Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 175
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises Appendix E Technical Papers As part of its information gathering, the Committee on the Effective Use of Data, Methodologies, and Technologies to Estimate Subnational Populations at Risk held a workshop on March 13-14, 2006, at the National Academies Keck Center in Washington, D.C. As part of this workshop, the committee requested voluntary technical paper contributions from each panelist related to the topic of his or her panel session (see Appendix D for workshop agenda). These papers were intended to supplement the information the panelists presented during the workshop and served as references for the committee’s use during the course of the study. The technical papers that the committee received are presented here for reference, along with biographical sketches of the contributing authors. The statements, opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations made in the authored papers are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent positions of the committee, the National Academies, or the sponsors. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. government. LIST OF TECHNICAL PAPERS Assessing the Strengths and Weaknesses of Existing Data for Estimating Subnational Populations at Risk from Disasters Associated with Natural Hazards Mark Pelling, King’s College, London In Harm’s Way: Estimating Populations at Risk Jerome E. Dobson, University of Kansas
OCR for page 176
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises Organizational Impediments to Estimating Populations, and Acquiring, Accessing, and Using Population Data John A. Kelmelis, U.S Geological Survey and Department of State, Washington, D.C. Political Geography and Emergency Relief Wm. Glen Lauber, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C. Identify Ways in Which Subnational Demographic and Geographic Data and Tools Could Be Used to Help Decision Makers Provide Useful Information to Populations at Risk Shannon Doocy, Johns Hopkins University Center for Refugee and Disaster Response, Baltimore, Maryland Cognitive and Institutional Limits on Collecting and Processing Data on Populations at Risk: Preliminary Reflections on Southern African Responses to Displacement Loren B. Landau, Wits University’s Forced Migration Studies Programme, Johannesburg, South Africa Strengths and Limitations of Information and Data Analysis in Responding to Crisis in Mali Mamadou Kani Konaté, CAREF, Bamako, Mali ASSESSING THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF EXISTING DATA FOR ESTIMATING SUBNATIONAL POPULATIONS AT RISK FROM DISASTERS ASSOCIATED WITH NATURAL HAZARDS Mark Pelling, King’s College, London INTRODUCTION This paper offers a review of international disaster databases. It draws on Pelling (2005a,b, 2006). Four publicly accessible, international databases are described, and challenges facing the use of these data for subnational analysis are assessed. THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARCHITECTURE FOR COLLECTING DATA ON DISASTER LOSS Table E-1 presents a summary of the characteristics of four disaster loss databases: EM-DAT, NatCat, Sigma, and DesInventar. These are discussed in turn below.
OCR for page 177
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises TABLE E-1 International Disaster Databases EM-DAT NatCat Sigma DesInventar Web site http://www.cred.be/emdat http://www.munichre.com/ http://www.swissre.com/ http://www.desinventar.org/ Management University (CRED) Private (MunichRe) Private (SwissRe) University/NGO (La Red) Coverage Global Insured risk Insured risk Americas Hazard types with which disasters are associated Natural and technological Natural (rapid onset) Natural and technological Natural and technological Criteria for disaster entry At least 10 deaths or 100 affected, or state of emergency, or call for international assistance 1980-present: any property damage and person injured or killed. Before 1980, only “major” events At least 20 deaths, or insured losses of at least U.S. $15.1 million or total loss of U.S. $74.9 milliona Any social loss Principal data source Humanitarian agencies, governments, international media Insurers, international media, supported by site visits Insurers, international media Local/ national media, agency and government reports Time for new entry Four weeks Around three weeks Annual revision Around one week to one month Period covered 1900-present, with goodaccuracy from 1980 Good accuracy from 1979 1970-present 1970-present Data fields (not all data are available for every disaster event)b Mortality, injured, homeless, total people affected, estimated economic loss Insured and economic losses Includes data on human losses for large-scale disasters Insured losses Economic loss, mortality, missing, injured, and homeless are also noted for large-scale disasters Mortality; injured or missing victims; affected, destroyed, and affected houses; evacuated areas; roads, education centers, or livestock lost; economic losses NOTE: NGO = nongovernmental organization. aUsing 2004 U.S. dollars, monetary values annually adjusted. bNo data set covers ecological loss.
