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Science and Disaster Reduction – an update from the UNISDR Science & Technical Committee. Professor Virginia Murray Member of Science and Technical committee for UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) . Meeting of the European National Platforms and HFA Focal Points

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Science and Disaster Reduction – an update from the UNISDR Science & Technical Committee

Professor Virginia Murray Member of Science and Technical committee for UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)

Meeting of the European National Platforms and HFA Focal Points

London, 11-13 November 2009

outline
UNISDR Scientific and Technical committee

Highlight of key findings of First Scientific & Technical Committee report for Global Platform

Other projects

Reflections on how the Committee findings can help the meeting of the National Platforms and HFA Focal Points in DRR research and scientific evidence base

Outline
scientific and technical committee
http://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/isdr/mechanisms/

advises the Global Platform

advocates for and guides policy and actions related to scientific and technical issues within the ISDR System, for informed decision making and public awareness

Science is considered here in its widest sense to include the natural, environmental, social, economic, health and engineering sciences, and the term "technical" includes relevant matters of technology, engineering practice and implementation.

Scientific and Technical Committee
scientific and technical committee6
to provide advice & to make recommendations on priorities for scientific & technical attention by ISDR System

to propose & organize specific enquiries to investigate & report on priority matters

to advise on relevant elements of Joint Work Programme

to provide guidance to scientific & technical work of ISDR thematic partnerships

to stimulate dialogue & innovation including promotion of good practice

to report annually to the Chair of the ISDR System on matters within its mandate

Scientific and Technical Committee
scientific and technical committee7
First meeting January 2008

Second meeting October 2008

Third meeting June 2009

Scientific and Technical Committee
current membership
Dr. Walter Erdelen (Chair of the STC), Assistant Director General, Natural Sciences, France, representing UNESCO

Dr. Howard Moore, Senior Advisor, ICSU Secretariat, representing ICSU

Dr. Juan Carlos Villagrán de León, Head, Risk Management Section, UNU–EHS, Germany, representing UNU

Dr. Samir Ben Yahmed, Director, Health Action in Crises, Switzerland, representing WHO

Dr. Geoff Love, Director Weather and Disaster Risk Reduction Services Department, Switzerland, representing WMO

Dr. Walter Ammann*, President, Global Risk Forum (GRF Davos), Switzerland

UNISDR Secretariat

Professor Ilan Chabay*, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Dr. Mohamed Farghaly, Director General, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport of the League of Arab States, Egypt.

Professor Mohsen Ghafory-Ashtiany, International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), Iran

Professor Harsh Gupta*, National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), India

Dr. He Yongnian, China Earthquake Administration, China

Professor Gordon McBean*, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, The University of Western Ontario, Canada (also representing the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme)

Professor Virginia Murray*, Consultant Medical Toxicologist, Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom

Professor Laban A. Ogallo, Director, IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), Kenya

Dr. Kaoru Takara, Vice Director, Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University, Japan

Professor Dennis Wenger, National Science Foundation, United States

Current Membership
first project first scientific technical committee report for global platform october 2008
STC Subcommittee for drafting and design of report

Dr. Walter Ammann*, President, Global Risk Forum (GRF Davos), Switzerland

Professor Ilan Chabay*, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Professor Harsh Gupta*, National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), India

Professor Gordon McBean*, (Chair)Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, The University of Western Ontario, Canada

Professor Virginia Murray*, Consultant Medical Toxicologist, Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom (Dr Delphine Grynzpan and Louise Dowling, UK Health Protection Agency, researched and assembled the first draft under Professor Virginia Murray’s guidance.)

Dr. Reid Basher coordinated and edited the report for the UNISDR.

First project: First Scientific & Technical Committee report for Global Platform October 2008
topics selected
Climate change

Changing institutional and public behaviour to early warnings

Knowledge of the wide health impacts of disasters

Improving resilience to disasters through social and economic understanding

Topics selected
recommendations covered
(i) Promote knowledge into action

(ii) Use a problem-solving approach that integrates all hazards and disciplines

(iii) Support systematic science programmes

(iv) Guide good practice in scientific and technical aspects of disaster risk reduction

Recommendations covered
i promote knowledge into action
Greater priority should be put on sharing and disseminating scientific information and translating it into practical methods that can readily be integrated into policies, regulations and implementation plans concerning disaster risk reduction.

Education on all levels, comprehensive knowledge management, and greater involvement of science in public awareness-raising and education campaigns should be strengthened.

Specific innovations should be developed to facilitate the incorporation of science inputs in policymaking

(i) Promote knowledge into action
ii use a problem solving approach that integrates all hazards and disciplines 1
A holistic, all-hazards, risk-based, problem-solving approach should be used to address the multi-factoral nature of disaster risk and disaster risk reduction and to achieve improved solutions and better-optimised use of resources.

This requires the collaboration of all stakeholders, including suitable representatives of governmental institutions, scientific and technical specialists and members of the communities at risk.

(ii) Use a problem-solving approach that integrates all hazards and disciplines - 1
ii use a problem solving approach that integrates all hazards and disciplines 2
Knowledge sharing and collaboration between disciplines and sectors should be made a central feature of the approach,

in order to guide scientific research

to make knowledge available for faster implementation,

to bridge the various gaps between risks, disciplines, and the stake-holders

and to support education and training, and information and media communication

(ii) Use a problem-solving approach that integrates all hazards and disciplines - 2
iii support systematic science programmes
Systematic programmes of scientific research, observations and capacity buildingshould be supported at national, regional and international levels to address current problems and emerging risks such as are identified in this report.

