GPDRR 2011: Wednesday

I once again spent most of the day loitering around the IGNITE stage, although I did duck over into the building next door for the roundtable on the relationship between science and practice. My highlights:


FREEMAN is the Flood Resilience Enhancement and Management system by the Antea consulting company, used for checking indicators of a community’s flood resilience and identifying quick-fixes to improve that resilience. It does this by quantifying institutional and community resilience and performing a health check in the effectiveness of management tools, then displaying the results as a star diagram. I’ll discuss this more once I get my hands on the presentation and can exploit their graphics!

Science Meets Practice

Unexpectedly, the notes from this session did not end up in the official highlights record.
The focus of this roundtable was to discuss how science is and can be used in effective policy for reducing hazards. The main point of the session was to discuss why technology and research is improving, but disaster-deaths are still increasing, and what type of research can be done to reduce deaths.

IRDR International is working on FORIN, a method for investigating what conditions increase and decrease loss in disasters, while Italy is advocating for standard methods and tools for modelling risk to decrease costs, standardize datasets, and allow for risk-comparison over wide geographic areas.

The one philosophical comment was that cutting-edge scientific research uses cutting-edge technology, which is not always the best choice in disasters. In disaster recovery, sometimes lower-technology tools are more cost-effective, increase local livelihood recovery, and increase resilience capacity. Instead of quick-fix gadgets, research on developing cutting-edge methods for using low-technology tools may be more practical.


The IGNITE talk introducing the electronic version of the Global Assessment Report was not itself spectacular, but the resource is to the point where I’ll write a separate post on the 2011 GAR once I have an opportunity to check it out more thoroughly and play with the data.

Also on the IGNITE stage, the World Bank announced the winners from the World Reconstruction Conference innovation competition. The projects were judged on:

  1. Addressing a real and compelling problem.
  2. Providing a solution with a tangible community impact.
  3. Providing an innovative solution.
  4. The project’s competence and capacity to follow-through.
  5. The solution’s feasibility.

I had broswed some of the entry’s posters earlier in the day and found them intriguing; the winners all occupy several pages in my notebook and deserve more attention than I can give in the middle of conference-bustle.

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One Response to GPDRR 2011: Wednesday

  1. Ian Burton says:

    Jane, This is good to hear. We need to get the word out about FORIN, and this helps to get us going. I think that the disaster/risk field is going to expand and become very crowded with ideas and initiatives very soon. Those of us thinking about this strategically should perhaps start to ask what comes after the end of the HFA in 2015 ,,, we can do better I am sure. So you know who wrote the DFID critique of ISDR? It might be good to get them engaged in a more creative discussion. IanB

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