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Efficient Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) management constantly calls upon high-quality information to be collected or updated for vulnerability monitoring and risk assessment. This process is often resource- and time-intensive, which many economically developing states (including most Central Asian countries) can seldom afford. In this paper, we introduce the concept of focus maps as a useful tool to quantify the spatial probability of sampling. Focus maps allow for a data collection prioritization scheme to be put in place, enabling the realization of optimized spatial sampling which assigns a higher priority to locations where the need for high-quality information is greater. In practice, smaller samples can be drawn with the same (or better) resulting accuracy of the estimates, resulting in a more efficient use of time and resources. The factors that affect such a spatial sampling scheme include the usual components of risk assessment (hazard, exposure, vulnerability) where available, as well as other potentially critical factors, such as the extent and quality of previously collected data. The practical application of the proposed approach to the case of Central Asia will be exemplified and discussed.
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