OCR for page 178
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises THE EMERGENCY DISASTERS DATABASE The Emergency Disasters Data Base (EM-DAT), managed by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, is the most complete, internationally accessible, public database on disaster loss at the national scale. It produces estimates of human and economic losses from disasters. The database includes relatively small disasters for which reliable data exist. The main aim of EM-DAT is to support research, and great effort is put into the verification of input data; nonetheless, many challenges to data quality and completeness remain. The verification process means that data often are not posted on EM-DAT until four weeks after an event. Even at this stage the data are subject to change over periods of 12 months or more when, for example, people described initially as missing are re-categorized as dead. The contribution of EM-DAT is primarily constrained by a lack of systematic and standardized local and national disaster data collection. A particular problem from the perspective of this workshop is the lack of spatial specificity found in international reports upon which EM-DAT builds much of its database. Consequently, EM-DAT catalogues events by country, making it difficult to identify subnational patterns of disaster loss, with changes in international borders complicating historical analysis. Subnational loss patterns can be deduced as a proportion of national population or population exposed to a particular hazard type, for example, but the results are rough estimates at best. REINSURANCE DATABASES: NATCAT AND SIGMA NatCat is managed by Munich Reinsurance (MunichRe). Beyond holding data on insured loss, MunichRe has built a methodology for calculating total economic losses for large-scale disasters (excluding those associated with drought) from this database. Economic losses are calculated based on insured loss, with weighting for the country affected and the natural hazard trigger type. Economic losses include damage to physical assets and infrastructure but do not incorporate losses from the interruption of productive, distributive, and marketing activities and secondary effects on the national economy, all of which are difficult to calculate. The accuracy of the methodology is verified by comparison with final loss estimates from the field. The georeferencing of individual buildings means that very high resolution loss studies can be undertaken, with MunichRe having also developed an urban risk index. Sigma, managed by Swiss Reinsurance (SwissRe), presents information on insured property losses and on economic and human loss due to natural
OCR for page 179
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises and technological disasters in its annual loss reports. Sigma uses the event (which may include multiple countries) as the basis for each entry. This contrasts with the use of country categorization in NatCat and EM-DAT. Both insurance databases provide only limited information on countries and populations with low insurance density. This reduces coverage for Africa and also for Asia and Latin America. In particular, rural areas lack comprehensive data, and losses associated with drought are not covered. However, the inclusion of data from sources beyond insurance reports enables the databases to provide some information even on these areas. DESINVENTAR DesInventar is of special interest to this workshop because it is the only internationally accessible database that holds locally georeferenced data for human and economic loss. A comparison of loss data of EM-DAT and DesInventar has shown differences. For example, DesInventar tends to record higher numbers of people affected by disaster (WG3, 2002) than does EM-DAT. Differences in data have been explained by alternative data collection approaches. DesInventar is managed by a regional coalition of academic and non-governmental actors and covers 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. DesInventar’s focus on local disasters introduces a number of specific challenges for data quality: The media is a prominent source of information; not only is there no systematic method for media reporting on losses, but reliability is debatable. An aim of DesInventar is to collect information on secondary impacts and losses to infrastructure, but it is found that this information is unevenly reported, even locally. Sometimes DesInventar has to draw on national sources of data, and in these cases it is very difficult to disaggregate to determine the local distribution of losses. Subnational DesInventar databases also exist for individual states in the U.S., Brazil, Colombia, South Africa, and India. KEY CHALLENGES Lack of Standardized and Systematic Subnational Data Collection The absence of standard guidelines for local disaster loss data collection is compounded in most countries by an ad hoc system of data collection
OCR for page 180
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises by local media, government, or civil society groups. Local data are collated and fed to international databases by intermediaries. Not only do intermediaries not have a standard set of definitions to order data, but they might be tempted to exaggerate or suppress data for professional, political, or economic advantage (DFID, 2004). Mortality is the cleanest indicator of disaster loss. Even here, however, the distinction between deaths and people missing creates uncertainty, with some countries requiring that people be declared dead after they have been missing for 12 months. Wide variance in reports of mortality is common. For example, in the Bam earthquake, mortality was put at 43,200 by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at 31,884 by the French Agency Press, and at 26,796 by the International Federal of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Data are most incomplete for economic losses. Over the past three decades, economic losses were reported for less than 30 percent of all natural disasters, with the least data for developing countries (Pelling, 2005b). Scarcity of data is compounded by the lack of a standardized methodology for reporting economic losses. Generally it is only direct losses that are reported with no breakdown of losses by sector. Having few international data sources makes verification difficult. In Bam, economic loss estimates ranged from U.S. $1 billion by SwissRe to U.S. $32.7 million from the U.S. Geological Survey. A possible model for a standard methodology for reporting losses has been developed by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (see http://www.proventionconsortium.org/toolkit.htm); this model is becoming widely used. When disasters are associated with hazards that impact more than one country, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami or Hurricane Mitch, potential problems with double counting in data sets may also occur. Losses might be recorded for individual countries and for the event as a whole. A harder challenge to overcome is a product of disaster cascades—this happens when an initial hazard triggers a secondary event, for example when landslides follow seismic activity or flooding. This challenge may be addressed partly by an agreement among agencies to use a common and unique Global Identifier Number (GLIDE) for each event. GLIDE has been available since 2004. Defining Hazards and Distinguishing Events Strict physical definitions for hazards can be proposed so that their distribution and frequency might be mapped. Associating hazards with recorded loss data to measure severity of impact is not as easy to do. In each database and for each hazard type, the quality of attributed loss data is compromised by other intervening and overlapping causes of loss.
