The Scoping Study


The Scoping Study was designed to help gain an in-depth understanding of current capacity, knowledge gaps, and training needs across disciplines, institutions and civil society in Hong Kong. Previous studies have investigated the community’s perception of disaster risk in Hong Kong. The Scoping Study focused on institutional disaster preparedness and planning, inter-agency co-ordination, communication across agencies and the community, and economic and financial resilience.


1. Key stakeholder interviews

In-person interviews were conducted with senior officials at key institutions involved in various aspects of Hong Kong’s disaster preparedness and response. These interviews focused on existing policy and protocols, previous experience, and perceived needs. These interviews were conducted by Harvard FXB Center fellows. Further interviews were conducted with healthcare professionals from the Hospital Authority, led mainly by HKU.

2. Community-based survey

This survey was used to gauge the civil society’s perceived and actual preparedness strategies in a variety of disaster settings, and their preferred modes of communication and information access during a disaster. The methodologies included random GPS-sampling with data collection completed with KoBo Toolbox. This survey was implemented by a research team at HKU, trained by Harvard FXB Center fellows.

3. Response-agency based survey

This online survey, completed with Survey Monkey, focused on demonstrable knowledge and needs among front-line responders in a variety of institutions: The Hong Kong Police Force, the Hong Kong Fire Services Department, Auxiliary Medical Service, and the Civil Aid Service. Harvard FXB worked closely with HKJCDPRI to implement this survey. Implemented by HKU, a similar survey aimed at hospital workers was sent to the members of ten colleges of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine and 14 nursing colleges.

The Scoping Study demonstrates Hong Kong’s unequivocal commitment to disaster preparedness at many levels of governance and professional expertise. Preliminary findings from the Scoping Study were presented at the Annual Disaster Preparedness and Response Conference and have been released in the form of an executive summary. The findings justify the need for community outreach and engagement, inclusion of less familiar disasters within the scope of preparedness, investment in more resources for training, and the creation of a knowledge repository for easy access to information