Natural Hazards

, Volume 75, Issue 3, pp 2221–2245 | Cite as

Delphi-based consensus study into a framework of community resilience to disaster

  • Saud Ali AlshehriEmail author
  • Yacine Rezgui
  • Haijiang Li
Original Paper


Disasters cannot be prevented but their impacts can be mitigated through adapted disaster management strategies. Several studies confirm that community resilience is a significant factor in disaster management. Saudi Arabia is (a) increasingly exposed to disasters, as reflected in recent events, and (b) lacks a credible disaster management strategy. This paper aims to develop a framework of community resilience to disaster in Saudi Arabia. A three-round Delphi study is conducted using a local and an international panel of experts with in-depth knowledge in the wide field of disaster management. General dimensions and criteria for consideration are derived from the academic literature. The latter are used by the expert panel as a starting point to achieve consensus on a framework of community resilience to disasters, focused on six resilience dimensions: social; economic; physical and environmental; governance; health and well-being; and information and communication. A total of 62 criteria are identified. Fifty-seven of these criteria achieved consensus in Round 2. An additional five criteria reached consensus in the third round. The resulting community resilience framework involves seven to fourteen criteria in each of the six identified dimensions.


Saudi Arabia Community resilience Disaster management Delphi 



The authors sincerely thank all participants in the Delphi panel for their survey responses and insightful comments.


  1. Abosuliman SS, Kumar A, Alam F (2013) Disaster preparedness and management in Saudi Arabia: an empirical investigationGoogle Scholar
  2. Adler M, Ziglio E (1996) Gazing into the oracle: the Delphi method and its application to social policy and public health. Jessica Kingsley, BristolGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahrens J, Rudolph PM (2006) The importance of governance in risk reduction and disaster management. J Contingencies Crisis Manag 14(4):207–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ainuddin S (2012) Community resilience framework for an earthquake prone area in Baluchistan. Int J Disaster Risk ReductGoogle Scholar
  5. AlMazroa MA, Memish ZA, AlWadey AM (2010) Pandemic influenza A (H1N1) in Saudi Arabia: description of the first one hundred cases. Annals of Saudi medicine 30(1):11Google Scholar
  6. Al-Saud M (2010) Assessment of Flood Hazard of Jeddah Area 2009, Saudi Arabia. J Water Resour Protect 2(9):839–847. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2010.29099 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Alshehri S, Rezgui Y, Li H (2013) Public perception of the risk of disasters in a developing economy: the case of Saudi Arabia. Nat Hazards 65(3):1813–1830. doi: 10.1007/s11069-012-0445-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ansari ZA (2012) An empirical analysis of risk perception, remedial measures and behaviour of people in Saudi Arabia towards insurance. Afr J Bus Manag 6(10):3733–3744Google Scholar
  9. Bailie JL (2011) Effective online instructional competencies as perceived by online university faculty and students: a sequel study. J Online Learn Teach 7(1):82–89Google Scholar
  10. Beck T, Demirgüç-Kunt A, Honohan P (2009) Access to financial services: measurement, impact, and policies. The World Bank Research Observer 24(1):119–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Becken S, Ren PY (2012) Challenges for tourism in natural areas-cost of carbon and natural disasters. Adv Mater Res 573:266–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bendimerad F (2003) Disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. In: World Bank seminar on the role of local governments in reducing the risk of disasters, Istanbul, TurkeyGoogle Scholar
  13. Boin A, Louise K, Comfort A, Demchak CC (2010) The rise of resilienceGoogle Scholar
