A systematic review of rapid needs assessments and their usefulness for disaster decision making: Methods, strengths and weaknesses and value for disaster relief policy

M.W.G. Bosmans*, C. Baliatsas, C.J. Yzermans, M.L.A. Dückers

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

2 Citaten (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


Disaster and humanitarian aid authorities are expected to ensure a timely responsive to the needs of populations affected by disaster. However, they typically have to operate under challenging conditions, hindered by lack of time, capacity and other practical complications. Aim of this systematic review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the methods, strengths and weaknesses and implementation factors of rapid needs assessments (RNAs) in a disaster context. A structured search was applied in PubMed, Web of Science and PsycINFO. A total of 45 assessments were included and categorized in different need categories. Most RNAs focused on health care and basic assistance needs and were mostly carried out in the first days to week post-impact using single measurements, based on questionnaires in (mostly limited) samples of affected populations or occasionally based on registries. Few examples were found that used existing data sources. The review suggests that it is certainly possible to collect information on needs on behalf of disaster decision-making. However, its practical implementation depends on two conditions: the level of preparedness (e.g. availability of standardized pre-developed methods to register the affected for follow-up, standardized measurement instruments and strategies to utilize existing data sources) on the one hand, the nature and dynamic circumstances of the incident on the other. Disaster response authorities are encouraged to give priority to strengthening the first beforehand, while anticipating on the latter, preferably as part of an all hazards approach, with the intention to repeat RNAs beyond the first part of the disaster timeline.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's16
TijdschriftInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
StatusPublished - mrt.-2022

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