Post-Disaster Needs Assessment

Post-Disaster Needs Assessment

November 22, 2015

Major disaster events are typically followed by multiple assessments, carried out by a large number of agencies and covering a broad range of sectors. These assessments are wide-ranging-- from the rapid assessment of immediate needs to the most elaborate assessment of long-term recovery and risk reduction requirements. The sheer number of assessments conducted, coupled with diverse methodologies, risks bringing a lack of clarity and confusion to stakeholders as they plan the recovery phase.


For this reason, there is a growing consensus on the need for standardized and comprehensive assessment in the post disaster period. Such an assessment must be multi-sectoral, addressing recovery needs related to infrastructure, shelter, livelihoods, and social and community services in a balanced and comprehensive manner.


In response to these concerns, UN Development Group (UNDG), the World Bank (WB) and the European Union (EU) have collaborated on the development of a joint Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) tool. This tool represents a harmonized and coordinated approach, providing for an objective, comprehensive and government-led assessment of the post disaster damages, losses and recovery needs, and paving the way for a consolidated recovery framework.

The overarching purpose of this guide is to provide technical support to practitioners as they plan for and implement the needs assessment and design the recovery framework. It is hoped that the guide will allow for a consistent and coherent approach to the post-disaster assessment, provide an objective and comprehensive estimate of recovery needs, while facilitating quick decision-making and action.