Rethinking RISK together
As a former military pilot, I know that landing a helicopter on the deck of a heaving ship in a storm at night when low on fuel is the ultimate in disaster risk management.
Helicopters also provide a unique, top-down look at what is going on below as well as allowing for an uninterrupted 360° scan of the horizon.
The perfect metaphor for what I do now as a 'trusted adviser' in the field of 'international disaster risk management'.
“The best way to manage a crisis is to anticipate it, reduce its impact,
or, better still, prevent it from happening in the first place.”
(Thierry Breton, European Commissioner, 20 Sept 2022)
WHO I AM
I am an independent disaster management consultant with decades of experience advising National Governments, United Nations Agencies and International NGOs on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the full spectrum of naturally-occurring and human-induced hazards.
WHAT I DO
Acting as an independent 'trusted advisor' I help my governmental, non-governmental and UN clients navigate the complexities involved in managing disaster risk.
WHY YOU SHOULD WORK WITH ME
My approach to helping you reduce and manage disaster risk
PAYS FOR ITSELF in terms of
Averting Avoidable Death
Saving Capital Resources
Preventing Professional Liability
BETTER PROTECTION. REDUCED COST. GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY.
WHY SHOULD I ENGAGE DISASTERWISE FOR AN INITIAL, FREE CONSULTATION ?
There are 308 different categories of disaster, 60 risk factors that determines who dies and who doesn’t when disaster strikes, and 13 sectors of response. Disasters are the most complex systems known to mankind … and the most complicated to manage. No single entity can achieve optimal results working on their own.
HOW I DO IT
1. First, I conduct an informal scoping study of existing risks and capacities
2. This feeds into a more formal, multi-dimensional risk assessment based on my unique algorithm called ‘The Calculus-of-Calamity’
3. Applying what has been learned from this process, I then suggest an enhanced disaster risk reduction strategy incorporating priority areas in need of inclusion or improvement
4. Finally, if needed, I help you build national disaster management capacity through self-directed online training courses tailored to your specific needs
FOR AN INITIAL
HOW I WORK
Using our integrated optimisation model called the ‘Calculus of Calamity’ – a unique algorithm developed by us in close cooperation with Fordham University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs – we take a dispassionate deep dive into the sixty principal determinants of disaster, working out the relative risk of each across all hazards, institutions, disciplines and sectors and all six phases of the disaster management cycle. Once weighted and ranked, we identify which priority areas could be introduced or enhanced, and where systems and capabilities could be improved.
By incorporating the disciplines of disaster epidemiology, health economics, behavioural psychology and business administration into the disaster risk management mix, our approach to problem solving provides leaders and policymakers with a means of assessing disaster risk in a multi-dimensional way that better reflects those factors that determine who dies and who doesn’t when a hazard event collides with the uncertainties of nature and human behaviour.
It recognises that inadequate management is not only the most influential, but also the easiest risk factor to change, and at lowest cost.
It also acknowledges that all those involved in taking life-and-death decisions should have an appropriate qualification in disaster risk management, if only to avoid the growing threat of litigation from a risk-informed public.
FOR AN INITIAL
WHAT IS THE CALCULUS OF CALAMITY ?
The Calculus-of-Calamity is an integrated optimisation model for enhanced management of disaster risk. It guides us in everything we do for you, acting as:
1. Analytic Framework for our Risk Review
2. Strategic Planning Tool
3. Performance Management Checklist
4. Multi-Disciplinary Training Curriculum
5. Technical Guidance Note
6. Evaluation Tool
The model positions Disaster Risk (Δ) as the sum of the following elements:
· Hazard Impact (H)
· Human Behaviour ( )
· Risk Communications (r)
· Social Vulnerability (V)
· Physical Exposure (E)
· Community Resilience (R), and
· Management Effectiveness (M) in terms of operational capacity, Information Management (i), and Allocative Efficiency (Ɵ)
Integrated horizontally across thirteen sectors and vertically across all phases of the resilience-readiness-response-recovery ‘doom loop’, the Calculus-of-Calamity provides a comprehensive analytic framework for reduction of avoidable loss through efficient and effective allocation of scarce resources.
Disasters are what happens when natural phenomena or human-induced hazards collide with human behaviour to disrupt and temporarily overwhelm local coping capacities. Disasters are not ‘divine tragedies’ ordained by capricious Gods, but social constructs; the product of interactions between different types of hazards and historical, social, and political forces. They are processes not events, and long-term processes at that; the result of decades of accumulated risk interacting with vulnerable communities ill-prepared to cope with, or adapt to, the emerging realities of shifting political ideologies and climate-change. They are caused by vulnerability, not hazards.
“Hazards are inevitable; disasters are optional.”
(Eric Noy, US Epidemiologist CDC)
The model covers the four domains of Disaster Epidemiology, Behavioural Psychology, Health Economics and the latest thinking in Public & Business Administration.
Dr. Myata Kagbo, President’s Office, Sierra Leone, 2014
Dr. Leonard Solis, Minister of Health, Albania, 2000
Maha Bahou, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Jordan, 2017
David Quinn, Programme Director, Crown Agents; London 2020
Anna Pont, UN Representative, Equatorial Guinea, 2022