10. Evaluating risk reduction

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A health sector risk management program should be oriented to the following goals:

  • Reducing the sector’s vulnerability to the impact of the disasters (mitigation).
  • Being prepared to support national response to any disaster in health-related areas (preparedness).
  • Being prepared to lead the nation’s response in the case of a health disaster (preparedness).

It is important to note that the health sector does not operate in a vacuum. It is an integral part of the national risk management system. The health sector contributes to and depends on this national system.

Key elements in evaluating mitigation and preparedness in the health sector

  Risk identification: Identification of hazards and vulnerability, and risk assessment)
  Risk management: Policy, legislation, and governing structural framework in the health sector
  Nonstructural mitigation: Planning regarding the use of soil and construction  
  Planning for risk management: Sectoral planning at the national level, institutional level, and in health facilities
  Structural mitigation: Old and new health facilities
  Resources for risk management: Availability of specific material, technical, and financial resources for risk management in the sector)  
  Warning systems: Establishment of systems during both the pre-disaster phase and post-disaster phase, and public information on health-related matters  


The Health Sector Self-Assessment Tool for Disaster Risk Reduction will help to evaluate the key elements of risk management in order to monitor and improve preparedness. The following example illustrates the reference instrument for the risk-identification component of mitigation evaluation.


Key elements
  Identification of risks
  Risk assessment
  At the national level (macro)  
  Existence of risk assessment at the national level  
  (The instrument contains a broad range of questions)  
  At the level of health facilities (micro)  
  Existence of risk evaluation in the health sector  
  Evidence that risk assessment in the health sector is based on or considers priority hazards and all the components of the health sector—its facilities, services, resources and systems  
  Existence of a tool or methodology to evaluate health sector facilities’ vulnerability to hazards and risks  
  Number and percentage of health facilities that have conducted evaluations of their risk and vulnerability