Evidence Aid: Improving the science and evidence base of disaster response - a policy Delphi engagement

Allen C1, Jillson I2, Clarke M1, Waller S3, Koehlmoos T4, Mellon D1, Kayabu B1
1Evidence Aid, United Kingdom, 2Georgetown University, USA, 3Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, USA, 4US Marine Corps, USA

Background: The Policy Delphi Technique is a policy analysis method used to engage groups of experts in dialogue regarding a particular issue of focus. The Policy Delphi approach entails a series of iterative, structured dialogues, with each one referred to as a ‘round’ and building on the one before. Respondents answer a series of questions anonymously, the responses are summarized and used as a basis for subsequent questions. Questions may be added as the questionnaires are developed. Policy Delphi has been used in disaster management since the 1970s; differing from the traditional Delphi approach, it does not seek consensus, but explores alternatives and their implications.

Objectives: The proposed policy Delphi would be conducted between May and November 2015 as a means of preparing for the proposed 2015 Evidence Aid meeting in the USA in November. The purpose of the policy Delphi is to engage a wide range of key stakeholders in dialogue regarding disaster responses, including for example, evidence for best practices in disaster response, approaches to improving investments in disaster response with Cochrane-style (systematic review) analysis of evidence, identification of gaps in the evidence base for disaster response; and factors that impact on effective disaster response.

Methods: Three rounds: the first and second online with around 100 selected panelists and the third being conducted as part of the meeting. The broad research questions are:

To what extent is evidence for best practices in disaster response available to a wide range of stakeholders?

To what extent is Cochrane-style (systematic review) analysis used to assess evidence for best practices in disaster response?

What are the most effective approaches to improving the cost-effectiveness of investments in disaster response?

How can the ethical, legal and social issues related to disaster response decision-making be most effectively addressed?

What are the factors that impact on effective disaster response decision-making?

Results & Conclusions: Each round has an interim report with findings. The findings and conclusions from these data will be shared at the Colloquium.