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Phone: 02031081101

Ext: 51101

Office location: Rm 38, 2nd floor, South Wing, UCL Main Quadrangle

UCL IRDR 7th Annual Conference

13 April 2017

Conference theme: Global Challenges in Disaster Risk Reduction and Response

Wednesday 21st June 2017 

09:00 - 20:00 UCL Roberts G06 and Roberts Foyer 

We welcome researchers, practitioners, NGOs, city professionals and the interested public to a day of thought-provoking discussions where our in-house and guest experts will present the latest research and issues in risk and disaster reduction, through a combination of talks, panel discussion, conversation, and poster presentations. 

Annual Conference Sessions

Safer Communities through Safer Schools and Digital Health (talks)

This session will showcase some recent advances and perspectives in assessing and increasing multi-hazard resilience of schools, with special focus on developing countries. In addition, the session will highlight the opportunities for interdisciplinary digital health research to further strengthen the resilience of children and local communities.

Like other infrastructure, school buildings constructed prior to adequate building codes are subject to damage and collapse in the event of an earthquake and other natural hazards. An unsafe school in a hazard-prone region can incur the loss of the lives of hundreds of school children - a vulnerable population due to their age and their developmental stage - in addition to the potential damage to the property. On the other hand, a safer school can save valuable lives of children, provide a haven for the local community, serve as a temporary shelter and help to bring normalcy back to society in times of disaster. The collapse of a school building is particularly devastating to communities, as schools can hold an entire generation, a community’s future.

From serious games raising awareness of hygiene and antibiotic resistance to prevent disease outbreaks at schools to natural hazards safety training for children, digital technology has become fully established as an important vehicle for public health and safety children' education, making children safer while raising community’s resilience.

This session aims at bringing together academics, scientists, NGOs and private sector actors from across the social and physical sciences, engineering, and health. The session will also provide the opportunity to highlight cross-disciplinary research in the IRDR on those areas.

Gender Responsive Disaster Risk Reduction – Rhetoric or Action? (in Conversation)

In this session, Maureen Fordham, Professor of Gender and Disaster Resilience, will be interviewed on gender responsive disaster risk reduction – rhetoric or action? We will explore:

* How and why Maureen set up the gender and disasters network 

* Why there was a need for this network and this field of work 

* The most important advances in this field and that Maureen has been involved in 

* The most pressing issues and needs for action in this field going forwards

Global Challenges and Advances in Disaster Risk Reduction (posters)

Abstracts for Poster Presentations

The abstracts of the posters for the 7th  IRDR annual conference are as follows:

1. Emmanuel Agbo, David Alexander,

UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL, London.

Enhancing community participation in emergency response and management: with case of Nigerian flood vulnerability

While half the global disasters and 84% disaster deaths are attributed to flood, the rapid growth in population and urbanization subjects more percentage of the low-income populace in most developing countries to low-lying coastal and other flood risk zones. Flood holds a devastating effect to a nations socioeconomic growth, with the low income and socially secured citizens left to more devastating state, their homes, farmland, live stocks, local workshops, schools, roads, hospitals, valuables destroyed, spread of diseases and distorted livelihoods; a resulting consequence in loss of human lives. Flood frequency and its consequences while projected to go on rise, the introduction of community engagement and participation in emergency response and management serves to check its grievous impact. The concept of community disaster risk reduction though widely applauded to quell the effect of natural disaster, it’s stingy centres’ on how best structured its implementation could be achieved. Issues around inadequate information sharing, interoperability of technology, lack of pre-existing social networks in place to support community response, among others often exposes community respondents to huge disaster risk. Though several of these factors undermines community preparedness, this research holds the capacity to recognize the predominant trigger of these factors, as central to the development of effective structure for community engagement in emergency response and management, hence, points to; the operational structure of emergency management within sets of intergovernmental levels that owns different autonomy in a resource limited economy as a basic trigger to the uneven and disproportional undermining factors of community disaster preparedness in developing nations. This knowledge drive for the development of framework that puts the centrality of local community capacity building, as an integral frame for effective disaster risk reduction.

2. Khuloud Al Mufarraji

UCL Institute of Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL, London

Building community resilience via integrating voluntarism within civil protection system

A resilient community is measured by the capabilities of its members to anticipate, manage and evaluate their own risks and by the development of new systems to prevent crisis or decrease the destruction produced by disasters. Current disaster risk reduction strategies aim to foster the resilience of the society by improving the participation of the public and prepare them to engage effectively throughout the disaster cycle.

Volunteers are those people who actively engage themselves in doing good for society, individuals and communities and have mobilized themselves to respond efficiently when it is required. Therefore, building and recruiting volunteers who are well trained and equipped to respond at the time of emergencies is a key concept in lifting up the readiness of a community to appropriately respond when it is required.

Some countries around the world have been successfully working to incorporate voluntarism within their civil protection systems while many of them failed to do so. In order for voluntarism to be successful in disaster management, it must be well integrated to civil protection system. Moreover, volunteers need to be trained, equipped and properly engaged in the decision process throughout disaster management phases.

The research will study the system of two countries which integrated voluntarism within their civil protection system. These case studies will be analysed aiming to construct a model that integrate and incorporate voluntarism within civil protection system in order to build-up and improve the community resilience to disasters and emergencies.

