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close this bookAn Overview of Disaster Management (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - United Nations Development Programme , 1992, 136 p.)
close this folderChapter 13. Mitigation 1
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentTargeting mitigation where it has most effect
View the documentActions to reduce risk
View the documentThe menu of mitigation actions
View the documentClassification of mitigation measures
View the documentTiming for mitigation

Classification of mitigation measures

Developing a mitigation strategy should include a structure to facilitate decision making. The following series of questions suggests such a structure.

What risk is being reduced?
To what level should the risk be reduced?
What criteria are used to reduce the risk?
Who decides what the criteria are?
What is the political process to implement the measure?

Mitigation measures may be classified in several ways. The following list of such classifications includes many categories which overlap in their implementation.

Active and passive: For active measures, authorities promote desired actions by offering incentives. For passive measures, authorities prevent undesired actions by using controls and penalties.

Structural and non-structural: Structural mitigation involves physical measures taken to reduce risk by erecting structures (such as dams). Non-structural measures are policies and practices of development whose implementation reduces the risks to development.

Short-term and long-term: Short-term measures are those which are taken rapidly and which have a short life or usefulness such as sand bag reinforcements of a dyke. Long-term measures may include a process that is itself long in implementation, consider an extended timeframe, and change public attitudes through education.

Restrictive and incentive: Restrictive measures result in practices that promote safety by making some actions or development unlawful or prohibitively expensive. Incentive measures provide financial, legal or other advantages to promote activities which are also beneficial in terms of mitigation.

Sectoral based activities: Sectoral based activities start from the vantage point of a sector, such as agriculture, and ask: “within this sector, what can be done to reduce risk?” A response might be to introduce hazard resistant crops, or to diversify cropping patterns.