Vulnerability to Climate Hazards

Cambodia’s vulnerability is measured by the percentage and number of vulnerable communes (i.e. those with Vulnerability Index values rating High or Quite High). This information is used as a key indicator in several CC M&E frameworks (national climate change M&E framework, SDG13, NSDP 2019-2023)

Proportion of communes vulnerable to climate harzards - an indicator of the national CC M&E framework


Proportion of communes are classified as ‘highly vulnerable’ or ‘quite vulnerable’ to multiple climate change hazards, disaggregated by floods, drought and storms by using vulnerability index (VI) scores. These VI scores are calculated based on the methodology developed by IIED in 2015 and GSSD in 2016 for Cambodia’s National Climate Change Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, expressed as a percentage of total number of communes in the country.



The composite VI is based on multiple data from Cambodia’s Commune Database (CDB), and is an average of the values of individual vulnerability indices for all three hazards, including floods, drought and storms. The variables from the CDB that build these vulnerability indices were selected based on a significant correlation with observed (time lagged) losses and damages from these hazards [1].

Concerning the classification of the commune vulnerability, vulnerable communes are those that score as ‘highly vulnerable’ or ‘quite vulnerable’ using threshold values for VI based on an analysis of the 2014 distribution of VI results[2], for example, those communes with VI values above the mean (-0.487).

Proportion of communes vulnerable to climate hazards 

Indicator=   Number of communes with VI values above the mean (-0.487)

Total number of communes


Proportion of communes affected by specific climate hazard (e.g. drought)

Disaggregated indicator =   Number of communes affected by drought

Total number of communes

Data source:  CBD, MoP (for data related to the total number of communes and to the variables composing the different vulnerability indices[3]);

Frequency: Every 5 years

Unit: Percentage (of communes)

Institution: NCSD


Rai, N., Brooks N., Tin P., Neth B., and Nash E. (2015). Developing a national M&E framework for climate change: Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD) in Cambodia. Research Report, IIED, London. []

BASELINE (2014):   49%

(55.83% vulnerable to floods, 59.78% vulnerable to drought and 63.60% vulnerable to storms)


[1] Variables from CDB from year t, representing potential proxies of vulnerability (related to poverty, agriculture, business, education, health and environment), were regressed with variables of impact of three specific climate hazards in year t+1 (i.e. number of households affect by floods, drought and storms) to understand how dependent variables of impact are influenced by independent proxies of vulnerability. The vulnerability variables selected for the construction of the index were those significantly related to impact variables (at 95% significance level), either positively or negatively. This analysis was conducted for the three types of climate hazard; the resulting sets of indicators that were selected as proxies for vulnerability to floods, drought and storms, and the respective weights used in the construction of the three vulnerability indices, can be found in the IIED report (IIED, 2015).  

[2] ‘Highly vulnerable communes’ have VI scores above 0.199 (i.e. more than one standard deviation above the mean); ‘quite vulnerable communes’ have VI scores between 0.199 and -0.487 (i.e. between the mean and one standard deviation above).

[3] A list of the CBD variables used in the construction of the vulnerability indices can be found in IIED report (2015)

Vulnerability - Indicator View

Vulnerability - Indicator View – ‘standardized indicators’ expressed in percentage % for each province or commune.

Vulnerability - Indicator View – ‘standardized indicators’ expressed in percentage % for each province or commune.