Jha, Abhas K.

Urban and Disaster Risk Management, East Asia and the Pacific, World Bank
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Urban Development, Disaster Risk Management
Urban and Disaster Risk Management, East Asia and the Pacific, World Bank
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Abhas Jha is Practice Manager, Urban Development and Disaster Risk Management (East Asia and the Pacific) within the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice for the World Bank. He leads operations and strategy, technical quality control and risk management of one of the largest portfolios of infrastructure lending, technical assistance, and advisory services within the World Bank. Abhas works on cities, infrastructure finance and economics, risk and resilience, and public policy. He has been with the World Bank since 2001, working on policy reform and development finance in a variety of countries including China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Jamaica, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, and Peru. Abhas earlier served as Adviser to the World Bank Executive Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Sri Lanka. He was for 12 years a member of the Indian Administrative Service (the national senior civil service of India) in the Government of India (in the Federal Ministry of Finance and earlier in the state of Bihar). Abhas is the lead author of "Safer Homes, Stronger Communities: A Handbook for Reconstructing after Disasters" (2010) and "Cities and Flooding: A Guide to Integrated Urban Flood Risk Management" (2012) and has edited/co-edited or contributed chapters to several other publications.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Building Urban Resilience : Principles, Tools, and Practice
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2013-03-08) Jha, Abhas K.; Stanton-Geddes, Zuzana
    Building Urban Resilience in East Asia is a World Bank program that aims to increase the resilience of cities to disasters and the impacts of climate change by using a risk-based approach to making public investment decisions. The objective is to demonstrate a scalable methodology and practical tools for risk assessment that can be used for city-level investment decisions. Working closely with the stakeholders involved in land use planning and infrastructure development, phase one of this program identified the major challenges facing urban decision makers in terms of risks from natural disasters and climate change and now offers open-source risk assessment tools that can be used by city-level institutions, other communities, private investors, and planners of infrastructure services. Phase two explores different investment options, management plans, and capacity building needs. The goal is to formulate a strategy in which flexible and 'low-regret' measures can be cost-effective even when risks are uncertain. Taking into account future risks and uncertainties, resilience relies on redundancy. Cities facing difficult decisions about scarce resources and investments strive for efficiency. Financial approaches to urban disaster resilience should reduce the negative impacts of disasters on individuals and communities, the private sector, and public entities.
  • Publication
    Strong, Safe, and Resilient : A Strategic Policy Guide for Disaster Risk Management in East Asia and the Pacific
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2013-03-06) Jha, Abhas K.; Jha, Abhas K.; Stanton-Geddes, Zuzana
    Experiencing both recurrent small-scale events as well as devastating large-scale catastrophes, no other region in the world is affected by disasters as is East Asia and the Pacific. In the last decade, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Manila, and many other cities have been repeatedly hit by floods. In the last five years, Asia has experienced a large share of wide-scale natural catastrophes, including earthquakes in the Tohoku region in 2011, Padang in 2009, and Wenchuan in 2008; typhoons in 2009 in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Philippines, and Vietnam; a cyclone in Myanmar in 2008; and large-scale floods in 2011 in Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines. The year 2011 was the costliest year on record for natural disasters with cascading effects (Japan) and trans-boundary consequences (Thailand), adding up to US$380 billion in economic losses, almost doubling the 2005 record of US$262 billion. In the first nine months in 2011, East Asia sustained about 80 percent of all disaster losses worldwide. The executive summary provides a brief overview of the key issues, strategic goals, and recommendations for DRM in East Asia and the Pacific. Chapter one gives an overview of the key trends related to disaster impacts in the region. Chapter two focuses on cross-sectoral issues of institutional arrangements for DRM and outreach to communities. Chapter's three to seven follow the core areas of DRM: risk identification, risk reduction, emergency preparedness, financial protection, and sustainable recovery and reconstruction. The appendixes include additional information related to specific sections of the report, a glossary of key terminology, and a summary of the main activities of the World Bank East Asia and the Pacific disaster risk management team.
