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New Publication: How Can We Make Disaster Management Evaluations More Useful? An Empirical Study of Dutch Exercise Evaluations

2020-08-21

Ralf Beerens and Henrik Tehler got a new paper published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science (IJDRS) based on an experiment using vignettes. The focus of the article is on how evaluation reports can be written, which might be of particular use in the coming period in the Covid-19 crisis.  

It can be read and downloaded as an ‘open access’ paper via the following link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13753-020-00286-7 or alternatively via https://rdcu.be/b5yTR  

A follow-up article will be published in the next weeks.

Abstract:

The evaluation of simulated disasters (for example, exercises) and real responses are important activities. However, little attention has been paid to how reports documenting such events should be written. A key issue is how to make them as useful as possible to professionals working in disaster risk management. Here, we focus on three aspects of a written evaluation: how the object of the evaluation is described, how the analysis is described, and how the conclusions are described. This empirical experiment, based on real evaluation documents, asked 84 Dutch mayors and crisis management professionals to evaluate the perceived usefulness of the three aspects noted above. The results showed that how evaluations are written does matter. Specifically, the usefulness of an evaluation intended for learning purposes is improved when its analysis and conclusions are clearer. In contrast, evaluations used for accountability purposes are only improved by the clarity of the conclusion. These findings have implications for the way disaster management evaluations should be documented.