Volume 13 Issue 5
Oct.  2022
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David E. Alexander. On the Meaning of Impact in Disaster Risk Reduction[J]. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 2022, 13(5): 822-827. doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00447-w
Citation: David E. Alexander. On the Meaning of Impact in Disaster Risk Reduction[J]. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 2022, 13(5): 822-827. doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00447-w

On the Meaning of Impact in Disaster Risk Reduction

doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00447-w
  • Available Online: 2022-11-01
  • This article offers a discussion of the meaning, assessment, and measurement of impact in disaster risk reduction. It begins with a historical perspective on the impact of learned work in times when orthodoxy posed severe limits on the impact of new thinking. Regarding the modern age, the article explains why impact is considered important and how it might be recognized when it occurs, including a tentative classification of types of impact. The question of whether impact can truly be measured remains pending, as the answer is diffuse and dependent on many different circumstances. Further sections consider the relationship between impact and mainstreaming and the question of whether a piece of work should be regarded as having impact if its effects are negative rather than positive. Next, impact is considered in terms of whom it benefits. Given the large number of possible reservations about the concept, the question is raised as to whether too much emphasis is given to the impact of research and scholarship. Finally, some suggestions are offered regarding how to obtain a better indication of what the impact of an academic study actually is.
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