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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
Assessment results on the risk of humanitarian crises and disasters in 2016 for 191 nations were released today. The analyses were carried out by applying the Index for Risk Management – INFORM, an open-source risk assessment tool designed to support decisions about crisis and disaster prevention, preparedness and response. The index was designed by a partnership of international organisations and governments, including the JRC.
The international team working with INFORM has also released its strategy for taking the same risk assessment process and methodology to regional and national level. From 2016, INFORM Subnational will support local partners to develop detailed risk models that are tailored to specific regions and countries.
Understanding why and where humanitarian crises and disasters are likely to occur is a fundamental step in saving lives and promoting sustainable development. Most crises can be predicted to some extent. And while they cannot always be prevented, the suffering they cause can often be greatly reduced. INFORM can be used to prioritise countries by risk and its components, decide how to prepare and reduce risk, and monitor risk trends. It can help the many different organisations involved in preparedness and risk reduction in better aligning their work.
INFORM works by simplifying a lot of information about risk and its components into a simple risk profile for every country, which covers natural and human hazards, vulnerability and lack of coping capacity. It covers 191 countries. All the results and data used are freely available and the methodology is completely transparent.
From 2016, local partners will be able to use INFORM to develop their own detailed subnational models to support local planning and decision-making. These models will be developed and owned locally, but can draw on global resources and expertise and will be validated according to global standards developed in the INFORM Subnational programme.
Four pilot projects have already been carried out in the Sahel region, Greater Horn of Africa region, Lebanon and Colombia. In 2016 INFORM Subnational will be able to help develop another five regional or national models: interested regional and national partners are invited to submit their application.
The results of INFORM 2016 and further information about INFORM Subnational can be found online.
INFORM was launched in 2014 by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Team for Preparedness and Resilience and the European Commission, together with a partnership of international organisations and governments.
Working in close collaboration with the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the JRC has been the driver of the initiative. With its expertise in natural disasters, risk management, geospatial information and statistics, it has led the development of the science-based composite indicator. The JRC also developed the dedicated IT tools to collect, process and publish the statistical data used by INFORM, and hosts the website.