  14. Bosher L, Dainty A (2011) Disaster risk reduction and ‘built-in’ resilience: towards overarching principles for construction practice. Disasters 35(1):1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bruneau M, Chang SE, Eguchi RT, Lee GC, O’Rourke TD, Reinhorn AM, Shinozuka M, Tierney K, Wallace WA, von Winterfeldt D (2003) A framework to quantitatively assess and enhance the seismic resilience of communities. Earthquake Spectra 19(4):733–752CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Burton CG (2012) The development of metrics for community resilience to natural disastersGoogle Scholar
  17. Carreño ML, Cardona OD, Barbat AH (2007) A disaster risk management performance index. Nat Hazards 41(1):1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Castleden M (2011) Natural disasters and climate change. Chem Hazards Poisons Rep 37Google Scholar
  19. Chandra A (2011) Building community resilience to disasters: a way forward to enhance national health security. Rand MediaGoogle Scholar
  20. Chandra A, Acosta J, Meredith LS, Sanches K, Stern S, Uscher-Pines L, Williams M, Yeung D (2010) Understanding community resilience in the context of national health security. RAND Corp, ArlingtonGoogle Scholar
  21. Channa MI, Ahmed KM (2010) Emergency response communications and associated security challenges. arXiv preprint arXiv:1010.4887Google Scholar
  22. Cimellaro GP, Reinhorn AM, Bruneau M (2010) Framework for analytical quantification of disaster resilience. Eng Struct 32(11):3639–3649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Claessens S (2006) Access to financial services: a review of the issues and public policy objectives. The World Bank Research Observer 21(2):207–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Clarke G (2008) Faith-based organisations and international development: an overview. Development, civil society and faith-based organizations: bridging the sacred and the secular. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp 17–45Google Scholar
  25. Clayton MJ (1997) Delphi: a technique to harness expert opinion for critical decision-making tasks in education. Educational Psychology 17(4):373–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Cutter SL, Boruff BJ, Shirley WL (2003) Social vulnerability to environmental hazards*. Social science quarterly 84(2):242–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Cutter SL, Barnes L, Berry M, Burton C, Evans E, Tate E, Webb J (2008) A place-based model for understanding community resilience to natural disasters. Glob Environ Change 18(4):598–606. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2008.07.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Cutter SL, Burton CG, Emrich CT (2010) Disaster resilience indicators for benchmarking baseline conditions. J Homeland Secur Emerg Manag 7(1):1–22Google Scholar
  29. Dalziell E, McManus S (2004) Resilience, vulnerability, and adaptive capacity: implications for system performanceGoogle Scholar
  30. Daud Marsam A (2000) The students’ perceptions on the factors that motivate them to participate in accounting class. Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)Google Scholar
  31. De Vet E, Brug J, De Nooijer J, Dijkstra A, De Vries NK (2005) Determinants of forward stage transitions: a Delphi study. Health Educ Res 20(2):195–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. De Villiers MR, De Villiers PJ, Kent AP (2005) The Delphi technique in health sciences education research. Med Teach 27(7):639–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Duffield C (1993) The Delphi technique: a comparison of results obtained using two expert panels. Int J Nurs Stud 30(3):227–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. EM-DAT (2014) Saudi arabia country profile- natural disasters. The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database.$2014. Accessed 05/06 2014
  35. Gaillard JC, Texier P (2010) Religions, natural hazards, and disasters: an introduction. Religion 40(2):81–84. doi: 10.1016/j.religion.2009.12.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Godschalk DR (2003) Urban hazard mitigation: creating resilient cities. Nat Hazards Rev 4(3):136–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Goldman K, Gross P, Heeren C, Herman G, Kaczmarczyk L, Loui MC, Zilles C (2008) Identifying important and difficult concepts in introductory computing courses using a Delphi process. ACM SIGCSE Bull 40(1):256–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Goodman RM, Speers MA, McLeroy K, Fawcett S, Kegler M, Parker E, Smith SR, Sterling TD, Wallerstein N (1998) Identifying and defining the dimensions of community capacity to provide a basis for measurement. Health Educ Behav 25(3):258–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Greatorex J, Dexter T (2000) An accessible analytical approach for investigating what happens between the rounds of a Delphi study. J Adv Nurs 32(4):1016–1024Google Scholar
