Natural Hazards, Risk and Vulnerability

Natural hazards, risks and vulnerability
Natural hazards, risks and vulnerability

New book by ISS researcher Roanne van Voorst

'Natural Hazards, Risk and Vulnerability: Floods and slum life in Indonesia', by ISS researcher Roanne van Voorst was recently published by Routledge.

Different people handle risk in different ways. The current lack of understanding about this heterogeneity in risk behaviour makes it difficult to intervene effectively in risk-prone communities.This book offers a unique insight in the everyday life of a group of riverbank settlers in Jakarta - one of the most vulnerable areas worldwide in terms of exposure to natural hazards.

Based on long-term fieldwork, the book portrays the often creative and innovative ways in which slum dwellers cope with recurrent floods. The book shows that behaviour that is often described as irrational or ineffective by outside experts can be highly pragmatic and often effective.

This book argues that human risk behaviour cannot be explained by the risk itself, but instead by seemingly unrelated factors such as trust in authorities and aid-institutions and unequal power structures. By considering a risk as a lens that exposes these factors, a completely new type of analysis is proposed that offers useful insights for everyone concerned about how people cope with the currently increasing amount of natural hazard.

About the author

Roanne van Voorst is an ISS postdoctoral researcher, involved in the research project 'When disaster meets conflict. Disaster response of humanitarian aid and local state and non-state institutions in different conflict scenarios'. Her main research interests focus on natural hazard, poverty and humanitarian aid.