Developing Metrics and Scoring Procedures to Support Mitigation Grant Program Decisionmaking

from RAND Research Topic: Health and Health Care at on March 31, 2021 at 03:37PM

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program to award predisaster mitigation grants. FEMA asked the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC) to develop metrics—quantitative measurements of important concepts—that can inform decisionmaking for the BRIC program. Building from discussions with program leadership, a review of stakeholder comments, and a close reading of BRIC’s legal requirements, the authors established three lines of effort (LoEs) for analysis.

The indirect benefits line reviewed published measurement techniques and blended them into instructions for an input-output simulation model that better measures the full benefit to a community of mitigating an asset. The applicant institutional capability (AIC) line reviewed analogous research and interviewed subject-matter experts to develop a checklist for assessing the ability of applicants to propose or execute mitigation projects, focusing on staff retention, skills, and experience, as well as management capacity and technical capacity. The community resilience line developed an assessment framework based on BRIC’s legal requirements, discussions with BRIC leadership, and standard best practices in measurement. Then, the LoE conducted a preliminary review of published resilience metrics, highlighting the potential value of action-based community resilience metrics for performance evaluation, population-based metrics for equity evaluation, and building code–based metrics as needed to improve statutory compliance. Each LoE produced a metric or framework for assessing metrics that could support BRIC grant decisionmaking and program performance evaluation. The report concludes with 11 recommendations for FEMA to consider.

This research was sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and conducted within the Acquisition and Development Program of the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND’s publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.