3. Saqar Alzaabi

UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction, UCL, London

Vulnerability Assessment of Coastal Areas to Cyclone Hazards: A Case Study from the Sultanate of Oman

Vulnerability of Oman’s coastal areas to cyclone hazards are assessed using an interdisciplinary mixed-method approach, combining traditional quantitative methods with qualitative techniques. Two different envelopes of hazard scenarios, including storm surge, high winds and flooding, are developed and integrated into a GIS software. Physical and geospatial data of elements at risk are gathered; and consequently, indexes are developed and integrated into the software. First, vulnerabilities of buildings and critical facilities are assessed under the two different scenarios and results are spatially analyzed. Social vulnerability and disaster management system vulnerability are then analyzed taken into account their coping capacities learned from previous events. Once vulnerability is assessed, an investigation of how and why it came to existence is conducted. Results of the different vulnerability analytical methods under the different situations are compared to demonstrate similarities and differences. The results will not show absolute levels of vulnerability but relative classifications of vulnerability between places, essential facilities and between different groups of people. Research findings will identify underlying causes of vulnerability to cyclone hazards in the selected areas of study. A new conceptualization of vulnerability as a disaster causation element is an outcome of this work.

4. Annunziata Esposito Amideo and Maria Paola Scaparra

Kent Business School, University of Kent, Sibson, Park Wood Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7FS, UK

Optimization for Disaster Management: A Novel Approach to Evacuation Planning

Various activities must be performed and thoroughly coordinated to successfully plan mass evacuations. This contribution focuses on two specific evacuation planning problems: shelter location and evacuation routing.

The shelter location problem aims at identifying optimal shelter sites (i.e., safe zones where evacuees can be provided with medical assistance, drinkable water, etc.) while minimizing the evacuees total travelling time (or distance) to these facilities. Examples of shelters are schools, community centres, and open spaces. The evacuation routing problem aims at identifying the set of optimal evacuation routes from disaster-prone areas to shelters while minimizing the total evacuation time. Different kinds of evacuation can occur simultaneously. The most investigated types in the literature are self-evacuation and supported-evacuation, also referred to as car-based evacuation and bus-based evacuation, respectively.

A successful evacuation procedure should tackle shelter location and evacuation routing decisions in an integrated manner. In particular, three main issues should be considered: (1) where and how many shelter facilities should be opened; (2) how should car-based evacuation be addressed; and (3) how should bus-based evacuation be organized for special-needs populations (e.g. elderly, disabled).

To answer these questions, a novel scenario-based location-allocation-routing model is introduced. This optimization framework integrates both car- and bus-based evacuations while optimally deciding where to open shelters and how to route evacuees to them, across different network disruption scenarios. The objective is to minimize the duration of the supported-evacuation while assuring that self-evacuees do not travel routes that are too lengthy.

The proposed model was solved with a commercial optimisation solver and tested on small sample networks. It produced robust solutions across different disruption scenarios in a matter of seconds. Future research should focus on the development of ad-hoc solution methodologies able to cope with the computational complexity of large, real-world network.

5. Dr. Su Anson,

Trilateral Research Ltd.

ResiStand: Examining end-user standardisation needs and requirements to increase disaster resilience

Disaster risk reduction is key to strengthening disaster resilience. The ResiStand project focuses on increasing disaster resilience through standardisation. Whilst standardisation is recognised as a tool with the potential to maximise technical, procedural, operational and semantic interoperability in disaster management contexts, there is a need to overcome apathy and limited participation from stakeholders. Research undertaken as part of the EC funded ResiStand project aims to address this by identifying end-user standardisation needs and requirements, and their perspective on the drivers, benefits, and challenges of participating in standardisation activities. The research undertaken to identify standardisation needs includes an online survey of end-users across Europe, desk-based research of the results of 101 EC funded disaster management projects, and four workshops with end-users in Finland, Belgium, Germany and Italy. The survey and desk-based research identified 192 end-user standardisation needs, which were clustered across the four disaster management phases. The findings highlight how end-user standardisation needs focus predominantly on the preparedness and response phases, rather than on mitigation and recovery. To support disaster risk reduction efforts, standards are required focusing on training, response & recovery planning, monitoring & detection, establishing (International) cooperation, asset management, command, control & coordination, information management, warning/crisis communication, & security/law enforcement.

6. Amy Chadderton1,2, Peter Sammonds1,2, Philip Meredith2, Rosanna Smith1, and Hugh Tuffen3

1 Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London, UK, WC1E 6BT

2 Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, UK, WC1E 6BT

3 Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YQ

The influence of temperature on permeability evolution in Volcán Chaitén rhyolite: an experimental approach

Rhyolitic volcanic eruptions are amongst the largest and most explosive eruptions worldwide, yet due to their rarity have not been directly observed or monitored to the same extent as more common types of volcanism. Two recent rhyolitic eruptions in Chile, Volcán Chaitén in 2008-09 and Cordón Caulle in 2011-12, allowed the first direct observation and monitoring of rhyolitic activity with modern techniques and provided insights into the evolution of highly silicic eruptions. Both eruptions exhibited simultaneous explosive and effusive behaviour with lava and ash columns emitted from the same vents. The ability of gas to efficiently decouple from magma in the shallow conduit is believed to control such behaviour, and evolving modes of conduit outgassing and their respective efficiencies hold the key to understanding such hybrid activity. It is crucial to better understand the mechanisms behind such explosive-effusive transitions as different eruptive styles pose drastically different hazards to surrounding populations. Using an applied experimental volcanology approach, this study reports the results of a systematic experimental investigation into the permeability of dome rock from Volcán Chaitén at magmatic temperatures and shallow conduit pressures, with various pore fluids, using the Rocchi Cell (a high temperature triaxial deformation rig in the Rock and Ice Physics Laboratory at UCL) in order to investigate silicic volcanic degassing. The results show a complex permeability evolution that includes a reduction in permeability by approximately 3 orders of magnitude up to 600oC with further decreases over periods of several hours at high temperature. Together with porosity data, P and S wave velocities and SEM analysis, the experimental permeability results are applied to not only draw general conclusions regarding the permeability of volcanic material at high temperature, but also to enhance our understanding of Volcán Chaitén and the observed evolution of eruptive behaviour.

