In the aftermath of the September 2023 Derna flood disaster in Libya, a number of different tools allowed rapid assessment of the situation to facilitate the response and reduce further risks. An open-source tool that has been used is “RiskChanges”, a resource for effective multi-hazard risk assessment and management. Developed collaboratively by the University of Twente and the Asian Institute of Technology, GeoInformatics Centre (UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office), RiskChanges operates as a cloud-based spatial decision support system. It addresses the critical need for publicly available, versatile tools for multi-hazard risk assessment, ensuring ease of use for local authorities in various international contexts.
RiskChanges offers an array of features tailored for comprehensive risk assessment and analysis. Its multi-user functionality facilitates collaboration among stakeholders, enabling data sharing and collective insights. The tool supports multi-hazard assessment, considering interactions and cumulative effects of different hazards. Additionally, it enables multi-asset analysis, vulnerability assessment, modeling of risk scenarios, risk comparison, and advanced spatial analysis and visualization.
Benefits of Open-Source Approach
One of the tool's strengths lies in its open-source nature, providing cost-effectiveness, flexibility, transparency, and encouraging collaboration among users. Organizations can customize RiskChanges according to their specific requirements, enhancing its usability and effectiveness.
RiskChanges finds applications in diverse areas, including risk assessment and mapping, risk reduction planning, disaster preparedness and response, and climate change adaptation. It has garnered global interest and uptake, with notable implementations in Nepal, India, the Caribbean, and Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.
Capacity Building and Future Prospects
The tool's impact extends beyond practical applications, as it has been utilized in various training sessions worldwide. These sessions have provided valuable feedback, contributing to ongoing enhancements and ensuring its effectiveness in upcoming training and risk assessment activities.
In summary, RiskChanges stands as a powerful open-source solution for multi-hazard risk assessment by offering comprehensive features, flexibility, and collaborative opportunities. Its widespread adoption can significantly enhance disaster preparedness, response strategies, and overall resilience in vulnerable communities globally.