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INFORM yourself about Risk!

While the big discussions are currently taking place in Sendai at the UN Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, here is an innovative example of how we can reach an improved common understanding on where the risk to humanitarian crisis and disaster is globally.

My question to you is: Have you ever needed to prioritise countries according to their risk of humanitarian crisis or disaster, or understand why a crisis might happen?

A partnership of international organisations and governments led by IASC Task Team on Preparedness and Resilience and the European Commission, launched in November 2014 the first global tool to help do just that. INFORM (Index for Risk Management) is designed to support decisions about prevention, preparedness and response. Its developers hope that - because INFORM is open-source - it will help many actors align their work to reduce crisis and disaster risk and to build resilience.

Understanding why and where humanitarian crises and disasters are likely to occur is a fundamental step in saving lives and promoting sustainable development. Most crises can be predicted to some extent. And while they cannot always be prevented, the suffering they cause can often be greatly reduced.

INFORM can be used to prioritise countries by risk and its components, decide how to prepare and reduce risk, and monitor risk trends. Partners are already using INFORM to help them with their decision-making and they are encouraging others to use it too. Although it is only one element of the decision-making process, INFORM partners believe that by using a shared and reliable evidence-base on risk, they will together be more effective at managing risk and building resilience.

INFORM works by simplifying a lot of information about risk and its components into a simple risk profile for every country, which covers natural and human hazards, vulnerability and lack of coping capacity. It covers 191 countries. All the results and data used is freely available and the methodology is completely transparent. INFORM can also be used to measure risk at the sub-national level. INFORM partners are working with regional and national counterparts to develop region- and country-specific versions of INFORM.

So, INFORM is not just a tool. It is also an approach to analysis that involves working together, openly sharing data and expertise, and coming to some common conclusions to guide our work.

Check out the INFORM video and explore the data and all other information on INFORM's platform:

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Hana Kolic
17 March 2015

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