Disaster Metrics: A Comprehensive Framework for Disaster Evaluation Typologies

Diana F. Wong, Caroline Spencer, Lee Boyd, Frederick M. Burkle, Jr., Frank Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The frequency of disasters is increasing around the world with more people being at risk. There is a moral imperative to improve the way in which disaster evaluations are undertaken and reported with the aim of reducing preventable mortality and morbidity in future events. Disasters are complex events and undertaking disaster evaluations is a specialized area of study at an international level. Hypothesis/Problem: While some frameworks have been developed to support consistent disaster research and evaluation, they lack validation, consistent terminology, and standards for reporting across the different phases of a disaster. There is yet to be an agreed, comprehensive framework to structure disaster evaluation typologies. The aim of this paper is to outline an evolving comprehensive framework for disaster evaluation typologies. It is anticipated that this new framework will facilitate an agreement on identifying, structuring, and relating the various evaluations found in the disaster setting with a view to better understand the process, outcomes, and impacts of the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions. Methods: Research was undertaken in two phases: (1) a scoping literature review (peer-reviewed and “grey literature”) was undertaken to identify current evaluation frameworks and typologies used in the disaster setting; and (2) a structure was developed that included the range of typologies identified in Phase One and suggests possible relationships in the disaster setting. Results: No core, unifying framework to structure disaster evaluation and research was identified in the literature. The authors propose a “Comprehensive Framework for Disaster Evaluation Typologies” that identifies, structures, and suggests relationships for the various typologies detected. Conclusion: The proposed Comprehensive Framework for Disaster Evaluation Typologies outlines the different typologies of disaster evaluations that were identified in this study and brings them together into a single framework. This unique, unifying framework has relevance at an international level and is expected to benefit the disaster, humanitarian, and development sectors. The next step is to undertake a validation process that will include international leaders with experience in evaluation, in general, and disasters specifically. This work promotes an environment for constructive dialogue on evaluations in the disaster setting to strengthen the evidence base for interventions across the disaster spectrum. It remains a work in progress. Wong DF , Spencer C , Boyd L , Burkle F Jr. , Archer F . Disaster metrics: a comprehensive framework for disaster evaluation typologies. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(5):1–14.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-514
Number of pages14
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • disasters
  • evaluation
  • framework
  • typology

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