Boosting Disaster Prevention through Innovative Risk Governance

Insights from Austria, France and Switzerland

In series:OECD Reviews of Risk Management Policiesview more titles

Published on December 19, 2017

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.


Foreword and acknowledgements
Acronyms and abbreviations
Executive summary
Lessons from a cross country study
Boosting resilience through innovative risk governance: the case of Alpine areas in Austria
Boosting resilience through innovative risk governance: the case of the Rhône river in France
Boosting resilience through innovative risk governance: the case of Switzerland
Annexes2 chapters available
List of Stakeholders met in the studied countries
Country Questionnaire
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policy issues


Countries' priorities in strengthening disaster risk prevention and mitigation



related report - Boosting resilience through innovative risk management (2014)

Report calls for fundamental shift in risk governance to boost resilience against large-scale disasters

 ‌Boosting Resilience Bookcover

‌‌Large-scale natural and human-induced disasters have generated over USD 1.5 trillion in economic damages over the last decade in OECD and BRIC countries. Single events have exceeded damages worth 20% of annual GDP. Resilience of OECD countries is particularly challenged during times of economic downturns, above all in countries that rely on state budgets for post-disaster loss financing.

A shift in risk governance is required as governance obstacles hamper the effectiveness of current risk reduction investments. The report urges governments to address widespread disincentives that persist for governmental and also non-governmental risk management actors, leading to an over-reliance on the government for post-disaster risk financing.

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