International aid agencies have long emphasized the need for emergency preparedness to improve the speed and efficacy of disaster response, especially in risk-prone areas. But the payback of such investments has rarely been quantified.
To better understand the benefits of emergency preparedness, UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) engaged BCG to analyze investments made in Chad, Madagascar, and Pakistan and to help create a sound strategy.
To quantify the time and cost savings of specific preparedness interventions and to determine which ones delivered the greatest return on investment (ROI), several types of interventions were analyzed. The analysis examined 49 investments in prestocking emergency supplies, improving infrastructure, training to enhance staff capabilities, and negotiating long-term agreements with suppliers.
All the UNICEF and WFP emergency preparedness investments examined in Chad, Madagascar, and Pakistan were found to save significant time and/or costs in the event of an emergency:
Taken together, the results make a strong case for the early funding of emergency preparation. The findings are highlighted in the UNICEF/WFP Return on Investment for Emergency Preparedness Study.
The study reached a number of conclusions about the overall ROI of emergency preparedness: