|Disasters and Development (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - United Nations Development Programme , 1994, 55 p.)|
|PART 3 - Assessing the trade-offs in investing in vulnerability reduction|
This part of the module is designed to enhance your understanding of:
factors influencing decisionmakers analysis of mitigation options
different types of costs, benefits and effects
models and tools useful in evaluating mitigation options
In any development program there will he competition for resources and priorities need to he set.
This section discusses how governments decide whether and how much they should spend on vulnerability reduction. Relatively small, single investments in disaster preparedness or mitigation can greatly reduce the recurrent losses of capital items and production caused by disasters. However, in any development program there will be competition for resources and priorities need to be set.
Of particular interest here are the techniques and methods by which decision-makers compare development alternatives. There are a range of models which represent the ways in which comparisons are made in development decision-making.
For many populations, the main concern is with day-to-day survival and this is inevitably reflected in the political arena.
In relation to hazards and vulnerability reduction, political economists often argue that silent, long-term investment in preparedness or mitigation is rarely viewed with much favor by politicians. Short-term considerations tend to dominate and mitigation often has little mass-appeal in electoral terms. For many populations, the main concern is with day-today survival and this is inevitably reflected in the political arena.
In many countries, disasters occur rather infrequently, and it is perhaps understandable that some politicians and government officials usually discount the possibility of having to justify a lack of expenditure on mitigation. In addition, if a disaster does occur, there is always the perceived benefit of putting on a show of large-scale relief, however ineffective it may be.