OCR for page 181
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises Drought hazard and associated loss present the greatest challenge (drought is also the hazard type associated with most human loss). A common definition of drought does not exist, and it may be defined using a range of meteorological, hydrological, or agricultural variables. Thus, no common rubric is used to draw spatial and temporal limits around drought events, creating challenges for the comparative analysis of drought impacts. The slow-onset nature of drought makes it very difficult to separate the relative contribution of associated environmental and human factors, such as soil loss, armed conflict, or HIV/AIDS, to loss data. Overall this can make it difficult to judge whether a drought period is a cause, product, or context for reported losses. The 20-year time span of reliable information from loss databases makes it difficult to use past losses as a basis for assessing current vulnerability and risk status for low-frequency, high-impact hazard types such as volcanic eruptions or tsunamis. Projecting Past Vulnerabilities into the Future Care should be taken when using loss data as input to vulnerability and risk indexing. Loss data speak toward past events. While strong historical correlations between events may be apparent, this should not lead to an assumption that trend lines will continue similarly into the future. This assumption becomes more problematic at finer resolution where development pressures, such as rapid urbanization and local environmental changes linked to global climate change, have the potential to alter radically the local distributions of population, wealth, hazard, and vulnerability over a short time period relative to hazard frequency. It is also possible that losses during past disasters will lead to local learning and the building of resilience, rather than the continuation of vulnerability, so that past impacts might locally be associated with future security rather than vulnerability. Regular assessments accompanied by contextual analysis of pressures shaping hazard, vulnerability, and disaster risk management can help overcome this challenge for measuring local risk. Measuring Human Vulnerability Mortality is arguably the most reliable comparative indicator of local human loss at the global scale. Data on people affected, injured, or made homeless are far less reliable. Reliance on mortality gives statistical rigor but limits policy impact. This can be seen most clearly in drought events where complex interactions between drought, political violence, chronic disease, and economic poverty can make it very difficult to ascribe mortality. It would be more useful for policy makers if the impacts of a drought
OCR for page 182
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises on livelihood could be measured, but this can only be done on the ground and at the local level. Where economic impacts are to be used to indicate vulnerability or risk, three challenges should be considered. First, economic loss data do not routinely include long-term economic impacts (sometimes called secondary losses) including changes in national balance of payments, international debt, or fluctuating levels of employment or price inflation in the years following disaster. Second, the destruction or erosion of household livelihoods is not accounted for in economic loss estimates. Third, a focus on gross domestic product (GDP) excludes the informal sector from analyses. Finally, economic loss as a proportion of national wealth as well as in absolute terms should be measured. Low-income countries have fewer economic assets to lose, but damage can be felt as a high proportion of national or local wealth. Building Multihazard Measurements The challenges discussed above are magnified when trying to build multihazard vulnerability or risk indicators. A particular challenge is how to combine hazards measured using different metrics, for example, combining the hazardous nature of drought (measured by frequency) and landslides (measured by probability). CONCLUSION The greatest need is for standardized collection and systematic collation of local disaster data. This should include agreed protocols for the start and end dates of disasters, for their georeferencing, for distinguishing between cascading hazards, and for measuring impacts, in particular economic impacts, which should include secondary and livelihood losses and ecological impacts. In addition to this, the quality of international disaster databases would be greatly improved by guidelines for standardization in disaster event and loss reporting among intermediaries. Subnational baselines of social, economic, and ecological status would enhance the accuracy of disaster loss measurement and allow the verification of vulnerability and risk assessments through disaster impact. This will be enabled where the local disaster loss data are compatible with aggregation-disaggregation to the finest level of resolution routinely available for social statistics, such as a census tract. Developing baselines goes beyond the capacity of the disasters community, but is an agenda in which disasters data managers could usefully participate. The recommendations presented here in part respond to the Hyogo Framework for Action, which endorsed the
OCR for page 183