  40. Hallegatte S, Hourcade J-C, Dumas P (2007) Why economic dynamics matter in assessing climate change damages: illustration on extreme events. Ecol Econ 62(2):330–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Haynes K, Barclay J, Pidgeon N (2008) Whose reality counts? Factors affecting the perception of volcanic risk. J Volcanol Geoth Res 172(3):259–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hegghammer T (2008) Islamist violence and regime stability in Saudi Arabia. Int Aff 84(4):701–715. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2346.2008.00733.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hsu C-C, Sandford BA (2007) The Delphi technique: making sense of consensus. Practical Assess Res Eval 12(10):1–8Google Scholar
  44. Innocenti D, Albrito P (2011) Reducing the risks posed by natural hazards and climate change: the need for a participatory dialogue between the scientific community and policy makers. Environ Sci Policy 14(7):730–733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Jafari N, Shahsanai A, Memarzadeh M, Loghmani A (2011) Prevention of communicable diseases after disaster: a review. J Res Med Sci 16(7):956Google Scholar
  46. Jeste DV, Ardelt M, Blazer D, Kraemer HC, Vaillant G, Meeks TW (2010) Expert consensus on characteristics of wisdom: a Delphi method study. Gerontologist 50(5):668–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Jigyasu R (2002) Reducing disaster vulnerability through local knowledge and capacity. The Case of Earthquake Prone Rural Communities in India and NepalGoogle Scholar
  48. Jirwe M, Gerrish K, Keeney S, Emami A (2009) Identifying the core components of cultural competence: findings from a Delphi study. J Clin Nurs 18(18):2622–2634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Joerin J (2012) Assessing community resilience to climate-related disasters in Chennai, India. Int J Disaster Risk ReductGoogle Scholar
  50. Joerin J, Shaw R (2011) Mapping climate and disaster resilience in cities. Commun Environ Disaster Risk Manag 6:47–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Joerin J, Shaw R, Takeuchi Y, Krishnamurthy R (2012) Assessing community resilience to climate-related disasters in Chennai, India. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 1:44–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Jordan E, Javernick-Will A (2013) Indicators of community recovery: content analysis and Delphi approach. Nat Hazards Rev 14(1):21–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Keeney S, Hasson F, McKenna H (2006) Consulting the oracle: ten lessons from using the Delphi technique in nursing research. J Adv Nurs 53(2):205–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kirmayer LJ, Sehdev M, Whitley R, Dandeneau SF, Isaac C (2009) Community resilience: models, metaphors and measures. Int J Indig Health 5(1):62–117Google Scholar
  55. Lebel L, Anderies JM, Campbell B, Folke C, Hatfield-Dodds S, Hughes TP, Wilson J (2006) Governance and the capacity to manage resilience in regional social-ecological systemsGoogle Scholar
  56. Litman T (2006) Lessons from Katrina and Rita: what major disasters can teach transportation planners. J Transport Eng 132(1):11–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Longstaff PH, Armstrong NJ, Perrin K, Parker WM, Hidek M (2010) Building resilient communities a preliminary framework for assessmentGoogle Scholar
  58. López-Marrero T, Tschakert P (2011) From theory to practice: building more resilient communities in flood-prone areas. Environ Urban 23(1):229–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. MacQueen KM, McLellan E, Metzger DS, Kegeles S, Strauss RP, Scotti R, Blanchard L, Trotter RT (2001) What is community? An evidence-based definition for participatory public health. Am J Public Health 91(12):1929–1938CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Maguire B, Hagan P (2007) Disasters and communities: understanding social resilience. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, The 22(2):16Google Scholar
