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„EconoMe“ A new calculation tool for comparing the cost-efficiency of protective measures

BAUMANN, R., KRUMMENACHER, B., WINKLER, C. (2008)

Interprävent Kongress 2008, Dornbirn

PROBLEM: Public money is used to finance the protection of human life, material assets and the environment against natural hazards. This limited resource should be used in a way that achieves the maximum possible effect by minimizing as many risks as possible. Hence, every decision-maker faces the question as to the areas in which resources should be used. Cost-benefit and cost-utility analyses are recognized instruments for determining the cost-efficiency of investments and measures. However, as was clearly demonstrated at a conference of the Fachleute Naturgefahren Schweiz/FAN (Experts on Natural Hazards) on 18 February 2005, it is very difficult to compare these analyses with each other. The results of such analyses are heavily dependent on the selected methods, parameters and input variables and once the system boundaries (different experts, processes, scaling methods etc.) are exceeded, their comparability deteriorates. OBJECTIVE: The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) wants to increase the comparability of cost-utility analyses in the area of natural hazards. Thus, it is working with practitioners to develop a tool that incorporates comparable cost-utility analyses for all natural hazard processes by the end of 2007.