The Megacity Indicators System or MEGA-Index is a tool to communicate risk and promote discussion around appropriate strategies and concrete actions that megacities can take to reduce and manage disaster risk. It helps enhance stakeholders’ ownership and assists in policy development, decision-making, and monitoring the effectiveness of specific risk reduction options.
Together with EMI’s partners at the Institute of Environmental Studies (IDEA) of the National University of Colombia-Manizales and the International Center of Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) of the Technical University of Catalonia, MEGA-Index was pilot-tested in Metro Manila in March 2006. Prior to this, the methodology has already been tested at the national level in 13 countries in the Americas.
MEGA-Index consists of an Urban Seismic Risk Index (USRi) that incorporates not only the expected physical damage, the number and type of casualties, and economic losses, but also incorporates social fragility and lack of resilience at the community level, and a Disaster Risk Management Index (DRMi) that measures the performance and effectiveness of disaster risk management policies based on predefined benchmarks. MEGA-Index is still in prototype stage and further testing is being planned for 2007.
MIS Istanbul Project
The Megacities Indicators System (MIS) for Disaster Risk Management in Istanbul is a risk communication and planning tool useful for illustrating urban seismic risk, benchmarking, and measuring disaster risk management performance of megacities. Working closely with a core group of local practitioners; in particular technical staff and officials at the Municipality of Istanbul, the main goal of the project is to train and engage the Municipality's technical staff in the development and implementation of indicators system to help enhance stakeholders' ownership and assist in policy development, decision-making, and monitoring the effectiveness of specific risk reduction options.
Building on prior methodology, the MIS Index provides an overview of not only the expected physical damage, through a Physical Risk index, but also looks into the social fragility and lack of resilience in the different districts in Istanbul through a Social Vulnerability index. Social fragility is assessed in Istanbul through a detailed field survey on issues such as community preparedness, risk perception, risk awareness, risk mitigation and solidarity. Another index, the DRMi, measures the performance and effectiveness of disaster risk management policies at the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) based on predefined performance targets or benchmarks classified as risk identification, risk reduction, disaster management, and financial protection. The Disaster Risk Management index is used as a "control system", for the stakeholders to measure performance and effectiveness of different operational and organizational policies and their effect on the total Urban Seismic Risk in the different regions for which the indicators are developed.