Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation Planning: Tools for Prioritizing Potential Solutions

Through the Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (VCA), communities are able to identify potential disaster risk-reduction initiatives. However, communities generally have diverse projects they are interested in pursuing and they must prioritize which ones are feasible to implement. This guide provides step-by-step instructions for the implementation of the Participatory Cost-Benefit Analysis (PCBA), an approach that enables communities to compare the costs and benefits of several identified initiatives. By engaging in the PCBA process, participants develop a better understanding of the economic efficiency of and tradeoffs among various options. This improves the communities’ ability to advocate on their own behalf, and gives outside participants a much clearer understanding of community priorities and the trade-offs involved with the decision at hand. Additionally, this document offers guidance for the implementation of multi-criteria analysis, pair-wise ranking, and scenario analysis—tools that can be used along with the PCBA to prioritize one option from among many. Once communities learn how to use the tools presented in this guide and use them to prioritize their initiatives, they will have a better understanding of what the benefits of the chosen activities are and will be better positioned to achieve their goals. This knowledge brings legitimacy to their project proposals and improves their capacity to secure funding and assistance from donors and government agencies.


Khan, F., Enriquez, M. F., MacClune, K. (2015). Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation Planning: Tools for Prioritizing Potential Solutions. Boulder, CO: ISET-International.

Funded by:

The American Red Cross


Boulder Office

PO Box 20321

Boulder, Colorado 80308 USA

Phone 303-656-9609

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up here for occasional updates to keep you in the know

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Blogger - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle
  • Google+ - White Circle