  61. Manyena SB (2006) The concept of resilience revisited. Disasters 30(4):434–450. doi: 10.1111/j.0361-3666.2006.00331.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Marsh G (2001) Disaster management and the role of community in a post-modern age. In: 5th Conference of the European Sociological Association, 2001Google Scholar
  63. Mayhorn CB, McLaughlin AC (2014) Warning the world of extreme events: a global perspective on risk communication for natural and technological disaster. Saf Sci 61:43–50. doi: 10.1016/j.ssci.2012.04.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Mayunga JS (2007) Understanding and applying the concept of community disaster resilience: a capital-based approach. Summer Academy for Social Vulnerability and Resilience Building, pp 1–16Google Scholar
  65. McDaniels T, Chang S, Cole D, Mikawoz J, Longstaff H (2008) Fostering resilience to extreme events within infrastructure systems: characterizing decision contexts for mitigation and adaptation. Glob Environ Change 18(2):310–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Memish Z (2010) The Hajj: communicable and non-communicable health hazards and current guidance for pilgrims. Euro Surveill 15(39)Google Scholar
  67. Memish ZA, McNabb SJN, Mahoney F, Alrabiah F, Marano N, Ahmed QA, Mahjour J, Hajjeh RA, Formenty P, Harmanci FH, El Bushra H, Uyeki TM, Nunn M, Isla N, Barbeschi M (2009) Establishment of public health security in Saudi Arabia for the 2009 Hajj in response to pandemic influenza A H1N1. Lancet 374(9703):1786–1791. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61927-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Mertens AC, Cotter KL, Foster BM, Zebrack BJ, Hudson MM, Eshelman D, Loftis L, Sozio M, Oeffinger KC (2004) Improving health care for adult survivors of childhood cancer: recommendations from a Delphi panel of health policy experts. Health Policy 69(2):169–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. MOH (2014) Update in statistics: Ministry of Health Institutes New Standards for Reporting of MERS-CoV. Ministry of Health. Accessed 5/06 2014
  70. Mundt JP, Connors JJ (1999) Problems and challenges associated with the first years of teaching agriculture: a framework for preservice and inservice education. J Agric Educ 40:38–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Murphy M, Black N, Lamping D, McKee C, Sanderson C, Askham J, Marteau T (1998) Consensus development methods, and their use in clinical guideline development. Health Technol Assess (Winchester, England) 2(3):iGoogle Scholar
  72. Neil Adger W (1999) Social vulnerability to climate change and extremes in coastal Vietnam. World Dev 27(2):249–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Neumayer E, Barthel F (2011) Normalizing economic loss from natural disasters: a global analysis. Glob Environ Change 21(1):13–24. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.10.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Niaz U (2006) Role of faith and resilience in recovery from psychotrauma. Pak J Med Sci 22(2):204Google Scholar
  75. Norris FH, Stevens SP, Pfefferbaum B, Wyche KF, Pfefferbaum RL (2008) Community resilience as a metaphor, theory, set of capacities, and strategy for disaster readiness. Am J Community Psychol 41(1–2):127–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Okoli C, Pawlowski SD (2004) The Delphi method as a research tool: an example, design considerations and applications. Inf Manag 42(1):15–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Orencio PM, Fujii M (2013) A spatiotemporal approach for determining disaster-risk potential based on damage consequences of multiple hazard events. J Risk Res 1–22 (ahead-of-print)Google Scholar
  78. Pallister JS, McCausland WA, Jonsson S, Lu Z, Zahran HM, Hadidy SE, Aburukbah A, Stewart ICF, Lundgren PR, White RA, Moufti MRH (2010) Broad accommodation of rift-related extension recorded by dyke intrusion in Saudi Arabia. Nat Geosci 3(10):705–712.