7. Rhea Leung Ching-yee

UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL, London

Mitigation and disaster preparedness measures enacted in remote mountainous areas affected by earthquake-triggered geohazards

The Wenchuan earthquake occurred in 2008 has triggered numerous secondary geohazards in Sichuan Province, China. The impacts were particularly severe in mountainous regions. In view of such damages and their potential geohazard occurrence in the future, mitigation and disaster preparedness measures have been implemented to protect the residents and to reduce the vulnerability of the communities towards geohazards.

This research is to investigate the post Wenchuan earthquake geohazard risks and to evaluate the risk and disaster reduction measures in reducing residents’ risk exposure and alleviating their vulnerability. Through case studies, this research compares and evaluates: (i). Mitigation measures in reducing potential geohazard risk exposure and subsequent impacts of such mitigation measures to vulnerability level; and (ii). Disaster preparedness measures imposed to reduce vulnerability.

Evaluations covered by this research can serve as demonstrations of the ability and effectiveness to manage potential geohazard risks triggered by earthquakes. It is hoped that findings of this study can provide recommendations on how the current mitigation measures can be further improved to reduce vulnerability of those exposed to earthquake-triggered geohazard risks. It is also hoped that any lessons learnt can be well applied to other areas facing similar geohazard risk.

8. Gillian Dacey

UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL, London

 Self-protective actions during earthquake shaking

It is well documented that earthquakes have the power to cause tens of thousands of deaths with many more thousands injured, however the relationship between earthquakes, the environment and the human population is a complex one.

Countries at risk from earthquakes issue protective action advice and earthquake preparedness guidance for their citizens. This guidance typically varies in context and details from one country to the next, however the “Drop, Cover, Hold” action has been adopted by many countries as the primary action to take during shaking. But what advice is advocated across earthquake-prone countries, what consistencies and what differences exist?

By researching the relationship between earthquake action advice, self-protective behaviour and injury patterns, it will be possible to further understand the link between earthquakes, the environment and people.

The information shown on this poster is part of a wider research project on self-protective actions during earthquake shaking, and highlights the range and variation of earthquake protective action advice that is distributed globally.

9. Paolo De Luca1, John K. Hillier1, Robert L. Wilby1, Nevil W. Quinn2, Shaun Harrigan3

1 Department of Geography - Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK

2 Department of Geography and Environmental Management - University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

3 Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) - Wallingford, UK

Extreme multi-basin flooding linked with extra-tropical cyclones

Fluvial floods are typically investigated as ‘events’ at the single basin-scale, implicitly assuming that severe flooding impacts each river independently. We pilot a national-scale statistical analysis of the spatio-temporal characteristics of extreme multi-basin flood (MBF) episodes, using peak river flow data for 261 basins in Great Britain (1975-2014), a sentinel region for storms impacting northwest and central Europe. During the most widespread MBF episode, 108 basins (~46% of the study area) recorded their Annual Maximum discharge within a 16-day window. Such episodes are associated with persistent cyclonic and westerly atmospheric circulations, atmospheric rivers, and precipitation falling onto previously saturated ground, leading to hydrological response times <40h and documented flood impacts. Furthermore, peak flows tend to occur after 0-13 days of very severe gales causing combined and spatially-distributed, yet differentially time-lagged, wind and flood damages. These findings have implications for emergency responders, insurers and contingency planners worldwide.

10. Nuha Eltinay1, Charles Egbu1, Virginia Murray2

1 The School of the Built Environment and Architecture, London South Bank University

2 Consultant in Global Disaster Risk Reduction, Public Health England

Post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Spatial Planning and Socio-Ecological construction for Urban Resilience)

Over the past 30 years’ disasters affected approximately 40 million people globally, with financial losses about 20 billion US$ (World Bank, 2015). Coupled with economic instability and social inequity, the complexity of climate change extreme environmental hazards, triggers ethical concessions in fragile settings. The US Department of Defense report that climate change can act as a “threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world”. This is strongly embedded in the Middle East and North Africa Region, with the inequitable transmission of social capital, deficiency in disaster risk governance and the absence of land use policy management. This study will review and analyse the existing Urban Resilience frameworks for disaster risk reduction, to leverage the knowledge of risk, exposure, and vulnerability. Distinctly outlined in the notion of fragility, the Sendai Framework 2015-2030 priorities will be investigated, to generate a socio-ecological reconstruction framework for Urban Resilience in the MENA Region.

11. Anne Garland1, Frederick Brower2, Heather Seeman2, Anamaria Bukvic3, Anuszka Maton4 and Ilan Kelman4

1 Research Associate, Maple Avenue, Suite 106, Lisle, Illinois

2 North Slope Borough Risk Management

3 Global Change Center,

4 UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL, London

PERCIAS Applied Theater (Perceptions of Risk, Communication, Interpretation, and Action in Social-Ecological Systems) in Barrow, Alaska

PERCIAS explores applied theater for risk mitigation among community groups. Risk communication within socioeconomic contexts improve interpretations and actions. Generational stories relay contexts for risk mitigation among Tribally Inclusive Geographic Areas (TIGA), including traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), e.g., oral history, games, legends, dance, and music. Civil groups and Emergency Management can co-produce disaster risk reduction strategies that integrate TEK “messaging”. For communities, such as Barrow. Alaska, preparedness is critical with warming, erosion, permafrost thaw, surges, and maritime traffic, that undermine sustainability. While relocation and “smart” rebuilding are considerations, TEK legends, through applied theater, can inform decisions for climate change action.

