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On evidence-based practice in disaster risk reduction

Alexander, DE; (2021) On evidence-based practice in disaster risk reduction. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science , 12 pp. 919-927. 10.1007/s13753-021-00381-3. Green open access

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Abstract

Disaster science and scholarship are forever expanding and there are increasing calls to base disaster risk reduction policies on the evidence produced by such work. Using examples and argument, this opinion piece examines the nature of evidence. It defines evidence-based practice and considers how it has developed and become important to disaster risk reduction. A definition of what constitutes evidence is difficult to achieve but it must be made in relation to whether the data and information collected can usefully be interpreted and employed to change things for the better. Case histories from past and present centuries show that evidence can sometimes be argued over endlessly. In other cases it is roundly ignored. In yet other instances, false conclusions derived from evidence can become evidence in their own right. Nevertheless, there are situations in disaster risk reduction in which evidence is sorely needed but is clearly lacking. The effectiveness of counter-terrorism measures is one such area. In conclusion, evidence is valuable, above all if there is willingness to use it to support policy formulation, especially in a simple, transparent manner. Subjective interpretation can never be entirely removed from the use of evidence, and evidence alone will not stimulate the policy formulators to improve their decision making.

Type: Article
Title: On evidence-based practice in disaster risk reduction
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s13753-021-00381-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13753-021-00381-3
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Case histories, Disaster risk reduction, Evidence-based practice, Policy formulation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10138016
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