Before you start

The VRA Workshop

When you finish


Objective: To map the direct and indirect impacts of each priority hazard. These can could be about damage to the environment or ecosystem, loss of lives and livelihoods, or the inability to access key services like schools, markets and hospitals. By looking at the primary and secondary effects, this step aims to build a better understanding of how the impacts of a hazard multiply and accumulate through systems over time.

Output: An impact chain for each of the priority hazards and social issues showing both the consequences of the risk and possible solutions.


Time: 2 Hours

The Knowledge Group splits up to work on separate Impact Chains, which will later be critiqued and validated by the other Knowledge Group members. Marihatag, in Mindanao, the Philippines. Photo: Oxfam in the Philippines

1) Each group is given a hazard to discuss,and asked to record the likely impacts if that hazard occurred. Remember to decide altogether on the time frame you are considering. Remember to consider what the different impacts might be on stakeholders due to their gender, age, livelihood group or income source, e.g. traders vs. pastoralists.

It is important not just to consider the direct impacts, but also the secondary effects of these initial impacts. Keep asking the question, ‘What happens next?’ till you have understood all the possible consequences of this type of hazard. This results in an ‘impact chain’ (see here for photo examples). HELPFUL TIP

An impact chain can be presented using pictures, a ‘risk map’ or via a group discussion which is recorded by the note-taker or facilitator or as a flowchart, as shown in the example. HELPFUL TIP

2) The group should now discuss the impacts and , think about ways to reduce the likelihood of them happening. How can the community (men, women, boys and girls) and government system/services prepare, adapt and change the situation to better cope? It is useful to record these ideas on the same paper, using different colours to distinguish between challenges and solutions. HELPFUL TIP