JDR Vol.13 No.6 pp. 1007-1014
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2018.p1007


Comparison of Global Databases for Disaster Loss and Damage Data

Kana Moriyama, Daisuke Sasaki, and Yuichi Ono

International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University
468-1-S302 Aoba, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-0845, Japan

Corresponding author

May 10, 2018
August 20, 2018
November 1, 2018
Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, disaster loss and damage data, global database, DesInventar

After the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is adopted, a global database as a tool to monitor disaster loss and damage databases is required. Several disaster loss and damage databases are in use globally. This paper aims to explore how the existing databases vary in three aspects of threshold, spatial resolution, and data quality control, as well as the limitations of the existing databases. We review previous studies comparing the existing global databases and extract the differences and limitations. The threshold of EM-DAT is clear, but its threshold results in ignoring small-scale disasters that DesInventar captures. The differences in disaster threshold create different pictures of disaster losses and/or risks. Regarding spatial resolution, only DesInventar provides disaster impact data at a municipal level, while others provide information at a country level. The limitations of the existing global database are categorized into four aspects, as follows: lack of disaggregated data, limited spatial coverage and resolution, insufficiency of completeness and reliability of data, and insufficient information on indirect loss. The implication from our findings is that, in order to complement the limitations of the existing disaster loss databases to use for decision making on disaster risk reduction, the following are required: cross-checking of data across different databases; complementary disaster loss data; and collection of an exhaustive and firsthand dataset with a transparent and internationally consistent methodology by policy makers.

Cite this article as:
K. Moriyama, D. Sasaki, and Y. Ono, “Comparison of Global Databases for Disaster Loss and Damage Data,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.13 No.6, pp. 1007-1014, 2018.
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