Boosting Disaster Prevention through Innovative Risk Governance

Insights from Austria, France and Switzerland

image of Boosting Disaster Prevention through Innovative Risk Governance

In 2014 the OECD carried out work to take stock of OECD countries' achievements in building resilience to major natural and man-made disasters. The report suggested that albeit significant achievements were made through effective risk prevention and mitigation management, past disasters have revealed persistent vulnerabilities and gaps in risk prevention management across OECD. Based on the findings of this OECD-wide report a cross-country comparative study was undertaken in Austria, France and Switzerland to test the recommendations put forward in specific country contexts. This report summarises the individual and comparative country case study findings. It highlights that the risk prevention policy mix has shifted in favor of organisational measures such as hazard informed land use planning or strengthening the enforcement of risk sensitive regulations. In the meantime, the great need for maintaining the large stock of structural protection measures has been overlooked and vulnerability might increase because of that. The report highlights the need for better policy evaluation to increase the effectiveness of risk prevention measures in the future. The report highlights practices where countries succeeded to make risk prevention a responsibility of the whole of government and the whole of society, by analysing supporting governance and financing arrangements.



Executive summary

Countries have made significant progress in strengthening resilience to disasters and crises through prevention and mitigation, including an increased understanding of how critical risks can be managed. However, vulnerabilities persist in an ever-changing environment that creates gaps in countries’ disaster risk prevention efforts. Existing protective infrastructure may no longer offer the level of protection for which the investments were initially made, due to inadequate maintenance. Regulatory frameworks may not keep pace with the changing risk environments, and enforcement tends to be inconsistent. Despite widespread recognition of the importance of whole-of-society efforts for improving resilience, implementing such broad initiatives requires significant energy and the capacity to mobilise a range of actors.


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