Technical Assistance on Geohazard Risk Management and Resilient Asset Management. Bhutan

SERVICE Geohazard risk management and resilient asset management
DATE 2018-2019

The Royal Kindom of Bhutan is located in the Eastern Himalayas, surrounded by China in the north, India in the South and Nepal in the East. The country is characteristic for its young and mountainous orography, which makes it particularly vulnerable to landslides triggered by heavy rains and earthquakes.

The World Bank continuing with a resilience strategy started in 2015, financed this project with aim of enhancing the resilience of Bhutan’s road network, especially in the face of natural hazards. INES achieved this by creating hazard maps of the region and developing a tool to assist the Department of Roads (DoR) in conducting risk assessments for the road infrastructure. This tool utilized asset-related data and hazard maps of the country to calculate risk scores, aiding the DoR in planning maintenance activities and implementing mitigation measures.

The tool consists of three main components:

  1. Methodology/Framework: This defines the algorithms and processes for risk assessment, categorizing two types of risks: those related to physical asset deterioration (for maintenance planning) and those associated with natural hazards (for adaptation/mitigation planning)
  2. Data: The assessment required a comprehensive inventory database of road assets. INES reviewed, cleaned, and improved the DoR’s road network inventory database established in 2017. Hazard maps, generated during the project using local government data and international sources, were also essential inputs. Using inventory, condition, and hazard data, the tool calculated key performance indicators (KPIs) such as criticality, coping capacity, vulnerability, and risk.
  3. Software: ArcGIS and Excel were used for operating and displaying the results of the risk assessment. ArcGIS’s geodatabase function served as the storage system, housing all project inputs and outputs in a single location for the DoR’s future reference and use.


The project was completed with a two-week training in Paro for 30 people of Bhutan’s government.

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