Flood resilience measurement for communities (FRMC)

What is the FRMC?

Measuring the change that resilience building efforts have is key for demonstrating impact in communities. This is required to meet our objective – measurably enhance resilience. We found no practical toolkit that suited our needs. At the same time, there is a lack of evidence about which pre-event resilience building initiatives actually make the difference when the flood comes In December 2013, the alliance began to develop something suited for this purpose. For us, community flood resilience goes beyond infrastructure resilience and thus our definition of community flood resilience is:

The ability of a community to pursue its development and growth objectives, while managing its disaster risk over time in a mutually reinforcing way

adapted from Keating et al., 2017a1

Based on this, the alliance started developing a framework for measuring community flood resilience, including a methodology for testing and empirically validating the framework, and a technology based data gathering and evaluation tool for measurement and assessment of flood resilience.

How does the FRMC work?

The tool is a practical “hybrid” software application comprising an online web-based platform for setting up and analyzing the process, and a smartphone- or tablet-based app that can be used offline in the field for the data collection. Through the application of the FRMC in the first five-year phase in over 110 communities in nine countries collecting over 1.25 million data points, we have gone through an iteration of improving and streamlining the FRMC further. We have refined both the framework and the tool into an easy-to-use approach, to the point where we believe we are now in the position to “invite others” to use it as well; if your need for community flood resilience measurement matches that of the FRMC has to offer – why reinvent the wheel.

Our framework, also called the 5C-4R framework, combines thinking on the properties of a resilient system developed at MCEER at the University of Buffalo, and Robert Chambers’ Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) which was adopted by the Department for International Development (DFID). This ‘systems thinking’ approach takes into account the assets, interactions and interconnections at community level, and provides consistency when it comes to identifying and testing sources of resilience.

1Keating, A, Campbell, K, Mechler, R, Magnuszewski, P, Mochizuki, J, Liu, W, Szoenyi, M, and McQuistan, C (2017a). Disaster resilience: What it is and how it can engender a meaningful change in development policy, Development Policy Review 35 (1): 65-91. DOI:10.1111/dpr.12201.

Learn more about the FRMC

Resources on our Alliance portal:

flood resilience infographic

Four short videos explaining the 5C-4R measurement approach

Video 1: Why we need a measurement framework

Why we developed a measurement tool – how understanding the level of resilience can help to design ways to improve it; the value of measuring the impact of ‘interventions;’ and the need for such a tool given lack of any ready-made solutions.

Video 2: Defining the scope of the framework

What do we mean by ‘community’ and ‘resilience?’ Laying the foundations to better understand how we went about creating this approach.

Video 3: The 5C-4R framework

Bringing together the theoretical models that combine to build not only our conceptual framework, but also create a practical tool that can shape interventions and demonstrate impacts.

Video 4: A practical way forward

How we are taking the tool into real-life situations and how we hope to validate the framework.


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