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The importance of terminology

Article describing the importance of terminology to the Disaster Risk Reduction Sector.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
It’s important for professionals in any field to use terminology that is generally accepted. This is especially important for a sector where international cooperation is so important.
Implementing disaster risk reduction calls for multiple governmental organisations to work with large multinational agencies, international bodies and a host of non-governmental organisations.
One of the keys to becoming a good disaster ‘risk’ manager is not just using a common terminology, it’s ensuring that individuals and organisations are working collaboratively based on a shared conceptual understanding of what those terms mean.
Words and phrases used in policy and strategy are important because they guide the development of interventions on the ground. Terms such as disaster, hazard, risk, vulnerability and risk reduction are used when trying to convey complex problems, potential solutions and sustainable long-term outcomes.
Developing a consensus on disaster terms and concepts is a big step towards understanding and communicating needs, generating effective policies and then implementing them.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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