The Andhra Pradesh Cyclone Hazard Mitigation Project commenced in August 1999 as part of a World Bank loan to the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India. This project became unique in several ways. A Real Time Operational Early Warning System for cyclone related storm surges was developed. The wind hazard and rainfall that accompany such storms were addressed. The reduction in the long term vulnerability through integrated coastal zone management also received attention. Indeed, an Expert Decision Support System (EDSS) for ICZM for the analysis of the various policy options that could reduce vulnerability in the long term was developed.
In September 2006 I began this PhD research at the Faculty for Technology, Policy and Management of Delft University of Technology with co-financing from my employer Deltares. By then the EDSS - ICZM was already completed by an interdisciplinary team which I had the privilege of leading. The experience of developing and finalising the model inspired me to undertake this PhD research focussing on both the design process and the evaluation of the model. By reflecting critically on the model design and its applicability, this research generates new knowledge on the integration of vulnerability aspects in long term sustainable development. Hence, the model in this research is the object of enquiry, not its result. Therefore the thesis consists of three parts: Part 1 describes the experience, Part 2 is a literature study and Part 3 consists of the evaluation of the model. This structure reflects the somewhat unconventional character of the research set-up as reported in this thesis.