Policy Evaluation Framework on the Governance of Critical Infrastructure Resilience in Latin America
Fisher, Mary Kate; Gamper, Catherine
Natural hazards and disasters can have significant impacts on the economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean. In the past decade alone, OECD and BRIC countries have experienced an estimated USD $1.5 trillion in economic damages from large-scale disasters. Latin America and the Caribbean is a highly exposed region to natural hazards, including earthquakes, volcanoes, and extreme weather. Out of the world’s top 15 countries exposed to three or more hazards, 7 are located in the Latin American and the Caribbean region. Increasing climate variability and urban agglomerations is likely to increase these risk levels in the future, especially risk associated to critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure underpins economies, governments, and societies. The resilience of critical infrastructure not only determines the degree to which countries are affected by natural disasters, accidents, and intentional attacks, but also preconditions their ability to respond to and recover from these disruptive shocks. Damage to critical systems can cause significant social hardship by disrupting access to basic lifelines (e.g., electricity, drinking water, food distribution) and produce large economic knock-on impacts by disrupting business for some time beyond the actual disaster event. Ensuring resilience of critical infrastructure has proven to be a key challenge. There are also several good practices for managing the potential financial exposures of governments to disaster damages and losses to public assets. Developing a policy evaluation framework based on a forward-looking analysis of good practices in critical infrastructure resilience is a priority objective.