  79. Pathirage C, Baldry D, Seneviratne K (2010) Disaster knowledge factors in managing disasters successfully. Int J Strateg Prop Manag 4:376–390Google Scholar
  80. Paton D, McClure J, Burgelt P (2006) Natural hazard resilience: the role of individual and household preparedness. Disaster resilience: an integrated approachGoogle Scholar
  81. Pelling M, Maskrey A, Ruiz P, Hall L, Peduzzi P, Dao Q-H, Mouton F, Herold C, Kluser S (2004) Reducing disaster risk: a challenge for developmentGoogle Scholar
  82. Perera S, Alinden C, Amaratunga R (2010) Investigating the status of disaster management within a world-wide context: a case study analysisGoogle Scholar
  83. Pill J (1971) The Delphi method: substance, context, a critique and an annotated bibliography. Socio-Econ Plann Sci 5(1):57–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Plough A, Fielding JE, Chandra A, Williams M, Eisenman D, Wells KB, Law GY, Fogleman S, Magaña A (2013) Building community disaster resilience: perspectives from a large urban county department of public health. Am J Public Health 103(7):1190–1197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Rådestad M, Jirwe M, Castrén M, Svensson L, Gryth D, Rüter A (2013) Essential key indicators for disaster medical response suggested to be included in a national uniform protocol for documentation of major incidents: a Delphi study. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med 21(1):68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Rayens MK, Hahn EJ (2000) Building consensus using the policy Delphi method. Policy Polit Nurs Pract 1(4):308–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Shaw R, Team I (2009) Climate disaster resilience: focus on coastal urban cities in Asia. Asian J Environ Disaster Manag 1:101–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Sherrieb K, Norris F, Galea S (2010) Measuring capacities for community resilience. Soc Indic Res 99(2):227–247. doi: 10.1007/s11205-010-9576-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Sonak S, Sonak M, Giriyan A (2008) Shipping hazardous waste: implications for economically developing countries. Int Environ Agreem Polit Law Econ 8(2):143–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Stewart GT, Kolluru R, Smith M (2009) Leveraging public-private partnerships to improve community resilience in times of disaster. Int J Phys Distrib Logist Manag 39(5):343–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Sungay B, Durukal E, Kilic O, Konukcu B, Basmaci A, Khazai B, Erdik M (2009) Defining community disaster preparedness as a resilience factor for earthquake risk assessment in Istanbul. In: EGU general assembly conference abstracts, p 12866Google Scholar
  92. Thompson JA, Sempier T, Swann L (2012) Increasing risk awareness: the Coastal Community Resilience Index. J Ext 50(4):4TOT5Google Scholar
  93. Tidball KG, Krasny ME (2007) From risk to resilience: what role for community greening and civic ecology in cities. Social learning towards a more sustainable world, pp 149–164Google Scholar
  94. Tierney K (2006) Social inequality, hazards, and disasters. On risk and disaster: lessons from Hurricane Katrina, pp 109–128Google Scholar
  95. Tierney K, Bruneau M (2007) Conceptualizing and measuring resilience: a key to disaster loss reduction. TR News (250)Google Scholar
  96. Tompkins EL, Adger WN (2003) Building resilience to climate change through adaptive management of natural resources. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Working Paper 27Google Scholar
  97. Twigg J (2007) Characteristics of a disaster-resilient community: a guidance note. DFID Disaster Risk Reduction Interagency Coordination GroupGoogle Scholar
  98. UNISDR (2009) 2009 Terminology on Disaster Risk Reduction UNISDR, vol 2012. The United Nations, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  99. Verhagen AP, de Vet HC, de Bie RA, Kessels AG, Boers M, Bouter LM, Knipschild PG (1998) The Delphi list: a criteria list for quality assessment of randomized clinical trials for conducting systematic reviews developed by Delphi consensus. J Clin Epidemiol 51(12):1235–1241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. WHO (2014) Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)—update. WHO. Accessed 22/05 2014
  101. Wilson GA (2012) Community resilience, globalization, and transitional pathways of decision-making. GeoforumGoogle Scholar
  102. Witkin BR (1995) Planning and conducting needs assessments: a practical guide. SageGoogle Scholar
  103. Woudenberg F (1991) An evaluation of Delphi. Technol Forecast Soc Chang 40(2):131–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Ziyath AM, Teo M, Goonetilleke A (2013) Surrogate indicators for assessing community resilience. In: Proceedings of the international conference on building resilience 2013: individual, institutional and societal coping strategies to address the challenges associated with disaster risk, 2013. University of SalfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saud Ali Alshehri
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yacine Rezgui
    • 1
  • Haijiang Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiff School of EngineeringCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.RiyadhSaudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations