The Disaster Risk Reduction Conference

October 12-13, 2017, Warsaw, Poland

1st Day

WORKSHOP: Underlying causes of vulnerability and its impact on Disaster Risk Management

Dr. Jorge Diaz

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico


Course Presenter

Dr. Jorge Diaz is an international consultant in both developing and developed countries: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Canada, Switzerland, South Africa, United Kingdom and Poland, on the following topics; Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience, Involuntary Re-Settlement, Urban Planning and Sustainable Transport Management

He obtained his BA Architecture in Peru, and his MSc. and Ph.D. degrees in Urban Planning in Mexico, his experience combines research and practice and has been nurtured by self-experiences, before, during and after natural hazards, as the recently earthquake and tsunami in Chile (2010).

Dr Diaz has received research fellowships in Mexico (2004-2006), the Faculty Research Program in Canada (2007), the National Committee for Scientific and Technological Research in Chile (2009-2013) the Fellow Mundus-European Union in Poland (2017) and is currently a referee for research project assessment with the National Committee of Science and Technology in Mexico (CONACYT), the Wessex Institute of Technology in United Kingdom (WIT), and Gravitazz International-Africa amongst the main organizations.


Underlying causes of vulnerability and its impact on Disaster Risk Management

Dr. Jorge Diaz

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico


From the experiences in Chile and Haiti, we would like to highlight the importance of identifying, assessing and analyzing “underlying causes of vulnerability and its impact on DRM”, and how these previous conditions and usually “long-standing issues” can exacerbate the consequences of natural hazards as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, etc.

Lessons learned in previous disasters are not always being applied in other communities. Sometimes this is because accurate information is not readily available to policy-makers, officers of international and national development agencies, sectoral government organizations, and local community in general.


The purpose of this workshop is :
a.      Provide a comprehensive understanding of the inter-relatedness of DRM along their four stages (response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness)
b.      Identify gaps and strenghts within current local conditions related to the four stages of DRM (response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness)
c.      Provide a tool (Multi-layered-Matrix) that synthetizes the level of vulnerability of a chosen community related to a specific or multi-hazard occurrence. The tool links theory and practice   , quantitative and qualitative data, combines a Top-Down and Bottom-Up approach, and its correlated to territory with feasible detail.
d.      Allow Replicability of the tool, be feasible to use for different kind of hazards and globally.
e.      Promote its Spreadness, ease of diffusion, compatibility with digital media and online resources. (GIS software + open source data)


For us, risk is associated with consequences of a hazard occurrence while vulnerability is related to the causes, so before a risk assessment can be made, the level of vulnerability of specific or multi- hazards must be known.
We can identify five key conditions (underlying causes) that will make a significant difference along the four stages of DRM (Response, Recovery, Mitigation and Preparedness):

1.      Science Based Knowledge.
2.      Legal Framework.
3.      Financial Tools.
4.      Stakeholders Engagement.
5.      Political Commitment.

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