12. Nathanael Harwood1,2, Andrew Russell2, Ilan Kelman3, Allan Tucker2

1 London NERC DTP

2 Brunel University

3 UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Research, UCl, London

Using Bayesian Networks to investigate the role of Arctic change in the rise of extreme weather at mid-latitudes

The question of whether recent extreme weather can be robustly linked to recent changes in the Arctic is complex and unresolved. A mechanism of jet stream destabilisation has often been invoked to support the idea of a link between amplified Arctic warming and persistent weather at midlatitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. This project examines links between Arctic changes and midlatitude extreme weather using a Bayesian Network approach to examine the past and projected rise in extreme weather events. Novel statistical approaches to this are essential as a large degree of uncertainty remains in the field in part due to the recent occurrence of pronounced Arctic warming and amplified atmospheric patterns. Understanding the relative importance of drivers of extreme weather is a difficult but essential question to answer; billions of people living at mid-latitudes are at risk of being exposed to extreme weather patterns caused by wavy jet stream conditions, which have been the predominant atmospheric configuration of recent winters.

Recent extreme events like the 2013/2014 North American Cold Wave and record UK flooding in the winters of 2013 and 2015 have heightened public interest in this area of climate research. Probabilistic model output and near-future scenarios of extreme weather will be considered in a policy context; how the results of these types of analyses are communicated to decision-makers and the public is a study focus, and the communication of uncertainty in findings will be central to this investigation.

13. Dr. Sara Hasani

A solution to proliferation in disaster relief operation- PREDIS

One of a main questions in the humanitarian operations is to how the proliferation of partners in a disaster response can be reduced within 72 hours after the disaster strike? (More explicitly, how can response networks be configured quickly in the early hours after the disaster strikes in order to avoid the rush of inexperienced, and unsuitable partners into the area). The process to address this investigation leads to a multi-criteria decision support model, which investigates how the decision makers select partners based on different criteria. The results show that the uncertainty of the disaster situation could be reduced by providing a temporary approach to the structure of the relief network in addition to providing data for decision-making through prediction and estimation. The PREDIS model as the main product of this research explains the relationship between the human loss of the disaster and the preliminary data available at the time of the disaster including data on population, population density, type of the disaster and socio-economic characteristics of the disaster including HDI and DRI. This provides a solid platform for the prediction of the human impact of the disaster within the first 72 hours after the disaster strike. Combining these predictions with the estimation of the needs for the affected population, give rise to the optimisation of the supply/demand by maximising the utility of the selected partners from the perspective of the decision makers.

The PREDIS model shows that there is a good chance that the impact of the disaster and its pattern could be predicted to some extent and the existing methods of decision-making based on reactionary response could be improved as a result of the knowledge gained from this process.

14. Ezri Hayat1, Renuka Thakore2, Champika Liyanage3, Richard Haigh4, Dilanthi Amaratunga5

1,4,5University of Huddersfield, UK;

2,3University of Central Lancashire, UK

Identification of enablers and barriers to Research and Innovation activities in HEIs – a case study in Bangladesh, Thailand, and Sri Lanka

Developing countries suffer from a lack of both financial and human resources in Research and innovation (R&I) capacity. They need to improve their capacity to produce knowledge domestically and absorb the knowledge produced elsewhere. Strengthening the capacity of developing countries to do and use research is widely viewed as vital for meeting long term innovation in creating disaster resilience societies.

Research capacity development is one of the most critical challenges facing Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the developing countries. Research is a powerhouse of knowledge creation. At a time when the world is transformed into what is widely dubbed as the knowledge society, the importance of knowledge creation has become ever more critical and ever more crucial, consequently placing universities at the centre of national development. Enhancing research capacity in HEIs is becoming increasingly needed so that they can adequately play their role as incubators of knowledge and ideas. Making HEIs the centre for innovation and generation of ideas is critical for development.

This study is part of a three-year project focused on enhancing the HEIs’ research and innovation capacity in disaster resilience. Data was collected through online questionnaire survey from eight HEIs in three case study countries of Bangladesh, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, using the aid of Survey Monkey platform.

The questionnaire collected data from 530 respondents and the data analysis resulted in the identification of ‘Enablers’ and ‘Barriers’ factors to performing R&I activities in their institutions.

The ASCENT (Advancing Skill Creation to Enhance Transformation) project is co-funded by the European Commission through its Erasmus+ programme. The European Commission support for this research does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

15. John K. Hillier1, Paolo De Luca1, Robert L. Wilby1, Nevil W. Quinn2, Shaun Harrigan3

1 Department of Geography - Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.

2 Department of Geography and Environmental Management - University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.

3 Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) - Wallingford, UK.

Observations relating extreme multi-basin river flows to very severe gales

Fluvial foods are typically investigated as ‘events’ at the single basin scale. However, applying a recently developed methodology to identify the largest multi-basin peak flow events allows a statistically significant relationship between them and episodes of very severe gales (VSG) to be identified; such a systematic link has previously only very tentatively been proposed for extra-tropical cyclone seasons, where damaging wind and rain are commonly non-synchronous. Annual maximum river peak flow (AMAX) data during 1975-2014 for 261 non-nested catchments (i.e. with no other sites upstream) in Great Britain are used, and a 13-day window is selected. A simple correlation between metrics that are proxies for damaging wind and flooding is statistically significant (r = 0.41, p = 0.0088). Also, taking the most severe 50% and 30% of years for wind and flow respectively, co-occurrence is expected 6.6 times in 40 years whilst 10 are observed (p = 0.021; simulation with n = 10,000), making co-occurrence of the extremes 52% more likely than expected by chance. This has implications for emergency response and financial planning (e.g. insurance).

