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By : Charlotte Benson, John Twigg

As the human and financial costs of disasters rise, there are increasing demands for evidence that mitigation "pays". Until this proof exists, many development organisations remain reluctant to pursue risk reduction as a key objective, or even to protect their own projects against potential hazards. This paper outlines how such evidence could, in fact, be relatively easily obtained by integrating natural hazard related risks concerns into the design and evaluation of potential projects using standard appraisal and evaluation tools. It shows that there is nothing intrinsically difficult about either appraising risks or monitoring and evaluating the impact of related mitigation measures as part of these broader analyses - if this task is approached thoughtfully and knowledgeably, and adequately resourced. Provision of appropriate methodological tools is not sufficient in itself, however, to secure improvements in the management of risk. The paper identifies a series of further critical factors that need to be addressed in order to secure longterm commitment to risk reduction, as reflected in the broad policies, objectives and priorities of both governments and development organisations, and actual practice on the ground. In particular, development organisations and governments need to accept greater accountability for disaster-related losses. The paper is based on the findings of an ongoing ProVention Consortium project, 'Measuring Mitigation': Methodologies for Assessing Natural Hazard Risks and the Net Benefits of Mitigation.
Keywords : Natural Hazard, Disaster, Project Appraisal, Evaluation

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