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises need for more work on disaster data and analysis to feed into disaster risk reduction. REFERENCES DFID (Department for International Development), 2004. Disaster Risk Reduction: A Development Concern. London: DFID. Pelling, M., 2005a. Visions of Risk: A Review of International Indicators of Disaster Risk and Its Management. Geneva: United Nations Development Programme-Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. Pelling, M., 2005b. Disaster Data: Building a Foundation for Disaster Risk Reduction. In World Disasters Report. Geneva: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, pp. 172-180. Pelling, M., 2006. Measuring vulnerability to urban natural disaster risk. Open House International, special issue on Managing Urban Disasters 31(1):125-132. WG3 (Working Group Three), 2002. Comparative Analysis of Disaster Databases. Geneva: International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Final Report submitted to Working Group 3, November 30. Mark Pelling is a Reader in Human Geography, King’s College London. Before this he lectured at the University of Liverpool and the University of Guyana. His research interests are in assessing and understanding human vulnerability, resilience, and adaptation to natural hazards including those associated with climate change. Recent publications include The Vulnerability of Cities: Natural Disaster and Social Resilience (Earthscan) and Natural Disaster and Development in a Globalizing World (Routledge). He has acted as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme-Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, the United Nations-Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT), Tearfund, the UK Department for International Development, and the UK Environment Agency. He is chair of the Climate Change Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the ProVention Consortium Advisory Committee. IN HARM’S WAY: ESTIMATING POPULATIONS AT RISK Jerome E. Dobson, University of Kansas My charge is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing data, methods, and tools for population analysis at subnational levels. First, I ask, what is the intended purpose and what are the risks to be addressed? What are the scopes and resolutions of risks against which each database must be judged? What spatial and temporal resolutions are required to meet each data need, and what methods are required to produce appropriate databases? I conclude with recommendations on policy, institutional frameworks, methods, and delivery mechanisms.
OCR for page 184
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises PURPOSE A narrow definition of the term “populations at risk” implies that the end use will be emergency management and humanitarian relief. Usually, such risks are categorized as natural disasters, technological accidents, epidemics, and wars including regional conflicts and terrorism. A broad definition would cover all types of risk, including economic crises, environmental degradation, disease outbreaks, and social upheavals. It would be in the national and global interest for the committee to adopt a broad definition and address a wide range of risks. SCOPE OF RISK Risks come in all sizes, shapes, and durations. Consider, for example, extreme weather events. Tornadoes, hurricanes, and climate change place whole regions at risk on a long-term basis, but they differ greatly in the spatial and temporal extent of individual incidents. Each tornado is highly precise in duration (minutes to hours) and spatial extent (from a single building to at most a long, narrow swath of buildings, fields, and forests). Each hurricane typically impacts a coastal strip several hundred kilometers long with high winds and ocean surges, and even its most violent impacts may extend a hundred kilometers or more. Climate changes cover vast territory on the order of whole regions, continents, or even the entire planet. Population data requirements thus differ greatly depending on the type of weather event. Hence, an ideal system for tornado response would require data resolutions on the order of individual buildings, or roughly 15 meters. An ideal system for hurricanes should support evacuation planning at least as precise as neighborhood (1 kilometer) or preferably block (90 meters). An ideal system for climate change, however, might suffice with census data typically available for countries, districts, and minor civil divisions, and no disaggregation would be required. Likewise in war, conventional wisdom during the Cold War era was that population estimates would suffice at very coarse resolutions because blast effects would cover cities, say tens of kilometers, and radiation effects would cover hundreds of kilometers. The rise of terrorism in the 1990s sparked an immediate demand for more precise population data resolutions of 1 square kilometer or finer. TIME Time is crucial for most types of emergency response. To what precision can the timing of each incident be predicted? Tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and terrorist attacks often happen with little
OCR for page 185
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises or no warning. Hurricanes form for days, but always with uncertainty as to where and when they will make landfall. In our lifetimes, remarkable advances have been made in forecasters’ abilities to predict when and where tornadoes and hurricanes will strike, but error bands remain broad. Wars, climate changes, economic crises, and environmental catastrophes form over years, but warning signs can be interpreted in many ways with regard to the timing and certainty of their most violent manifestations. Hence, it is essential to have suitable databases prepared ahead of time and updated as often as possible. In contrast, some incidents can be predicted with absolute certainty. If, for example, an asteroid was hurtling toward Earth, its time of impact could be predicted to the minute. That is a rare event, of course, but the same scenario has occurred several times with man-made satellites descending from orbit. Similarly predictable categories include military air strikes by allied forces and certain pre-announced or pre-detected terrorist attacks. Many other types of events are predictable after the incident has begun. A tsunami’s arrival, for instance, can be