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Keywords:

  • climate variability and change;
  • DesInventar database;
  • local development;
  • Local Disaster Index;
  • small disasters;
  • vulnerability

Small disasters are usually the product of climate variability and climate change. Analysis of them illustrates that they increase difficulties for local development—frequently affecting the livelihoods of poor people and perpetuating their level of poverty and human insecurity—and entail challenges for a country's development. In contrast to extreme events, small disasters are often invisible at the national level and their effects are not considered as relevant from a macroeconomic standpoint. Nevertheless, their accumulated impact causes economic, environmental and social problems. This paper presents the results of an evaluation of the DesInventar database, developed in 1994 by the Network for Social Studies in Disaster Prevention in Latin America. In addition, it proposes a new version of the Local Disaster Index developed in 2005 within the framework of the Disaster Risk and Management Indicators Program for the Americas, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank.