Skip this Video
Download Presentation
" Advancing Knowledge for Human Security and Development“

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 20

" Advancing Knowledge for Human Security and Development“ - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Flood Conference – ICLR, May 6-8, 2008, Toronto, Canada Assessment of Social Vulnerability at Sub-national Scale Dr.-Ing. Jörn Birkmann & Alexander Fekete. " Advancing Knowledge for Human Security and Development“ United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about ' " Advancing Knowledge for Human Security and Development“' - meriel

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

Flood Conference – ICLR, May 6-8, 2008, Toronto, Canada

Assessment of Social Vulnerability at Sub-national Scale

Dr.-Ing. Jörn Birkmann & Alexander Fekete

"Advancing Knowledge for Human Security and Development“

United Nations UniversityInstitute for Environment and Human Security


Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

  • Motivation
  • Vulnerability – Different Schools of Thought
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Assessment Process for the Sub-National Level
  • Data Limitations
  • Scale Issues
  • Conclusions

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

understanding of vulnerability
Understanding of Vulnerability

Fundamental Equation of Risk Analysis

consequences due to flooding


risk =

probability of failure

of coastal defences



Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

Source: Stephan Mai 2006

expected damage
Expected Damage

total economic value


Source: Stephan Mai 2006

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

social vulnerability
Social Vulnerability
  • Tsunami 2004: Gender imbalance
  • Katrina 2005: Institutional failure; but also ethnical
  • Banat flood 2005: Cultural acquaintance; - duration

Sri Lanka

New Orleans - Superdome

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

vulnerability definitions
Vulnerability Definitions

“... a human condition or process resulting from physical, social, economic, and environmental factors which determine the likelihood and scale of damage from the impact of a given hazard“ (UNDP, 2004)

“... the likelihood of injury, death, loss, disruption of livelihood or other harm in an extreme event, and/or unusual difficulties in recovering from such effects“ (Wisner, 2002)

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

social vulnerability in germany
Social Vulnerability in Germany
  • Are some social groups more vulnerable ?

Baseline social problems in Germany:

  • Unemployment
  • Migration; ethnic integration; racism
  • Ageing of the population; pension security
  • Relative poverty gap

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

project disflood


  • Data availability for the whole research area
  • End-user:- Administrative units
  • Target definition- Comparability- Completeness
  • Identify social and ecological vulnerability
  • Interlink vulnerability to hazard
  • Provide overview for 3 river-areas
  • GIS Integration

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

the bbc framework
The BBC-Framework

Source: Bogardi/Birkmann (2004) and Cardona (1999/2001)

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

social vulnerability index criteria
Social Vulnerability Index -Criteria

Exposure Potential

  • People
  • Settlement area


  • Unemployment, welfare dependence
  • Ethnic and economic conditions
  • Age, dependency, gender


  • Income and building type
  • Education and medical supply
  • Physical vitality

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

social vulnerability index
Social Vulnerability Index
  • Input: 34 variables of Federal statistical data 2006
  • Method: Factor analysis, with varimax rotation
  • Result: 4 Composite factors that indicate vulnerability
  • Income
  • Population density
  • Physical fragility, age
  • Lack of medical care

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

general social vulnerability index
General Social Vulnerability Index

Which social groups are more vulnerable?

  • 34 demographic variablese.g. age, education, income
  • Map shows general vulnerability
  • Comparable studies on county level in USA, UK, Spain, Germany

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

Data: Federal statistical office 2007, BKG 2007

ecological vulnerability
Ecological Vulnerability

Aggregation to county scale enables integration

DISFLOOD - Marion Damm

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

hazard specific vulnerability
Hazard-Specific Vulnerability
  • Flood experience
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Early warning systems

Scale implications:

Availability only for certain areas

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

exposure degree
  • Percentage of flooded settlement area per county

Data: CORINE 2000, HQ extreme IKSR 2001

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

integration hazards vulnerability
Integration: Hazards & Vulnerability

Risk = f(hazards; vulnerabilities)

Vulnerability = exposure, sensitivity,

capacities = the internal predisposition

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

outlook disaster risk index
Outlook - Disaster Risk Index
  • Combines social and ecological vulnerability
  • Combines hazard and vulnerability parameters
  • Data is normalised,
  • equal weighting,
  • ranks after standard deviations

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

scale implications


Constraints level: e.g. economic and political dynamics of the country

Level of focus: Vulnerability Phenomenon

Reductionist components: Validation by household questionnaire

Lit.: Gibson et al. 2000, O‘Neill 1988

Scale Implications
  • Multiple-scale problems

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

scale of the hazard
Scale of the Hazard

City of Cologne

Scale implication:

Extreme event data more suitable for sub-national scale


Blue line: HQ100

Blue area: HQ extreme

Symbols: Infrastructure

Outlook: more detailed study on local level – BBK study (Birkmann)

Dr.-Ing. Birkmann [email protected]

Fekete 2007