Divided We Fall: Towards An Understanding of Community risk Assessment: A Case Study From The Lao PDR

November 2004 (VOL. 22, NO. 3)

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Much of the theory that embodies the framework for community risk assessments has been drawn from varying peripheral disciplines. Many potentially important factors such as the suitability of existing disaster management philosophies in differing contexts, the need for methodologies accessible to those with limited training and the development of appropriate indicators for monitoring the success of participation have been largely neglected. Further to these issues that relate directly to the risk assessment, issues surrounding the role of governments in risk reduction and the recognition of the importance of risk perception amongst communities were also encountered during the research process discussed below and have been examined in the context of developing appropriate methodologies. The importance of small-scale threats to the surveyed community was identified during the field study as well as the need for the de-professionalization of risk assessment procedures, particularly for areas that would not ordinarily receive attention from disaster management practitioners but that would benefit from the principles used in the discipline. The study concluded that the development of a more flexible methodology that had the ability to adapt to the multifarious contexts that the process is employed in is a key factor in ensuring the positive future development of the process.