predicted with great certainty once a given surge is observed to be propagating across a given sea. The most important determination is whether an incident will occur at night or during the day. Census counts measure where people sleep at night or, at least, on most nights. Substantial analysis and modeling are required to estimate whereabouts in daytime. Thus, census counts are preferred when the incident occurs at night, while modeled population estimates, even with broad error bands, are preferred when the incident occurs in daytime. Twenty-four hour ambient population densities are adequate, and may even be preferred, when the timing is random or unknown. Adding to the complexity is the fact that many emergencies are combinations of large and small disasters. Paradoxically, for instance, floods often cause fires and may cause all sorts of other local disasters such as building collapses, chemical releases, power outages, and transportation accidents. Wars typically are complex emergencies consisting of disasters intended by one protagonist and unavoidable for the other. Ideally, population data would be updated in real-time as each disaster unfolds, but this would require an exceptional capability for data acquisition, analysis, computation, and dissemination that does not exist at present. ELEVATION Terrain is a key factor for many types of disasters, which greatly increases the need for fine-resolution data for both population and elevation. Hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and the blast effects and airborne contaminants of terrorist attacks and industrial accidents are constrained by land surface elevation, slope, and relief. In the immediate aftermath of the 2004
OCR for page 238
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises more than ethnicity, it is the ethnic background during socialization that determines individuals’ beliefs and behavior. Social ethnicity will therefore have a more determining influence than ethnicity inherited through birth. Mutation of family names after about two generations’ change of residence is evidence of the preeminence of social ethnicity which over time will mutate into the ethnic origins of succeeding generations. These examples lead us to assert that the objectives of collection determine the type of information collected. Indeed, one of the advantages is that some variables can be used on later occasions for other types of analysis. In using data to proceed to secondary analysis, attention should be drawn to the degrees of relevance that can be attained. These degrees of relevance, among others, may include the following: The time that has past since the data were collected; The fact that the variables used allow for only indirect or approximate estimation of the phenomena being studied; and The difference between the characteristics of the surveyed population and the characteristics of the population at the time of a crisis. The limits inherent in analyses based on secondary use of the data are a constraint with which Mali is now confronted. Despite the considerable number of data collection operations that have been carried out, very few have been specifically conducted to document a situation that could lead to a crisis. Four examples are used to illustrate the lack of specific information to resolve crises. The first example concerns a natural crisis involving invasion by swarms of locusts in 2004. The second example discloses a social crisis relating to management of natural pasturage. A third relates to the school crisis after the social revolution of March 1991. The Touareg rebellion in the north completes the partial typology of crises that Mali has experienced during the past 10 years. EXAMPLE OF NATURAL CRISIS MANAGEMENT The most recent, final, nationwide report drawn up by the Ministry of Agriculture gives the following description: Mali experienced a massive invasion of locusts during the agricultural season 2004-2005. Two-thirds of the country, particularly the area between the 14th and the 21st northern parallels, was affected between June and September 2004. The phenomenon took the form of what was called a “locust hazard” equivalent to being on a war footing. This danger affected 7 Regions, 26 Circles and 130 Communes.
OCR for page 239
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises It is noted that Regions, Circles, and Areas are the administrative subdivisions in Mali. Modern Administrative Management Existing surveillance structures at the Ministry of Agriculture technical services gave the alert before June 2004 to prevent invasion by swarms of locusts. According to Mr. Fakaba Diakité, Coordinator of the Unit for Migratory Locust Control (ULCP), and the African Project for Emergency Control of Migratory Locusts (PALUCP): As technicians we expected this, because in 2003 we saw a build-up in the region. We treated almost 40,000 hectares in Mali…. From the month of February the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) launched an appeal to the international community announcing that as soon as rains arrived in the Sahel there would be locusts. By the month of March, we had drawn up an action plan that we presented to the Ministry of Agriculture and all the other Ministries involved, as well as to the development partners. Unfortunately there was no reaction. We then presented this plan more than ten times before the month of July. There was no response. It was from July that we began to have the first swarms, and people, or at least the authorities, began to move. First an operational headquarters was set up … from the month of August…. It was from September that we began to receive responses from partners. The national coordinator’s explanations show the following sequence of management of the invasion by locusts in Mali in 2004: Preventive activities are limited to treatment of a part of the surface infested by larvae, given the limited stocks of pesticides. The alert was given in good time at both national and international levels. Intensive advocacy was conducted at national level for about six months. The conclusion was that no action had been taken despite all these preliminary stages. An attempt was made to provide a response as soon as the first swarms began to move. This model is one of centralized administrative management of the crisis. It leads to limiting the crisis for a much longer period and calls for more logistical and financial resources. In looking at the analysis of control of migratory locusts that is made by Mr. Fakaba Diakité, it is evident that “in locust control, as soon as you see them here (in the southern areas), it
