Disasters triggered by hazards, such as floods, earthquakes, droughts, and cyclones, pose significant impediments to sustainable development efforts in the most vulnerable and exposed countries. Mainstreaming disaster risk is hence seen as an important global agenda as reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015–2030. Yet, conventional development indicators remain largely negligent of the potential setbacks that may be posed by disaster risk. This article discusses the need to reflect disaster risk in development indicators and proposes a concept disaster risk-adjusted human development index (RHDI) as an example. Globally available national-level datasets of disaster risk to public and private assets (including health, educational facilities, and private housing) is combined with an estimate of expenditure on health, education, and capital formation to construct an RHDI. The RHDI is then analyzed across various regions and HDI groups, and contrasted with other HDI variants including inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI) and the gender-specific female HDI (FHDI) to identify groups of countries where transformational disaster risk reduction (DRR) approaches may be necessary.
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