Household and Building Damage Assessment


Crisis situations often impact local infrastructure including private homes and those used for commercial and public services. One of the most complicated and important components of the recovery process is the rapid and effective restoration of these structures.

UNDP has developed a Household and Building Damage Assessment (HBDA) Toolkit to support authorities in crisis-affected countries around the world, to assess residential and non-residential infrastructure and collect timely data to inform decisions. The HBDA will also inform prioritization for risk-informed rehabilitation and rebuilding.


Slide the arrow to see aerial shots of a community impacted by a hurricane. Data shown has been modified to protect confidentiality.


How does the process work?


Technical definition
Inspectors training
Field Assessment
Data management
Recovery Programming

Technical definition: "Modular sections of the questionnaire that will be used for the assessment are selected in consultation with the government of the affected area and according to needs."
Inspectors training: "Local teams are recruited and trained on how to gather data using an app via a mobile device. Experts are recruited as team leaders."
Field Assessment: "Inspector teams facilitate sectorization, spot checks, and collect data in the field."
Data management: "Data collected is immediately uploaded in the system for cleaning, verification, analysis and quality control."
Reporting: "Data is automatically analysed, visualised (via Power BI) and compiled for real-time reporting."
Recovery Programming: "This data, property of the relevant government, is used for evidence-based decision-making processes."




Interactive Data Visualisation


Information collected during the HBDA is visualized by Microsoft Power BIan intelligence platform used for the analysis and visualization of data. 

Further analysis of all these data can assist governments in prioritizing faster recovery, monitoring, policy-making, and disaster preparedness. 

Click the icons below to interact with a simulation of a small example of data collected in the aftermath of an earthquake in Albania.


This data has been reduced and modified for demonstration purposes and to protect confidentiality.


Unique Features


The following unique features of the HBDA make it a revolutionary tool in post-disaster contexts:

  • A team of UNDP HBDA experts can be deployed in just 48 hours to the affected area and train a group of local inspectors to conduct the HBDA.
  • All data is processed on a real-time basis, producing immediate visual, dynamic, and interactive reports.
  • The HBDA Toolkit can be accessed through a mobile app available for both Android and IOS, even without available storage or data.
  • Thanks to the navigability of the tool, after the training, anyone with a smartphone can become an inspector. However, continuous supervision is provided.
  • The HBDA can be made available in different languages including English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Russian. 

Modular Sections


The HBDA Toolkit has been designed in modular sections which can be chosen depending on the scenario or the government’s needs. These sections are the result of joint efforts by different UN agencies to capture all types of powerful data. These modular sections include:




This section looks at the physical structural damage to all types of buildings, from private residential and commercial buildings to public structures including schools, hospitals, or community centers. It captures measurements of the building, type of materials, and damage to different parts of the structure, including foundation, roof, ceiling, walls, and floor.

Michael Atwood / UNDP




In the aftermath of a natural disaster, assisting the most vulnerable becomes a priority. Built in collaboration with WFP, the Vulnerability section of the HBDA captures a variety of data including pregnant or lactating women, chronically ill persons, children with special needs, and the elderly or unemployed.                                                                                                                                                               




What is the source of energy that the household-dwelling uses for cooking? Do people have access to water? What kind of sanitation facilities does the building have? The damage to the Services section of the HBDA captures all this vital information.

Zaimis Olmos / UNDP
Michael Atwood / UNDP





The HBDA Debris section provides a rapid estimation of debris found. The volume and types of debris can pose a safety hazard. The HBDA will help to analyze the volume and type of debris to inform collection mechanisms or even recycling opportunities.




This section collects information that assesses the exposure of the structure in case of disaster. Is the building located close to the sea? Has it been built in compliance with relevant building codes? Does the roof have hurricane straps? This information is vital for preparedness.

Kerrie Hall / UNDP