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UNDP Global

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Guidelines for Assessing the Human Impact of Disasters

May 10, 2019

In 2013, the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, the World Bank and the European Union jointly published the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) guidelines. The overarching purpose of these guidelines are to provide improved support to governments in post-disaster recovery assessments and planning through a coordinated approach. 

The Guidelines for Assessing the Human Impact of Disasters have been developed as part of the PDNA guidelines, and similarly follows a people-centred, human-recovery approach. The concept of human development is central to these guidelines, particularly measures that ensure people recover their ability to lead productive and creative lives to the extent possible, in accordance with their needs and interests. In order to achieve this, people need equitable access to secure livelihoods, health services, shelter, land, security, freedom, community life and other quality-of-life services essential for human recovery and development. Equally important is the need to empower and strengthen human capabilities to help people recover and meet the additional challenges presented by disasters. Human recovery involves creating an enabling environment for women and girls, boys and men, communities, population subgroups and governments to recover from the impact of disasters.