Making science work for development

The role of science in ‘good-enough’ disaster risk assessment

22 December 2014

This report summarises the themes of discussion at an international workshop in February 2014 on the role of science in ‘good-enough’ disaster risk assessment.

UKCDS, in partnership with the Government Office for Science, Research Councils UK, UK Science and Innovation Network and the Universidad de La Salle, convened experts in Bogota, Colombia to unpack questions including “What constitutes ‘good-enough’ risk assessment?” And, “What role can science play to achieve a good-enough risk assessment?”

Those present defined a good-enough risk assessment as one that “should facilitate making decisions which are ethically defensible, and balance the needs of the community to preserve life and livelihood”. From this, the report looks at the role of science in delivering an assessment like this at various points before and after a natural disaster. While the varied context for natural disasters makes it very difficult to generalise, the report concludes with suggestions for future work and research gaps.

  • Natural disasters