16. Aparna Maladkar, Alex Kirkwood,

Pragya UK, The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London SE11 5RR

Dynamic Risk & Response Information System (DRRIS) for the Last Mile

DRRIS for the Last Mile is an innovative process of dynamic risk governance and disaster response spanning communities, government and responders, towards collaborative disaster information management, risk reduction co-decision and multi-stakeholder response coordination.

The Himalayas represent one of the world’s most vulnerable zones with challenging terrain, poor infrastructure and remoteness, leading to difficulty in timely warning and response that results in higher toll on life, livelihoods and environment. Existing DMS are characterised by poor outreach with exclusive focus on emergency relief operations. Following initial scientific and participatory studies, information management was identified as one of the crucial aspects in geographically difficult areas that can have profound impact pre- and post-disasters. DRRIS therefore comprises two key tools:

• Go-Risk: collaborative, pre-disaster, risk monitoring and early warning system for hazards, involving communities and local authorities.

• RNR-Comm: decentralised multi-agency system for post-disaster relief and response information and communication for targeted relief coordination.

DRRIS aims to provide balanced support to reduce level of accepted risk and critical inadequacies in pre- and post-disaster information & communication infrastructure. It reduces the risk of disasters & damage to remote & vulnerable communities, and enhances local and effective interventions. The proactive tool recognises the need for anchoring protection and relief at grassroots level, enabling communities to achieve resilience autonomously.

Key users include State and district officials; local, national and international non-government responder agencies; and coordination bodies who implement through grassroots workers, youth groups, communities and their councils. The ultimate beneficiaries are remote and vulnerable communities, particularly the most vulnerable groups of women, children, older people, minorities and people with disabilities. Pilot project implemented in Leh1, and current programs in

Uttarakhand2 provide experiences and learnings for dissemination. DRRIS is being piloted across 800 villages in Himalayan districts, and was among the ‘Top 20 Innovations’ for Risk Award 20153.

About the Organisation:

Pragya is a not-for-profit, development organisation working for the appropriate development of the vulnerable communities and sensitive ecosystems. Pragya have been working towards sharing excellent rapport with grassroots stakeholders in the Himalayas for nearly 2 decades, working alongside nodal national agencies (NDMA, NIDM) for knowledge sharing & advocacy, and contributing research papers on learnings in the region. Interactions with multi-lateral agencies (UNDMT, USAID, UN OCHA, UNDMT, Sphere) promote sharing insights on key issues and updates for communities in the Himalayas.

17. Anuszka Maton,

MRes Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL, London ADECA

It is widely acknowledged that developing countries are more vulnerable to disaster than developed ones. A frequent but unintended consequence of this generalisation is the masking of social, economic and political marginalisation within developed countries, leading to obstacles in disaster risk reduction. The state of Alaska, USA, is a good example of a marginalised region in a developed country. It is host to strikingly different physical and social environments, and thus warrants separate consideration that it often fails to attract. This project addresses these issues by focusing on three areas: risk perception, emergency preparedness, and relocation in Utqiaġvik. Participatory action theatre was conducted as part of the PERCIAS Project. This encouraged discussion with four focus groups consisting of key informants. Preliminary results show that participants are aware and concerned of risks affecting their communities, with all groups recognising flooding and storm surges as significant risks, as well as identifying that threats to subsistence have increased over the past five to ten years. As expected, participants identified gaps in emergency preparedness, most of which pertained to issues surrounding indigeneity and the harsh environment. Every group, including Elders, expressed overall positive attitudes towards relocation, although place attachment and community ties played a role when considering the decision to move and the destination.

18. Arash Nassirpour, Carmine Galasso, Dina D’Ayala

EPICentre, Department of Civil, Geomatic & Environmental Engineering, University College London (UCL)

Multi-Hazard Vulnerability Assessment of School Infrastructure – the case of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

The Philippines is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world. It is regularly subject to various hazard-events, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and flood, inflicting loss of lives and costly damage to the country’s infrastructure.

Schools play a critical role in the education of the next generation and one of the most vulnerable part of the society. A safer school can save lives of children and serve as a temporary shelter. However, school buildings constructed prior to adequate building codes, share structural deficiencies. Taking into consideration the high probability of occurrence for any type of natural hazard in the Philippines, vulnerability of the school buildings should be of high priority. Hence, appropriate tools and approaches are required to address the prevailing vulnerabilities. Developing a comprehensive and systematically dataset of schools, including structural and non-structural characteristics, common defects, typical damage associated to multiple natural hazards, will be beneficial for disaster management planning along with prioritization of strengthening programs. The main aim of this study is to develop a methodology for a rapid yet reliable visual vulnerability assessment of school infrastructures against the most common natural hazards of the Philippines. As part of this objective, a rapid visual survey form is proposed. In addition, a mobile application has been developed to assist the surveyors for assessing the schools in a more efficient way.

Furthermore, a preliminary investigation is conducted in the highly-urbanized city of Cagayan de Oro to relate the collected data to vulnerability indices to swiftly determine the safety level of the considered buildings. To test the feasibility of the method, 115 schools have been surveyed and their vulnerability indices been estimated. This first step toward a detailed multi-hazard vulnerability assessment of schools can allow decision-makers to quickly identify the most vulnerable structures among the surveyed stock and ultimately plan further rehabilitation measure.

19. Omar Velazquez Ortiz and Carmine Galasso

Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction and Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic

Engineering, University College London, United Kingdom

Real-Time Assessment of Building Response for Earthquake Early Warning Applications

The study presented here introduces a new approach for real-time building response assessment based on the information provided by an earthquake early warning (EEW) system.