The international Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Programme, which is co-sponsored by ICSU, ISSC, and UNISDR, provides a new and important framework for global collaboration.

The ISDR Scientific and Technical Committee should providestrategic guidance on research needs for disaster risk reduction and oversight of progress

(iii) Support systematic science programmes
iv guide good practice in scientific tech nical aspects of disaster risk reduction 1
S&TC should be strengthened to serve as a neutral, credible international resource to support practitioners at all levels, from local through national to international levels, by overseeing the collection, vetting and publicising of information on good practices carried out on the basis of sound science and up-to-date scientific and technological knowledge, as well as on those inadequate practices or concepts that may be hindering progress.(iv) Guide good practice in scientific & tech-nical aspects of disaster risk reduction - 1
iv guide good practice in scientific tech nical aspects of disaster risk reduction 2
The Committee should further develop its recommendations for follow-up on the areas of concern highlighted in the present report, including on the themes of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, preparedness and early warning systems, health impacts of disasters, and the association of disaster risk and socioeconomic factors.(iv) Guide good practice in scientific & tech-nical aspects of disaster risk reduction - 2
chairman s conclusion point 5
“stressed the necessity for investment in research and development and higher education, and for the more effective integration of science and technical information into policy and practice.” Chairman’s conclusion – point 5
another project from 3 rd meeting june 2009
Subcommittee on all hazard disaster databaseswas established, comprising Prof. Murray (Chair), Dr. Ammann, Prof. Ghafory-Ashtiany, Prof. Ogallo, Prof. McBean, Dr. Takara and Prof. Wenger,

draft terms of reference for initial scoping work developed

Another project from 3rd meeting June 2009
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To understand how data/information relating to all risks, hazards and disaster management is collected, held and analysed

To facilitate the use of high quality information by decision makers at all levels e.g. politicians, emergency planners, healthcare professionals and scientists

AIMS
cochrane reviews
Cochrane reviews[i] report that it is a difficult task for any professional practitioner to keep up-to-date with relevant evidence in their field of interest.

major bibliographic databases cover less than half world's literature and are biased towards English-language publications; textbooks, editorials and reviews that have not been prepared systematically may be unreliable; much evidence is unpublished, but unpublished evidence may be important; and more easily accessible research reports tend to exaggerate the benefits of interventions.

A need to develop a checklist for assessing quality of databases and to consider methods that could be used for assessing database content scientifically

[i]The Cochrane Collaboration

An introduction to Cochrane reviews and The Cochrane Library.

http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/clibintro.htm

Cochrane reviews
evidence based medicine
Step 1: Formulate a question

Step 2: Search for the evidence

Step 3: Appraise the evidence

Step 4: Apply

Evidence based medicine
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Downstream data limitations are transferred down the chain

REPORTING SOURCE

DISASTER DATABASE

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS

reporting source
Issues with primary data have already been commented on[i]. Disaster databases are only ever going to be as good as reporting sources they rely on:

Subject to bias (agenda of data collector)

Loose definition of people affected

Methods for evaluating damages

Geographical location

[i] Guha-Sapir D et al. Data on Disasters: Easier Said Than Done. Disaster & Development 2006;1 (1): 155

Reporting Source
disaster databases papers
Lack of good quality data

Lack of transparency in reporting

Possible that validation undertaken but not possible for reviewer to assess

Lack of identification of sources (so low reproducibility of data and difficult to assess validity of sources)

No sub-group analysis possible due to data constraints

Disaster Databases/ Papers
evidence synthesis
No ‘shortlist’ or comprehensive database of databases/ directory of databases such as the Directory of Clinical Databases (DoCDat) which can be searched

Are there any bibliographic databases specific to disaster field?

Evidence synthesis
where are we as of friday 6 th november 2009
Well developed thinking in logical steps

Committee reviewing HPA prepared report and agreeing plan to develop a practical second stage project with publication of data

Support from Professor Mike Clarke, Oxford University and Director of UK Cochrane Centre and other colleagues

Where are we as of Friday 6th November 2009?
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Conceptual model of topics to be assessed in special report and their links – focus will be on overlap
conceptual model of links between climate change and disaster risk to be assessed by report
Conceptual model of links between climate change and disaster risk to be assessed by report
chapter headings
1. Climate change: new dimensions in disaster risk, exposure, vulnerability, and resilience

2. Determinants of risks: exposure and vulnerability

3. Changes in climate extremes and their impacts on the natural physical environment

4. Changes in impacts of climate extremes: human systems and ecosystems

5. Managing the risks from climate extremes at the local level

6. Managing the risks from climate extremes at the national level

7. Managing the risks: international level and integration across scales

8. Toward a sustainable and resilient future

9. Case studies

Chapter headings
unisdr scientific and technical committee
The role of the Science and Technical Committee is vital for UNISDR and related activities

So far two completed and other vital projects in development

Reflections on how the Committee findings can help the meeting of the National Platforms and HFA Focal Points in DRR research and scientific evidence base

Exciting and challenging opportunities for collaborative working

UNISDR Scientific and Technical Committee