2020 Humanitarian Assistance Other

Estimating Needs In Disasters

Anneli Eriksson

Humanitarian aid must be based on needs but is underfunded and unevenly distributed. This DDB report develops a model that estimated needs in the event of disasters. The results were presented during the webinar How to mitigate disasters: reducing risks, estimating needs and ensuring health system resilience.

Main findings

  • There are easy to find, accessible indicators that correlate with severity and the scale of needs in complex emergencies.
  • The application of the model is sensitive to changes over time and shows variations in severity between complex emergencies.
  • Out of the selection of indicators from commonly used disaster indexes, none are able to predict the scale of needs after earthquakes.
Anneli Eriksson defended her dissertation Estimating Needs in Disasters in June 2020. The dissertation is the result of a collaboration between the Center for International Health, the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Bergen and the Centre for Research on Health Care in Disasters at Karolinska Institutet. Anneli is a nurse and has worked for Médecins Sans Frontières for many years. Her research focuses on how to measure needs in the event of disasters.