EEW systems (particularly ’regional’ ones) typically provide early estimates of earthquake magnitude (M) and hypocentre location (i.e. source-to-site distance, R), as well as warning time to target users and the estimation of ground motion intensity measures (IMs) at the target site. A common approach for IM estimation is to use a ground motion prediction equation (GMPE) based on the estimated M and R values (together with other variables, e.g., the soil type). Current practice is often to trigger a mitigation action when the expected IM based on EEW information exceeds a pre-set threshold. Nevertheless, the shaking experienced in mid-rise to high-rise buildings is generally significantly different from that on the ground and it also differ from one building to another, depending on the building’s (dynamic) characteristics.

Therefore, this study first investigates the prediction of the characteristics of shaking that can be expected in mid-rise to high-rise buildings. To this aim, we use a simplified continuum building model consisting of a combination of a flexural beam and a shear beam. By just modifying a single parameter, such a simplified model can account for a wide range of deformation modes in actual buildings, allowing the accurate estimation of lateral acceleration demands in a structural system. In particular, new empirical prediction equations, based on Italian accelerometric data, are developed correlating peak floor acceleration demands for a set of case-study buildings to earthquake-related parameters, e.g., magnitude and source-to-site distance.

A series of illustrative examples show how the newly developed prediction models can be efficiently used, in a Bayesian framework, for building-specific EEW applications based on the (acceleration) response in buildings, such as (1) early warning of floor shaking sensed by occupants; and (2) elevator control.

20. Hanna A Ruszczyk

Dept of Geography and IHRR, Durham University,

Everyday hedging against a disastrous future in urbanising Nepal

In rapidly urbanising Nepal, women’s groups and neighbourhood groups are a critical component in the way local authorities and residents address everyday risks in the city. These forms of urban resilience showcase the power and at times the impotence of residents to influence the infrastructural networks of the city. Both before and after the Gorkha earthquake, residents are attempting to work with the local authorities to mitigate a range of risks including earthquakes.

Based on my empirical work in two different parts of a changing city on the Nepal – India border, I argue that everyday hedging against the future is occurring in informal groups that have been formed against these uncertain futures. Everyday hedging and the forms through which they are manifested; ways in which urban residents present their ‘resilience’ to everyday life and uncertain, precarious futures is shown. Urban residents have carved out mini eco systems on a localised area, a neighbourhood level, that enable them to exist and meet their everyday needs. These islands of territorial governance exist but are not necessarily sufficient for its members to thrive; they hedge against unknown futures that will undoubtedly arrive. Some futures produce precarity; others produce disasters.

These everyday hedging strategies are informal and are not always recognised by the government. This research project utilises a qualitative approach to investigating temporal changes in risk perception over a series of fieldwork trips conducted in 2014 and 2015 in rapidly urbanising Nepal both before and after the earthquake. During the course of the fieldwork, the devastating earthquake struck, the country passed a new constitution and the number of municipalities increased 375% in 12 months.

21. Maurice Said, Hayley Watson

Trilateral Research, UK

PREP1: Social Media Analysis Tools for Preparedness and Disaster Risk Reduction

Across the Red Cross Red Crescent network, National Societies are being encouraged to adopt the use of social media for preparedness and disaster risk reduction purposes. A recent collaboration effort between the IFRC and the Global Disaster Preparedness Center has seen the development of training materials to support such efforts. With improved use of social media, National Societies can play an instrumental role in supporting communities to be better prepared and aware of potential risks. Key to improving such use is the analysis of social media engagement. A previous study conducted by Trilateral Research, found that some National Studies are reluctant and/or unable to engage with social media analysis tools due to financial, technical and user-related barriers. We identify how National societies are using social media analysis tools and outline their requirements for meeting context specific DRR challenges. The study involved primary research with practitioners and was funded by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. Findings show that it is necessary to combine data analytics with in-built training to further support future efforts by National Societies.

22. Sally Scourfield,

UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL, London,

Time-dependent friction of sea ice rubble of varying angularity: observations from field and laboratory experiments

Vessels making repeated transits through the same channel in ice infested waters cause accumulations of ice rubble. Over time the rubble makes a transition from angular to rounded, and accumulations can become several times thicker than the surrounding level ice cover. The resistance to ship motion that results is significant, often preventing transit entirely, which is especially hazardous around ports. An understanding of ice rubble properties and behaviour is necessary to develop effective preventative techniques. Presented here are results from fieldwork conducted on Arctic sea ice in 2015, which focused on the time-dependant behaviour of rubble. Experiments were double-direct shear in nature, with ice rubble separating the sliding surfaces. A slide-hold-slide method was employed whereby shear forces were applied before and after a stationary “hold time”. This was achieved by moving a floating ice block, bound on parallel sides by ice rubble zones 50cm wide and 30cm deep, whilst a normal load was applied. Hold times ranged from 1 second to 18 hours. At low hold times behaviour was similar to that observed for ice-ice friction, where the peak coefficient of friction has a linear relationship with the logarithm of hold time. However at longer hold times (>104 seconds) this was not observed, which we attribute to consolidation. Also presented here are preliminary results from field-scale laboratory experiments conducted in May 2016 at Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA), which focused on the effect of changing rubble angularity on friction.

23. Mark Shortt1, Peter Sammonds1, Eleanor Bailey2

1 Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom

2 Centre for Arctic Resource Development, C-CORE, St. John's, NL A1B 3X5, Canada

Physical and Mechanical Properties of Consolidated Saline Ice – Results from Ice Tank Experiments

Key results are presented from consolidation experiments conducted during May 2017 at the HSVA Ice Tank in Hamburg, Germany. The aim of these experiments was to investigate the effect of two factors on the consolidation of two 1m2 blocks of saline ice: (1) free-floating vs submersion in water, and (2) 3mm liquid layer vs direct contact between ice. Different permutations gave a total of four experiments, covering a range of conditions encountered in rafted and ridged sea ice.

