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Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 588;

Vulnerability Assessment Models to Drought: Toward a Conceptual Framework

Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Razi University, Kermanshah 67149-67346, Iran
Economics and Rural Development, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, LiègeB-4000, Belgium
Centre for Environmental Sciences, Hasselt University, Agoralaan Building D, Diepenbeek B-3590, Belgium
Department of Geography, Ghent University, Ghent B-9000, Belgium
Department of Engineering Management, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, Antwerpen 2000, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
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Drought is regarded as a slow-onset natural disaster that causes inevitable damage to water resources and to farm life. Currently, crisis management is the basis of drought mitigation plans, however, thus far studies indicate that effective drought management strategies are based on risk management. As a primary tool in mitigating the impact of drought, vulnerability assessment can be used as a benchmark in drought mitigation plans and to enhance farmers’ ability to cope with drought. Moreover, literature pertaining to drought has focused extensively on its impact, only awarding limited attention to vulnerability assessment as a tool. Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for designing a vulnerability model in order to assess farmers’ level of vulnerability before, during and after the onset of drought. Use of this developed drought vulnerability model would aid disaster relief workers by enhancing the adaptive capacity of farmers when facing the impacts of drought. The paper starts with the definition of vulnerability and outlines different frameworks on vulnerability developed thus far. It then identifies various approaches of vulnerability assessment and finally offers the most appropriate model. The paper concludes that the introduced model can guide drought mitigation programs in countries that are impacted the most by drought. View Full-Text
Keywords: vulnerability; assessment; factor; drought; risk management vulnerability; assessment; factor; drought; risk management

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Zarafshani, K.; Sharafi, L.; Azadi, H.; Van Passel, S. Vulnerability Assessment Models to Drought: Toward a Conceptual Framework. Sustainability 2016, 8, 588.

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