An online version of the RESIN IVAVIA Guideline document can be found here.


IVAVIA (Impact and Vulnerability Analysis of Vital Infrastructures and built-up Areas) is a systemic methodology for conducting a risk-based process for assessing impacts and vulnerabilities of urban areas and their infrastructure related to consequences of Climate Change. In general, the scale that IVAVIA guideline can be applied at is arbitrary: any area or infrastructure is possible as long as sufficient indicators and data are available for it.

The overall aim of a risk-based Vulnerability Assessment using IVAVIA is to facilitate the understanding of cause-effect relationships of climate change, identify geographical hotspots of vulnerability and risk, and assess what impact on people, economy and built-up area under study can be expected now and for the future due to the changing climate. This allows to identify entry-points for adaptation measures and areas where actions are needed first.

The guideline should be understandable for a variety of stakeholders, but the persons addressed by this guideline at first hand are the initiator and the coordinator or manager of a city’s overall risk-based Vulnerability Assessment project or the person responsible for the climate change adaptation planning. Although this guideline is self-contained, it assumes a reader with a basic knowledge in CC risk assessment (e.g., provided by the IPPC AR5 reports). How-to guides, templates, and software tools will enable a broader audience in the city to understand the underlying methodology of IVAVIA and to contribute to its application.

Use in decision framework

Risk identification
Risk analysis
Define indicators
Determine baseline performance


Each step of the module descriptions contains information about the input needed for that step. Below a summary is given of the effort, information and expertise needed to complete the IVAVIA guideline.


A risk-based Vulnerability Assessment task is a considerable and time-consuming task in the development of an adaptation strategy, but will provide important information on the actual vulnerability of the area or asset under study. IVAVIA has a qualitative and a quantitative assessment part. Depending on limitations of resources (experts’ time, funds) and urgency (near deadlines), a pure qualitative assessment could be conducted. However, basing the findings on a solid quantitative assessment may be a much better and more convincing basis when presenting results to the policy level.

In cases where quantitative data are missing or too hard to get, alternative semi-quantitative approaches might be a suitable choice. There, likelihoods or magnitudes of consequences are categorised based on expert judgement.

Information and data

  • Historic data
  • Future projections (climate, optional: urban development)
  • Indicator lists from relevant adaptation frameworks
  • Information to be gathered to calculate indicators


Collaboration with:

  • City departments that have stakes in climate change adaptation
  • Knowledge institutes, universities
  • Local stakeholders
  • Consultancy companies


The structure of the IVAVIA guideline is an adaptation of the modules explained in “The Vulnerability Sourcebook” published by the German Society for International Collaboration (GIZ), cf. BMZ 2014a. The main part of the guideline document describes in detail the steps for realising the seven modules of IVAVIA:

The number of modules and underlying steps should not be intimidating; they rather establish a structure for the whole process and make it more manageable. Following the whole sequence of seven modules is not mandatory. If you are an expert and/ or already have existing material from a previous vulnerability assessment, lack resources to conduct a complete assessment, or just want to use different approaches to specific steps, you may opt for customizing IVAVIA and its respective modules to your particular needs; you can do this when applying step 5 of module 1, which is about preparing the specific work plan for the VA in your city. For a full qualitative and quantitative assessment, you should apply the modules in the given sequence, because input is needed from previous modules. For a qualitative assessment only, you would run the process up until Module 2. The whole assessment process would vary, depending on the size of the studied area (city, district) and the scope of the evaluation.


The ultimate result of the risk-based Vulnerability Assessment process is a characterisation of the potential climate change risk imposed on the area under study. IVAVIA focuses on risks that are imposed by occurrences of climate-related hazards. The specific type and intensity of the considered hazard are defining factors of the risk. In addition to the type and intensity of the considered hazard, the probability of its future occurrences is another decisive factor of the risk-based Vulnerability Assessment. In this sense, risk is determined as a combination of expected occurrences of hazards and the estimated damages they might cause and can, for example, be expressed in terms of low, intermediate, high and very high. These risk score can be based on a qualitative or a more extensive quantitative assessment.

Outputs include:

  • Documentation of the assessment process
  • Visuals including generated
  • Collections of information
  • Databases of indicator data
  • Findings of the assessment process: vulnerable areas or elements, sensitivities, impacts, risk related to consequences of climate change


IVAVIA was tested with the RESIN tier-1 cities Bilbao, Bratislava, Greater Manchester, and Paris, and also at the City of Glasgow in the UK.