Operationalizing Migration Impacts for Index-Based Disaster Risk Assessments: A Systematic Approach to Migration as Multidimensional Risk Dynamic

Svenja Enge, Department of Geography, University of Bonn and Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University
Translocal Resilience Project (TransRe)
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Migration is one of the most important population dynamics in the world and thus has diverse impacts on socio-ecological systems, including their risk to be harmed by disasters.
However, the prevailing one-sided notion of migration as mostly risk increasing factor in current index-based disaster risk assessments lags far behind the multifaceted academic
discourse about migration impacts on particularly vulnerability and resilience dynamics. At the same time, index-based risk assessments are a widely used tool in policy making, whose missing incorporation of a holistic migration theory is one factor questioning its imprudent application. This thesis seeks to reflect on this issue by taking a systematic approach to address conceptual, theoretical and practical questions concerning the operationalization of migration in index-based disaster risk analysis. The results are a new conceptual model to combine migration and disaster risk theory, an assessment of the current recognition of migration in disaster risk indices, and a literature- and expert interview-based development and discussion of potential migration-related risk indicators, which could enhance a better incorporation of migration impacts in disaster risk analysis in the future.