OCR for page 240
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises means that everything we have done has failed.” In other words, prevention is the best means of managing invasion by swarms of locusts. Before preventive control, there has to be political will. In Mali since the 2004 crisis, the government has made a commitment to provide a national budget allocation of 1 billion francs for locust control. Despite this commitment, the coordinator of the Locust Control Unit judges that “unfortunately we never have a line of credit at the level of our State budgets to enable us to conduct real, permanent surveillance, because when you look at what we spent on cricket control in 2004, it is about 7 billion CFA francs (about U.S. $13,207,547 at a rate of $1.00 to 530 West African CFA francs). In our calculations we thought that with seven billion we could conduct control activities for over twenty years if there was preventive control.” Currently the government budget allocation going to the ULCP is sited within this structure. This institutional arrangement means that the budget is not devoted exclusively to prevention of locust invasion. Surveillance of other pests is also funded from the same allocation. Traditional and Community Means of Management At the level of prevention, members of communities can be very useful. Community members can be trained in techniques of unearthing eggs. In managing the infestation, instead of exposing them to chemical products used for treatment, they will be effective by using ditches to bury the locusts that fall into them because these insects always move forward in the same direction. Early Warning System The Early Warning System (SAP) was set up in Mali in 1982 (Tékété, 2002). Its objectives are forecasting situations of food shortages or abundant production, and improving availability and provision of necessary assistance. Early warning is ensured by collaboration of several structures and institutions in Mali. These are grouped in a multidisciplinary working group including an American nongovernmental organization, FEWS. In Mali the early warning system has developed to respond to needs linked to food security. The SAP “is based on permanent information collection concerning rainfall, crop evaluation, livestock, market prices, migration of populations,
OCR for page 241
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises their habits and food stocks, as well as their health status…. The SAP systematically surveys zones that are traditionally at risk, that is to say the zones having experienced and quasi-permanently experiencing severe food shortage. These zones are generally the arrondissement subdivisions located to the north of the 14th parallel” (Tékété, 2002). The arrondissement is the third-level administrative subdivision in Mali, following the Region and the Circle, which are the largest geographic entities. According to Tékété (2002), the methodology utilised by the SAP is based on a certain number of activities: Collection of information Verification and rapid treatment of information Distribution of information These operations often vary according to whether they are situated at the regional or national level. They are produced on a 10-day basis. FEWS has been cited as an early warning system in Mali. This structure that existed in Mali from 1985 to 2000 has been succeeded by FEWS NET. “The general aim of FEWS NET is to facilitate installation of food security and more efficient and more sustainable planning networks which will then be managed by the governments involved…. In Mali and indeed in general, FEWS NET carries out climate monitoring (Meteosat images), of vegetation (vegetation indicators), and cereal prices in various markets. This information is provided by FEWS to other working groups of which it is a member, in particular SAP and the GTPA (Multidisciplinary Working Group for Agrometeorological Assistance” (Tékété, 2002). FEWS NET publishes a monthly bulletin that is posted on an Internet site. The basis of this early warning mechanism was access to costly logistical and technological tools. Less expensive means can now be substituted for them. In addition, the mechanism is designed and conducted by administrative structures. Little place is provided for communities in the process of data collection and analysis. It has to be recognized, however, that community members are involved in daily evaluation of their own environments. In countries such as Mali with limited means, the emphasis should be above all on human investment. Sentinel surveillance is an approach to explore. It is permanent. It can be conducted by communities themselves. The accompanying measure to ensure that it becomes effective is the training of resource persons among the communities for the collection, systematic analysis, and transmission of data in real time. This approach is just as valid for natural as for social crises and can contribute to making early warning more effective because it documents phenomena over a longer period of time through qualitative and quantitative chronological series.
