BANGKOK – The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) launched an
online Quick Risk Estimation (QRE) Tool to help small businesses and enterprises,
including those in the informal sector, to better understand their exposure
and vulnerability to disaster risks, especially in the context of the ongoing
Business resilience and continuity planning is a cornerstone of sound management
in light of the multiple risks that businesses face in today’s environment of climate
change and COVID-19. From supply disruptions to worker absenteeism and physical damage
to facilities, disasters can, directly and indirectly, impact every aspect of business
Moreover, the dynamic and prolonged nature of the current COVID-19 global pandemic
has demonstrated the importance of enhancing business resilience and agility to adjust
to a new environment.
Many businesses remain without any type of business risk management plan or have plans
that have proven inadequate in managing the current pandemic. One key challenge is a
lack of information on the full spectrum of risks businesses face. This is especially
true of micro and small enterprises that represent over 90% of private sector entities
in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, many small businesses operate in the informal
sector and often do not have the means to understand the level of risk their business is
exposed to and plan accordingly.
In line with the priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030,
which calls for understanding risk as a prerequisite to risk management, UNDRR’s Regional
Office for Asia and the Pacific developed the QRE Tool. This tool is intended to help
micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including those in the informal sector, to
develop a basic understanding of their level of risk.
The QRE Tool for businesses includes an interactive questionnaire that produces a real-time
dashboard that points a business and enterprise owner to their estimated general risk level,
particularly to COVID-19. The results take into consideration the business size, type, and
geographic location, along with a number of other factors. The quick risk estimation also
points to corrective actions and can be undertaken at regular intervals to self-assess the
changing level and type of business risk.
This tool is part of a larger package developed by UNDRR Asia-Pacific to help small businesses
build their resilience in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Other products include:
● COVID-19 Small Business Continuity and Recovery Planning Toolkit, which is available in 11 languages.
● A narrated online training course
to orient business owners to the use of the Small Business Continuity and Recovery Planning Toolkit.
● A regional brief on business resilience with recommendations aimed at policymakers and business owners.
UNDRR acknowledges and thanks the following organizations for their support in the development
of this Tool: The Resilience Innovation and Knowledge Academy (RIKA), Profecia Links, and the
Asia Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC).
Organizations interested in volunteering their services to translate the QRE Tool to be used for
businesses and enterprises in their countries are encouraged to contact UNDRR Asia-Pacific at UNDRR-AP@un.org
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Asia and Pacific
Provided by the IKCEST Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Service System