The system of indicators described in this monograph has been the main objective of the operation ATN / JF-7907-RG of the IDB, coordinated by the Instituto de Environmental Studies, IDEA, of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, sede Manizales, within the regional program on "Information and Risk Indicators and Risk Management" for the Americas, promoted by the IDB, ECLAC and the IDEA between March 2003 and May 2005. The purpose of the indicator system described herein is to assess vulnerability and risk, using relative indicators, to facilitate the decision makers of each country, region or city to have access to relevant information that allows them to identify and propose effective risk management actions, considering economic, social, institutional and technical aspects. This system of indicators makes possible the description of risk and risk management at the national, subnational and urban levels, facilitating the identification of the essential aspects that characterize it from an economic and social perspective, as well as comparing these aspects or the risks themselves among different countries or territorial units. The proposed indicators have been designed for measuring and monitoring purposes over time and for the identification of conditions of insecurity and their causes, using criteria related to the degrees of threat to which the territorial units are exposed and their socio-economic circumstances that influence their vulnerability. The system of indicators described here is framed within a holistic evaluation approach, which, due to its flexibility and possible compatibility with other specific evaluation approaches, will be increasingly used and accepted as one of the best options for the representation of risk and of its management, due to its complex and imprecise nature. Its strength lies in the possibility of disaggregating the results and identifying the factors towards which risk management actions should be oriented, in order to assess their effectiveness. Its main objective is to stimulate decision-making and not the precise evaluation of the risk that is commonly supported in the concept of physical truth.

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Published on 01/01/2005

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