Video | The Australian Disaster Resilience Index

By: Francisca Yunis Richter, based on the The Australian Disaster Resilience Index: A summary, developed by Dr. Melissa Parsons, Professor Ian Reeve, Dr. James McGregor, Dr. Graham Marshall, Dr. Richard Stayner, Dr. Judith Mcneill, Dr. Peter Hastings, Dr. Sonya Glavac and Dr. Phil Morley, published by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, in partnership with the University of New England, on 2020.

This summary is a brief report of the extensive study that went into developing the Australian Disaster Resilience Index (ADRI). Here you can access the full report:

Published on November 22, 2022

“Disaster resilience can be understood as a protective characteristic that acts to reduce the effects of, and losses from, natural hazards. Resilience arises from the capacities of social, economic and government systems to prepare for, respond to and recover from a natural hazard event, and to learn, adapt and transform in anticipation of future natural hazard events”

(Parsons et al, 2020)

“Natural hazards, such as bushfires, cyclones, floods, storms, heatwaves, earthquakes and tsunamis, have always occurred and will continue to occur in Australia. These natural hazards frequently intersect with human societies to create natural hazard emergencies that, in turn, cause disasters” (Parsons et al, 2020). These events have an impact on Australian communities due to several social, economic, governance, geographical, natural and built environment elements. Also, the climate crisis is predicted to make several hazards more frequent and severe in Australia (Parsons et al, 2020).

The probability of increasing losses from natural hazards is further influenced by an escalating population, demographic change, growing socioeconomic disparity, expensive infrastructure, and the placement of settlements in high-risk locations (Parsons et al, 2020).

“The Australian Disaster Resilience Index (ADRI) defines natural disaster resilience as the capacity of communities to prepare for, absorb and recover from natural hazard events and to learn, adapt and transform in ways that enhance these capacities in the face of future events” (Parsons et al, 2020).

The ADRI employs a top-down assessment approach, relying on secondary source data and a formative measurement model. In conjunction with the capacities approach, the ADRI assesses the disaster resilience capacities that emerge from structural settings. Understanding the ADRI as disaster resilience capacity is critical for interpreting the index and comparing it across Australia (Parsons et al, 2020).

“The ADRI is computed hierarchically. The capacities for disaster resilience are made up of eight themes that capture dimensions of disaster resilience: social character; economic capital; emergency services; planning and the built environment; community capital; information access; social and community engagement; and, governance and leadership” (Parsons et al, 2020).

Indicators for each of these themes are compiled and organized into sub-indices using public data from sources such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Australian Urban Infrastructure Research Network, the Productivity Commission, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Geoscience Australia’s National Exposure Information System, Local Government Annual Reports, and the Torrens University Public Health Information Centre (Parsons et al, 2020).


Parsons, M., Reeve, I., McGregor, J., Marshall, G., Stayner, R., McNeill, J., Hastings, P., Glavac, S., & Morley, P. (2020). The Australian Disaster Resilience index: A summary. Available at: (Accessed November 18 2022)

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