Sign up

Enhancing disaster preparedness: User feedback drives improvements to UNDRR-ISC Hazard Information Profiles

The UNDRR/ISC Hazard Information Profiles (HIPs) have been evaluated through an external users' survey, confirming their utility and suggesting improvements to enhance accessibility.

The Hazards Information Profiles (HIPs) initiative, a collaboration between the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the International Science Council (ISC), addresses the increasing interconnectivity of hazards and risks. This initiative aims to provide a common set of scientifically sound definitions for 302 hazards, thereby supporting the multi-hazard approach of the Sendai Framework. This common understanding enables governments and stakeholders to strategize and act effectively in risk reduction and management.

To further enhance their relevance and usability in disaster risk reduction efforts, particularly in multi-hazard contexts, the UNDRR and ISC initiated a review of the Hazard Information Profiles (HIPs)

The review of the HIPs focuses on the “multi-hazard context,” aiming to deepen understanding of the interplay between different hazards, potentially leading to cascading, compound, and complex events. The updated Profiles are scheduled for launch at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in June 2025.

User survey

A survey, developed in partnership with and hosted and analyzed by UKHSA, was distributed through the ISC, UNDRR, and partner networks to better understand how and by whom the HIPs are used, and to assess the need for reviewing the Profiles and implementing changes to improve their usability.

The survey received responses from 154 individuals across various sectors, including government, CSOs, NGOs, health, academia, and more, spanning Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific, North America, and South America.

The primary uses of HIPs span several critical areas:

  • Disaster Risk Reduction: Helping stakeholders identify and mitigate potential risks.
  • Disaster Response Planning: Preparing for and managing disaster situations effectively.
  • Disaster Risk Monitoring: Allowing for ongoing assessment and adaptation to changing risk landscapes.

The research community relies on HIPs extensively, as evidenced by the substantial proportion of respondents using them for academic and field studies, contributing to a deeper understanding of hazards and risk management strategies. Training programs also benefit from HIPs, leveraging their comprehensive and standardized information to educate and equip individuals and organizations in disaster preparedness and response. 

Lastly, a notable portion of users employ HIPs for various other purposes, demonstrating the versatility and broad applicability of these profiles across different contexts and sectors. This widespread and diverse usage pattern reflects the integral role that HIPs play in supporting disaster risk reduction efforts globally. 

Key findings

The survey feedback revealed that over 88% of respondents found the content of the HIPs useful, and more than 73% appreciated their clear and helpful structure

Users valued the HIPs for their standardization, well-structured and referenced content, conciseness yet detail, comprehensiveness, and reliability. Additionally, the HIPs were praised for being user-friendly, straightforward, and easy to navigate. 

HIPs are valuable resources that contribute to effective DRR. The profiles offer detailed insights into various hazards, aiding risk assessment, preparedness planning, and resource allocation. By enhancing community awareness, supporting policy formulation and serving as crucial tools for informed decision making.

They play a vital role in my work and engaging communities, guiding policymakers, and assisting emergency responders during disaster events. “Additionally, hazard information profiles contribute to monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of risk reduction measures, fostering a proactive and resilient approach to managing the impacts of natural hazards at local, national, and international levels.

Quote from a respondent based in a National Disaster Management Office in the Pacific.

Areas for improvement  

Despite the positive feedback, respondents suggested several areas for improvement:

  1. Visuals and Accessible Language for Non-Specialists: Users recommended incorporating more visuals and using language that is easier for non-specialists to understand.
  2. More Precise Information for Emergency Situations: There is a need for more detailed and specific information tailored to emergency situations.
  3. Inclusion of a Multi-Hazard Context: Users emphasized the importance of including a comprehensive multi-hazard context to better understand the interplay between different hazards.
  4. Enhancements for Better IT Applications and Interoperability: Suggestions included improving the profiles for better integration with IT applications and enhancing interoperability.

To address these needs, a User Group has been established alongside expert groups to review the technical content, ensuring that the HIPs remain useful, usable, and widely utilized by a broad range of users.

Future actions

An additional call for users to provide feedback on the revised HIPs will be organized later this year. This feedback will be crucial in finalizing the HIPs before their expected launch at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in June 2025.

Image by wirestock on Freepik.

Skip to content