  • Publication
    Five Feet High and Rising : Cities and Flooding in the 21st Century
    (2011-05-01) Jha, Abhas; Bloch, Robin; Bhattacharya, Namrata; Lopez, Ana; Papachristodoulou, Nikolaos; Bird, Alan; Proverbs, David; Davies, John; Barker, Robert
    Urban flooding is an increasingly important issue. Disaster statistics appear to show flood events are becoming more frequent, with medium-scale events increasing fastest. The impact of flooding is driven by a combination of natural and human-induced factors. As recent flood events in Pakistan, Brazil, Sri Lanka and Australia show, floods can occur in widespread locations and can sometimes overwhelm even the best prepared countries and cities. There are known and tested measures for urban flood risk management, typically classified as structural or engineered measures, and non-structural, management techniques. A combination of measures to form an integrated management approach is most likely to be successful in reducing flood risk. In the short term and for developing countries in particular, the factors affecting exposure and vulnerability are increasing at the fastest rate as urbanization puts more people and more assets at risk. In the longer term, however, climate scenarios are likely to be one of the most important drivers of future changes in flood risk. Due to the large uncertainties in projections of climate change, adaptation to the changing risk needs to be flexible to a wide range of future scenarios and to be able to cope with potentially large changes in sea level, rainfall intensity and snowmelt. Climate uncertainty and budgetary, institutional and practical constraints are likely to lead to a combining of structural and non-structural measures for urban flood risk management, and arguably, to a move away from what is sometimes an over-reliance on hard-engineered defenses and toward more adaptable and incremental non-structural solutions.
  • Publication
    Safer Homes, Stronger Communities : A Handbook for Reconstructing after Natural Disasters
    (World Bank, 2010) Jha, Abhas K.; Phelps, Priscilla M.; Pittet, Daniel; Sena, Stephen
    Safer homes, stronger communities: a handbook for reconstructing after disasters was developed to assist policy makers and project managers engaged in large-scale post-disaster reconstruction programs make decisions about how to reconstruct housing and communities after natural disasters. As the handbook demonstrates, post-disaster reconstruction begins with a series of decisions that must be made almost immediately. Despite the urgency with which these decisions are made, they have long-term impacts, changing the lives of those affected by the disaster for years to come. As a policy maker, you may be responsible for establishing the policy framework for the entire reconstruction process or for setting reconstruction policy in only one sector. The handbook is emphatic about the importance of establishing a policy to guide reconstruction. Effective reconstruction is set in motion only after the policy maker has evaluated his or her alternatives, conferred with stakeholders, and established the framework and the rules for reconstruction. As international experience and the examples in the handbook clearly demonstrate, reconstruction policy improves both the efficiency and the effectiveness of the reconstruction process. In addition to providing advice on the content of such a policy, the handbook describes mechanisms for managing communications with stakeholders about the policy, for improving the consistency of the policy, and for monitoring the policy's implementation and outcomes.
  • Publication
    Low-income Housing in Latin America and the Caribbean
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-01) Jha, Abhas K.
    Housing is one of the most important sectors of the economy -- in developing countries as in richer ones -- with large positive externalities in terms of economic growth, public health and societal stability. It is the primary form of asset accumulation for the poor -- often representing more than 50 percent of the assets of households. However, housing systems in developing countries are dominated by badly designed, poorly targeted, and inefficient government subsidies, market failures in land markets, overwhelming informality, a predominance of powerful vested interests and a growing slum population. This paper addresses the following headings: the housing sector in Latin American countries (LAC); the World Bank Group housing strategy in LAC; and the challenges ahead.
  • Publication
    Cities and Flooding : A Guide to Integrated Urban Flood Risk Management for the 21st Century
    (World Bank, 2012) Jha, Abhas K.; Lamond, Jessica
    The guide serves as a primer for decision and policy makers, technical specialists, central, regional and local government officials, and concerned stakeholders in the community sector, civil society and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. The Guide embodies the state-of-the art on integrated urban flood risk management. The Guide starts with a summary for policy makers which outlines and describes the key areas which policy makers need to be knowledgeable about to create policy directions and an integrated strategic approach for urban flood risk management. The core of the Guide consists of seven chapters, organized as: understanding flood hazard; understanding flood impacts; integrated flood risk management (structural measures and non-structural measures); evaluating alternative flood risk management options: tools for decision makers; implementing integrated flood risk management; and conclusion. Each chapter starts with a full contents list and a summary of the chapter for quick reference.
  • Publication
    A Time to Choose : Caribbean Development in the 21st Century
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-06) Kathuria, Sanjay; Corlett, Michael; Hanson, James; Oberai, Rina H.; Tomlinson, Kevin; Ruppert Bulmer, Elizabeth; Blom, Andreas; Jha, Abhas; Brenzel, Logan
    The Caribbean region is at a development crossroads and its member nations must take significant and concrete steps to improve productivity and competitiveness and face up to global competition if they are to accelerate or even maintain past growth, says a new World Bank report1. By taking such steps, they will reposition themselves strategically as an emerging trading bloc for goods and services; without such action, they risk growing economic marginalization and erosion of many of the social gains of the last three decades.