For each experiment, physical and chemical properties (temperature, salinity and density) were measured and compared to level ice. After one week, the two direct contact experiments had consolidated sufficiently for coring to be undertaken. Uniaxial compression tests were performed on samples at a constant loading rate of ∼5.5 mm/sec along the ice growth direction. The compressive strength of the free-floating ice was 1.74 MPa - considerably stronger than the 695 kPa measured for the submerged ice. Both samples were weaker than the level ice, with a measured compressive strength of 2.91 MPa. The compressive failure mode for level and free-floating ice was shear faulting, whilst the submerged ice exhibited axial splitting. Shear tests were also conducted via the asymmetric four-point bending (AFPB) method. The shear strength of the submerged ice was 550 kPa, compared to 686 kPa obtained for level ice. The submerged ice failed either side of the freeze bond layer, suggesting that the freeze bonds were stronger in shear than the surrounding ice within the sample.

Attempts were made to determine the strength of the ice in the two liquid layer experiments. However, after five days the freeze bond layers were too weak to survive coring, despite an apparent freezing of the liquid layer in both experiments. This observation supports the necessity to distinguish between thermodynamic and full mechanical consolidation.

24. Tasnuva Tabassum

UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL, London

Incorporating Foreshocks for Bayesian Earthquake Prediction in the Presence of Aftershock Incompleteness

The present study portrays an effective full Bayesian Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) model for predicting future earthquakes in the presence of Short Term Aftershock Incompleteness (STAI) problem. For this, we included twenty six day data prior 2011 Tohuku earthquake containing both foreshocks and aftershocks. We predicted the events from day one upto next one month after Tohuku earthquake. The present model provides better result than the ETAS model taking only aftershocks into account.

25. Serena Tagliacozzo

UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London

How do government agencies communicate during recovery from disasters?

The poster presents the results of a study exploring communication practices and social media usage during long-term disaster recovery, also known as post-disaster reconstruction (PDR). This topic is of considerable interest for government officers and policy makers since the rapid evolution of communication technologies and the increased expectations of responsiveness by the public. Notably, information demands grow considerably during times of crisis and post-crisis. Thus government agencies are to find and test a wide breath of means to communicate with their constituents. The study used a comparative approach of two PDR settings, namely the earthquakes of Emilia-Romagna (Northern Italy) in 2012 and the Canterbury earthquakes (New Zealand) in 2010 and 2011. Governmental communications were investigated by the means of a structured questionnaire, structured observations of official webpages and social media profiles and interviews. Commonalities and differences between the two case studies were eventually described and analysed. For both the contexts recovery officers tended to provide information pertaining to the built environment and disseminate it to the wide public. Information was particularly addressed to community groups members, homeowners and business people. Preference was given to communication via face-to-face and official websites. However officials adopted a wide plethora of channels to distribute recovery information, including printed material, social media sites and telephone. Social media usage for recovery communications and information provision was more prominent for the Canterbury case study. These differences were explained in light of cultural and contextual variables that influence IT technology adoption by organisations.

26. Justine Uyimleshi Usile

UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL, London

Effectiveness of the Nigerian emergency management system in respect to building collapses, human stampedes and electric power failures

The increasing frequency of human induced disasters in Nigeria has resulted in the creation of a complex and multi-organisational system of management that include the federal, state and local governments, communities, non-governmental organisations and departments, ministries and agencies. In Nigeria, human-induced disasters frequently strike in major cities like Lagos, Port-Harcourt and FCT thereby making several people vulnerable due to migration in search for white collar jobs. Emergency response in Nigeria is the primary responsibility of the government through coordination by the National emergency management agency (NEMA) established by Act 12 as amended by Act 50 of the 1999. Disaster frequency in Nigeria has driven scientific research which consider the effectiveness of the Nigerian emergency management system in respect to human-induced hazards particularly, building collapses, human stampedes and electric power failures. This research findings indicate that the frequency of human-induced disasters is due to lack of implementation of policies and poor monitoring and supervision of projects. It further reflects that although Nigeria has an organised system of emergency response, disaster impacts are severe due to limited resources, insufficient funding, inadequate trained personnel with insufficient skills to deal with emergencies, lack of incentives and poor communication during emergencies.

Evaluation of the Nigerian emergency management system suggest that specific areas need to be improved to enhance preparedness, and improve response during emergencies. Good communication and incentives would facilitate the respond to and management of disasters in Nigeria.

This research further reveal that, Nigeria use a top-down approach to manage emergencies with greater support from the federal government. Although, disintegration of resources among the various levels of government and active community participation during emergencies will foster rapid response and reduce disaster impact.

27. Rory A. Walshe*1 2

1 Department of Geography, King’s College London, Strand Campus, United Kingdom

2 Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London, United Kingdom

* Corresponding Author. E-mail:, Tel: +447947666745

Social and Cultural learning from Tropical Cyclones in Mauritius in the Longue Durée

Tropical cyclones are an omnipresent threat to the people, economy and environment of Mauritius, with an intense cyclone having an approximate return interval of 8/15 years. It is suggested that the strength of cyclones will increase concomitant with anthropogenic climate change, however there is relatively little known about community memory and social learning from cyclones, a key determinant in resilience and vulnerability.

In order to adequately understand community resilience and vulnerability to cyclones, this paper suggests that it is essential to first understand the longue durée, since the prerequisites and conditions for any so called ‘natural’ disaster, trace their origins far into the distance, in both time and space. To address this research gap, this paper provides a proposed multidisciplinary methodological approach, which deploys a combination of methods to illustrate, not only the past experience and impact of tropical cyclones in Mauritius, but more importantly the determinants of social and cultural learning from disasters. This has broad implications for the modern attribution of climate change impacts, as well as adaptation and disaster risk reduction policy.