OCR for page 242
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises MANAGEMENT OF SOCIAL CRISES Social crises in Mali, whether or not they are documented by research studies, typically occur between two communities (or within the same community) concerning management of natural resources (pasture land, agricultural land, water, and products derived from water). Implementation of decentralization policy is currently at the origin of localized social conflicts whose management varies from one location to another. “Decentralization” is the legal framework installing modern local government bodies. The discussion begins with the last of these aspects. A second example is cited that relates to management of natural pasturage. Specific types such as urban sociopolitical conflicts and the Touareg rebellion in the north conclude the analysis of social crises. Conflict of Traditional Chiefdoms The first example describes establishing local management structures in the framework of decentralization. A persistent conflict is present in the area of Bamba, situated midway between Gao and Timbuctou. Transfer of local power from the master group to the traditionally administered group following communal elections is at the origin of this situation. After numerous clashes and loss of lives, the Malian state currently maintains troops on the spot to prevent continuing clashes. Negotiations have still not led to reconciliation of the different points of view on the new approach to management of local government. In factual terms, at stake are the defense of prerogatives and failure to accept challenge to the local traditional mode of administration. The possible causes behind the origin of this conflict could be lack of preparation through preliminary studies of local management of power and/or failure to identify potential mechanisms and degrees of acceptable change, as well as their mode of operation. Conflict Concerning Management of Pasturage This example describes the clash between two Fulani communities; the clash concerned disputes regarding pasturage situated in the Inner Delta of the Niger River in Mali (the Niger Bend) in 1993. The final count included 20 dead and 42 wounded. According to Maïga (2005), numerous studies of the Niger River Inner Delta have been conducted, but “on the other hand, very few have taken an interest in the stakeholders in negotiations for access to ’bourgou’ pasturage in the context of decentralisation.” Choice of the zone of his study “is justified by the recurrent conflicts that occur there, proof of an exacerbation of competition surrounding ‘bourgou’ pasturage.” The
OCR for page 243
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises Niger Inner Delta includes an area of 30,000 square kilometers of wetlands subdivided into three protected sites linked to the International Convention on Wetlands, which are of international importance particularly because of their biological diversity. The area is noted as the habitat of water birds. In his approach, Maïga (2005) questions two fundamental aspects: first, the interactions between state law and customary law, and second, prospects for access to pasturage and the future of traditional chiefdoms in the context of decentralization (local government). The problem of recognition of customary law in the Interior Delta was posed during the colonial period when addressing relations between the Fulani and Touareg ethnic groups. Establishing recognition from the colonial administrator of the right to movement to and from seasonal pasturage was considered to be the reason for no longer observing the rules of those who controlled customary management of pasture land. These realities still persist and regularly bring to the fore the question of primacy of one of the two types of law or their simultaneous application. Beyond customary regulation of pasturage conflicts, two problematic aspects are highlighted. On one hand, understanding which legal system is intelligible, applicable, or weightier for the protagonist populations is needed during conflicts. On the other hand, understanding the influence of decentralization on reorganization of the chiefdoms or on the power of the masters of the land is also important. In pre-decentralization law in Mali, Dembélé (2005) noted that “[natural] resources are determined by the law to be part of the State’s natural public domain,” while “neighboring villages consider them to be part of their heritage and regulate their operation.” This customary tendency is still alive today. Parallel operation of the two jurisdictions is an additional source of conflict that does not make management of crises any easier. Sociopolitical and Urban Conflicts Two types of sociopolitical conflict have emerged in the urban setting in Mali during the past 10 years: the school crisis and the claim for democracy. The origin of the school crisis was the demand by high-school and higher education students for better educational conditions. Mali inherited responsibility from the colonial system for total coverage of school costs for all those who obtained access to secondary education. Economic difficulties at the end of the 1970s are the basis for revising this system. Installation of scholarship awards according to certain criteria and the difficulty of honoring payment of these scholarships led to disruptions that recurred and were generalized in 1991. The background clamor for democracy made use of this fertile ground, which then became the factor that triggered popular
OCR for page 244
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises revolution. The military regime fell on March 26, 1991. The Third Republic emerged in Mali. Democracy has been installed since this date. Although intertwining of the school crisis and claims for democracy temporarily benefited both causes, delays in meeting students’ claims became the source of recurring disruption in schools and colleges in urban settings in Mali. The role played by students in social change became a source of demands and blackmail whose disorderly manifestations paralyzed Malian towns on a sporadic and partial basis. Public authorities did not attempt to analyze the school phenomenon in order to understand its mechanisms and consider taking appropriate measures. They chose instead the method of long and uncertain negotiations with various splinter groups of the student movement. In the end, the formula of mediation that brought about the beginning of calm and pacification of campuses and schools was established under the aegis of a committee made up of all parts of civil society. This calm is still precarious; during the twenty-third summit bringing together African and French heads of state in Bamako on December 3-4, 2005, youth delegates from the continent delivered an ultimatum (read by the Cameroonian, Marie Tamoifo NKom) that said in essence “if politicians do not take notice of youth, the wind of change, in a democratic context, will lead young people to settle the business of the politicians so that their commitments take on a meaning.” The Touareg Rebellion The last type of social conflict presented is one that was expressed through taking up arms. Touareg communities in the north of Mali judged that they had been ignored during the process of development since independence. The imbalance between the south, the center, and the north in investment choices and installation of infrastructure was becoming more and more marked. Faced with this situation, the Movements for Liberation of the Azaouad launched the rebellion. National and international mediation were the mechanisms that resolved this social crisis. This led to upgrading the north of Mali with the design of dedicated development programs; setting up a dedicated administration (the Commissariat for the North); organization of a symbolic Flame of Peace under the aegis of the United Nations during which the arms laid down by combatants in the rebellion were burned; and integration in March 1996 of some of combatants of the rebellion into the various branches of the military.
