2013 Vol. 4, No. 4

Display Method:
Antifragility Analysis and Measurement Framework for Systems of Systems
John Johnson, Adrian V. Gheorghe
2013, 4(4): 159-168. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0017-7
The twenty-first century is defined by the social and technical hazards we face. A hazardous situation is a condition, or event, that threatens the well-being of people, organizations, societies, environments, and property. The most extreme of the hazards are considered X-Events and are an exogenous source of extreme stress to a system. X-Events can also be the unintended outputs of a system with both positive (serendipitous) and negative (catastrophic) consequences. Systems can vary in their ability to withstand these stress events. This ability exists on a continuum of fragility that ranges from fragile (degrading with stress), to robust (unchanged by stress), to antifragile (improving with stress). The state of the art does not include a method for analyzing or measuring fragility. Given that “what we measure we will improve,” the absence of a measurement approach limits the effectiveness of governance in making our systems less fragile and more robust if not antifragile. The authors present an antifragile system simulation model, and propose a framework for analyzing and measuring antifragility based on system of systems concepts. The framework reduces a multidimensional concept of fragility into a two-dimensional continuous interval scale.
Measuring Social Vulnerability to Natural Hazards in the Yangtze River Delta Region, China
Wenfang Chen, Susan L. Cutter, Christopher T. Emrich, Peijun Shi
2013, 4(4): 169-181. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0018-6
Social vulnerability emphasizes the different burdens of disaster losses within and between places. Although China continuously experiences devastating natural disasters, there is a paucity of research specifically addressing the multidimensional nature of social vulnerability. This article presents an initial study on the social vulnerability of the Yangtze River Delta region in China. The goal is to replicate and test the applicability of the place-based Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI®) developed for the United States in a Chinese cultural context. Twenty-nine variables adapted from SoVI® were collected for each of the 134 analysis units in the study area. Using principal components analysis, six factors were identified from the variable set: employment and poverty, education, poor housing quality, minorities, family size, and housing size—factors similar to those identified for the United States. Factor scores were summed to get the final SoVI® scores and the most and least vulnerable study units were identified and mapped. The highest social vulnerability is concentrated in the southern portions of the study area— Jingning, Suichang, Yunhe, Lanxi, Pan'an, and Shengsi. The least socially vulnerable areas are concentrated southwest, west, and northwest of Shanghai. Limitations of replication are discussed along with policy-relevant suggestions for vulnerability reduction and risk mitigation in China.
The Impact of Retrofitting Work on Awareness Raising and Knowledge Transfer in Aceh Province, Indonesia
Hari Darshan Shrestha, Jishnu Subedi, Ryuichi Yatabe, Netra Prakash Bhandary
2013, 4(4): 182-189. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0019-5
Some of the buildings in Aceh Province, Indonesia constructed after the 2004 earthquake and tsunami disaster were found vulnerable. The vulnerable buildings were retrofitted to make them safer and child friendly. Save the Children, one of the implementing agencies, assumed that the process of retrofitting would attract interest from the communities, raise their earthquake awareness, stimulate earthquake safe construction practices, and contribute to earthquake disaster risk reduction. It was also assumed that the retrofitting process would benefit the communities through knowledge transfer of safer construction practices. To assess the impact on awareness and knowledge transfer of the retrofitting work carried out by Save the Children from 2005 to 2008, a survey was carried out in 2009. A total of 104 people who were directly involved in the retrofitting/rehabilitation process were interviewed. The survey covered four districts in Aceh Province, Indonesia where schools, health facilities, and houses were retrofitted. The survey results show that the respondents felt that the impact of retrofitting work on transferring knowledge in the communities was not significant. However, the respondents felt that the retrofitting work had a definite impact on raising awareness of disaster risks and measures for disaster risk reduction.
Flood-Induced Vulnerabilities and Problems Encountered by Women in Northern Bangladesh
Abul Kalam Azad, Khondoker Mokaddem Hossain, Mahbuba Nasreen
2013, 4(4): 190-199. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0020-z
This study examines flood-induced vulnerabilities among women in northern Bangladesh. Poor and disadvantaged women are more vulnerable to disasters than men due to the conditions that predispose them to severe disaster impacts. Women suffer from physical injuries and are often evicted from their dwellings due to floods. Difficulties in finding adequate shelter, food, safe water, and fuel for cooking, as well as problems in maintaining personal hygiene and sanitation, prevent women from performing their usual roles at home. All of these are problems related to women's gender identity and social roles. Many poor and destitute women remain unemployed during and after floods. Women also suffer from domestic violence and are subject to harassment when taking shelter or refuge at community centers. These particular vulnerabilities and problems interrupt women's mitigation efforts and adaptation capacities in disaster risk reduction.
Integrating the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and the Frequency Ratio (FR) Model in Landslide Susceptibility Mapping of Shiv-khola Watershed, Darjeeling Himalaya
Sujit Mondal, Ramkrishna Maiti
2013, 4(4): 200-212. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0021-y
To prepare a landslide susceptibility map of Shivkhola watershed, one of the landslide prone parts of Darjeeling Himalaya, remote sensing and GIS tools were used to integrate 10 landslide triggering parameters: lithology, slope angle, slope aspect, slope curvature, drainage density, upslope contributing area (UCA), lineament, settlement density, road contributing area (RCA), and land use and land cover (LULC). The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was applied to derive factor weights using MATLAB with reasonable consistency ratio (CR). The frequency ratio (FR) model was used to derive class frequency ratio or class weights that indicate the relative importance of individual classes for each factor. The weighted linear combination (WLC) method was used to determine the landslide susceptibility index value (LSIV) on a GIS platform, by incorporating both factor weights and class weights. The Shiv-khola watershed is classified into five landslide susceptibility zones. The overall classification accuracy is 99.22 and Kappa Statistics is 0.894.