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The Comprehensive Framework for Disaster Evaluation Typologies, developed in 2017 (CFDET 2017), aims to unify and facilitate agreement regarding the identification, structure, and relationships between various evaluation typologies found in the disaster setting. A peer-reviewed validation process sought input from international experts in the fields of disaster medicine, disaster/emergency management, humanitarian/development, and evaluation. This paper discusses the validation process, its results, and outcomes.
Previous frameworks, identified in the literature, lack validation and consistent terminology. To gain credibility and utility, this unique framework needed to be validated by international experts in the disaster setting.
A mixed methods approach was designed to validate the framework. An initial iterative process informed an online survey which used a combination of a five-point Likert scale and open-ended questions. Pre-determined consensus thresholds, informed by a targeted literature review, provided the validation criteria.
A sample of 33 experts from 11 countries responded to the validation process. Quantitative measures largely supported the elements and relationships of the framework, and strongly supported its value and usefulness for supporting, promoting, and undertaking evaluations, as well as its usefulness for teaching evaluation in the disaster setting. Qualitative input suggested opportunities to strengthen and enhance the framework. There were limited responses to better understand the barriers and enablers of undertaking disaster evaluations. A potential for self-selection bias of respondents may be a limitation of this study. The attainment of high consensus thresholds, however, provides confidence in the validity of the results.
For the first time, a framework of this nature has undergone a rigorous validation process by experts in three related disciplines at an international level. The modified framework, CFDET 2018, provides a unifying framework within which existing evaluation typologies can be structured. It gives evaluators confidence to choose an appropriate strategy for their particular evaluation in the disaster setting and facilitates consistency in reporting across the different phases of a disaster to better understand the process, outcomes, and impacts of the efficacy and efficiency of interventions. Future research could create a series of toolkits to support improved disaster evaluation processes and to evaluate the utility of the framework in the real-world setting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WongDF, SpencerC, BoydL, BurkleFMJr., ArcherF. Disaster Metrics: A Comprehensive Framework for Disaster Evaluation Typologies. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(5):501–514.