OCR for page 245
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises LIMITATIONS OF INFORMATION AND DATA ANALYSIS IN RESPONDING TO CRISIS IN MALI Examination of macro-level data collected in Mali as well as those connected with certain types of crises and their resolution does not highlight the information to be collected in order to respond to crisis. Since this paper is not based on the findings of a systematic evaluation or a specific study, it is difficult to evaluate the contribution made by information analysis. One exception is management of the invasion of migratory locusts, which was supported by prior technical information collection. Even in this particular case, however, a lack of consideration of the population dimension was evident. This determining feature in measuring both quantitative and qualitative impacts does not appear clearly in the cases presented. In response to the question of which types of information are used in crisis prevention, the following answer can be made: Specific and systematic information was used from the early warning system concerning agricultural crises and their impact on food security or concerning natural crises such as swarms of migratory locusts. In all the other cases considered, relevant information is largely from administrative sources. By way of methods installed to generate the necessary data for crisis analysis and providing responses to them, the first to be noted is the early warning system. Routine information generated by the administrative system and secondary treatment of certain data collected in connection with other operations are used to provide complementary analysis. The limitations of these approaches have already been mentioned. Given the conclusions reached through the cases examined in this paper, which approaches will lead to advancing beyond practices and methods that are currently used? CONCLUSION: APPROACHES TO ADVANCING BEYOND CURRENT METHODS AND PRACTICES Approaches to the anticipation of natural or social crises exist, but in the current context of Mali, very little investment has been made in this area. At the level of state structures, the example of locusts has shown the limitations of rapid and appropriate reaction. Affected communities are also unprepared, either because of ignorance of what they can do or through lack of initiative, or both. To advance beyond this situation, two levers need to be activated. The first is that of information, and communities must be provided with the means of acquiring improved knowledge regarding the natural risks that they may experience in their environment. The second is to encourage local mechanisms of social organization to take part in permanent documenta-
OCR for page 246
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises tion of the process through sentinel surveillance in anticipating and reacting to early warnings. More specifically, regarding management of social crises, anticipation is also a valid general approach for both authorities and communities. It should be preceded by sociological, anthropological, and ethnographic research studies in zones with recurrent conflicts. To go beyond these approaches, positive partnership in prevention should be emphasized. A recent example is the signature of a convention between farmers and livestock owners in the Circle of Kangaba. This convention delineates areas for keeping livestock, “pasture zones,” responsibilities of community surveillance brigades for application of the agreement and those of the forestry service agents, and a number of other provisions. All community and government partners have signed the document. Experience from its implementation will tell us if the formula is a good one and if it might be replicated elsewhere. REFERENCES Dembélé, A., 2005. Decentralisation and management of natural resources in Mali–Boro Lake. In G. Hesseling, M. Djiré, and B.M. Oomen (eds.), Law in Africa–Local Experience of State Law in Mali. Karthala: Afrika-Studiecentrum, pp. 216. Maïga, B., 2005. Access to pasturage in the Niger Interior Delta–Case of the “bourgou” pasture at Leydi Yaarlarbé. In G. Hesseling, M. Djiré, and B.M. Oomen (eds.), Law in Africa–Local Experience of State Law in Mali. Karthala: Afrika-Studiecentrum, pp. 185. Tékété, A., 2002. Evaluation of Performance of EW’s—CLIMAG West Africa: Harmonisation of Climate Prediction for Mitigation of Global Impact in Sudano-Sahelian West Africa, May 22. Touré, B., 2005. Youth: Burning questions, timely answers. L’ESSOR, National Daily Newspaper, No. 15592, December 5, pp. 8-9. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My thanks go to Mr. Fakaba Diakité for the time he devoted, the interview he agreed to give me, and all the documents he placed at my disposal to produce this paper. Mamadou Kani Konaté is a rural sociologist with 20 years’ experience in the use of qualitative and quantitative research techniques. He spent 15 years working for CERPOD (Centre for the Study and Research of Population for Development). He conducted the first DHS in 1986-1987 and carried out various sociodemographic studies and evaluations in Mali. He has assisted several institutions in nine West African countries belonging to the Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, to design and carry out research on population and development. He has been on several
OCR for page 247
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises WHO committees and is the chair of the committee called Strengthening Research Capability for Social Health Sciences for Tropical Disease Control in Geneva. He is also a member of UEPA (Union for the Study of Population in Africa), FASAF (Network for Schooling and Family in Africa), and IUHPE (International Union for Health Promotion and Education in Africa. In February 2003, he co-founded CAREF (http://www.caref-mali.org), a private institution whose aim is to support young researchers by providing them with an enabling environment in which to work as well as giving them the opportunity to share and acquire experience. The center is entirely financially self-reliant, its funding being derived from consultancies.
OCR for page 248
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises This page intentionally left blank.
Representative terms from entire chapter: