • Solomon Islands - Solomon Islands: from risk assessment to community actions
    case study (PDF, 1.2 MB) / guidance note

  • Vanuatu - Participatory methods of incorporating scientific with traditional knowledge for volcanic hazard management on Ambae Island
    case study (PDF, 0.8 MB) / guidance note (this guidance note has been updated with new information in February 2008)

  • Maldives - Findings of the Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment in Maduvvaree and Meedhoo
    case study (PDF, 3.1 MB) / guidance note

Other countries

Other compendia of case studies