Cost–benefit analysis of DRR

Decision-makers (in communities, government and NGOs) sometimes hesitate to invest in DRR because the costs are felt immediately, while the benefit of avoided losses in the future is hard to measure and appreciate. Tearfund has commissioned independent economists to quantify some of the benefits of our partners' DRR work and compare them to the costs. These reports confirm that the benefits of a well designed, contextually appropriate DRR programme significantly outweigh the costs.

Applying Cost Benefit Analysis at a Community Level: A review of its use for community based climate and disaster risk management (PDF 763 KB)

This report, produced jointly with Oxfam GB, reviews 23 studies by a wide range of agencies that have applied cost benefit analysis (CBA) to community-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation projects. These community level CBAs have helped us understand the varying effectiveness of efforts to reduce climate and disaster risk – often with unexpected findings.

Click here (PDF 495 KB) for Annex A, containing the case studies, and here (PDF 137 KB) for Annex B if you want to know more about applying cost benefit methodologies at community level.

Investing in communities: the benefits and costs of building resilience for food security in Malawi (PDF 407 KB)

This report shows the qualitative benefits and financial returns of investing in projects to reduce the risk of drought to farmers.  The drought risk reduction activities of a Tearfund partner in northern Malawi (such as crop diversification, soil and water conservation, and a goat pass-on scheme) were found to have a cost–benefit ratio of at least 1:24.

Click here (PDF 264 KB) for a poster that summarises the key findings of the report.

Cost-Benefit Analysis for community-based Climate and Disaster Risk Management (PDF 868 KB)

This report, produced jointly with Oxfam America, reviews and compares 13 cost–benefit analyses of climate and DRR projects.  It found the following: that success was context-specific, ie that DRR activities which were highly effective in one context were often not effective in another; that ‘softer’ resilience measures were often more cost-effective than ‘hardware’; and that interventions that brought wider development gains were more likely to be cost-effective.

Disaster preparedness in India: a Cost-Benefit Analysis (PDF 1.7 MB)

This paper, published by Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN), is based on field work in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh states in India with Tearfund partners Discipleship Centre and EFICOR. It highlights the economic benefit of investing in activities that reduce people's vulnerability to floods and droughts.