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On the Meaning of Impact in Disaster Risk Reduction

Alexander, David E; (2022) On the Meaning of Impact in Disaster Risk Reduction. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 10.1007/s13753-022-00447-w. (In press). Green open access

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This article offers a discussion of the meaning, assessment, and measurement of impact in disaster risk reduction. It begins with a historical perspective on the impact of learned work in times when orthodoxy posed severe limits on the impact of new thinking. Regarding the modern age, the article explains why impact is considered important and how it might be recognized when it occurs, including a tentative classification of types of impact. The question of whether impact can truly be measured remains pending, as the answer is diffuse and dependent on many different circumstances. Further sections consider the relationship between impact and mainstreaming and the question of whether a piece of work should be regarded as having impact if its effects are negative rather than positive. Next, impact is considered in terms of whom it benefits. Given the large number of possible reservations about the concept, the question is raised as to whether too much emphasis is given to the impact of research and scholarship. Finally, some suggestions are offered regarding how to obtain a better indication of what the impact of an academic study actually is.

Type: Article
Title: On the Meaning of Impact in Disaster Risk Reduction
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s13753-022-00447-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13753-022-00447-w
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Assessing impact · Disaster risk reduction · Disruptive thinking · Impact of research · Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction · Measuring impact
UCL classification: 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10157763
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