28. Rebekah Yore1,2, Dr Joanna Faure Walker1, Prof. David Alexander1, Dr Ilan Kelman1, David Jones2


2. Rescue Global

Transitional Phase(s) to Recovery: Typhoon Yolanda, Leyte, Philippines (2013)

A critical factor in transitioning from an immediate post-disaster environment into a recovery process is housing. The key issues still challenging a transition from temporary housing to permanent housing are the time and costs of construction, and the quality and appropriateness of build for affected populations. These challenges often mean that transitions to recovery can be lengthy and can sustain (or even create) vulnerability to future shocks.

This element of the research project constituted two phases of the broader, longitudinal observation of disaster recovery efforts relating to housing. The first phase consisted of 160 household interviews undertaken by Dr Joanna Faure Walker and Professor David Alexander (IRDR), in 12 coastal Barangays of Tacloban, Palo and Tanauan, Leyte, in the Philippines during March 2014, four months post Yolanda. The second phase built upon these findings, and comprised 155 household interviews conducted in the same locations three years later, during October 2016.

It was discovered that the types of temporary housing measures used, and the total length of time spent in each following Yolanda, varied among surveyed populations of all three districts. Although in 2016, the vast majority reported having started permanent reconstruction of their homes, many had not yet finished; and a number of respondents were also found to still be awaiting relocation housing, often having not rebuilt at all as a result. Critical vulnerabilities were uncovered around unregulated rebuilding in acutely hazardous zones and in evacuation trends despite adequate early warnings.

Additionally, numerous forms of national and international assistance were received, from housing materials to cash, sometimes inconsistently and sometimes over a year post disaster. Possession of a bank account was uncommon and insurance ownership was found to be almost non-existent, despite official statistics.

You can download the abstracts in this link

Disaster law, rights, and altruism

Session organiser: Dr Ilan Kelman, UCL IRDR and UCL IGH

Panel discussion on disaster law, rights, and altruism. Panellists include Dr Karen da Costa, Marie Aronsson-Storrier, and Dr Benjamin Abo. Professor David Alexander will chair this panel.

Keynote Address: Emergency Medical Response in Conflict Areas

This Keynote address will be delivered by Andre Heller Perache, Head of Programmes at MSF UK

Speaker Profiles 

Professor Maureen Fordham

Maureen Fordham

Maureen Fordham is Professor of Gender and Disaster Resilience and is a Professorial Research Associate at UCL IRDR. She has been researching disasters since 1988 and has a particular interest in marginalized and, so-called, vulnerable groups in disaster including women and children in particular. She was a founding member of the Gender and Disaster Network in 1997 and is the coordinator of its website ( and activities. She is a frequent participant in gender and disaster policy level meetings within the UN system as well as nationally and internationally. She has edited, and is on the editorial boards of, international disaster-related journals.

Maureen has led many research projects that integrate gender responsiveness into disaster risk reduction, working with local, national and international agencies. She is currently PI on a UCL IRDR project on “Increasing maternal and child health resilience before, during and after disasters using mobile technology in Nepal”.

Dr Karen da Costa, UCL Laws


Karen joined UCL Laws in September 2014, to work full-time as a research associate on the ‘Human Rights Beyond Borders’ project, on the extraterritorial application of human rights law.  The project is funded by the European Research Council, and led by Karen’s colleague, Dr Ralph Wilde. Karen holds a PhD (2011) in International Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, University of Geneva. She also holds the European Master (2003) in International Humanitarian Assistance, Network on Humanitarian Assistance (NOHA) from the Ruhr-University of Bochum and an LLM (2002) in German Law from the Ludwig-Maximilans University (Munich). Her research interests relate to international human rights law, including the impact of disasters on the enjoyment of human rights. She works at UCL as Research Associate in International Law. Her previous work experience includes positions as University Fellow (Teaching & Research) in Human Rights at the Irish Centre for Human Rights – National University of Ireland, Galway; Legal Consultant for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and Human Rights Officer at the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire. Her book ‘The Extraterritorial Application of Selected Human Rights Treaties’ was published in 2013 by Brill/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers in the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Series.

Ms Marie Aronsson-Storrier, University of Reading


Marie is a Research Fellow in Global Law and Disasters at the University of Reading, where she conducts research and teaching in the developing field of international disaster law, as well as related areas of international law, in particular, human rights and the protection of vulnerable groups, armed conflict, sustainable development, water security, sanitation and disaster risk reduction. Her PhD thesis at the University of Melbourne explores covert operations and the development of international law on the use of force. Marie has published in the areas of International Disaster Law, Disaster Risk Reduction, International Law on the Use of Force, International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law, and she serves as regional co-ordinator for the Digest of the State Practice for Europe for the Journal on the Use of Force and International Law. Before commencing her PhD candidature, Marie worked as a research assistant on the Every Casualty programme of the Oxford Research Group. She holds a Master of Laws from the University of Gothenburg.

Dr Andreea Molnar, Lancaster University


Andreea Molnar is a Lecturer at the Lancaster University. Previously she has been an Associate Faculty at Arizona State University and a postdoctoral researcher at Brunel University and City University London. She has a PhD in Technology Enhanced Learning from National College of Ireland.

Prior to enrolling in her academic career she worked as a software developer.

Her research interests include serious games for health and adoption and diffusion of information systems in general, and usage of information technology in healthcare in particular.

Andrea will speak in the session on 'Safer Schools through Safer Communities and Digital Health', on "Safety to Health and Play"

Dr Christophe Belperron, Save the Children


Christophe Belperron has 20 years of experience in humanitarian sector working across a wide range of domains covering social inclusion, livelihood development and resilience. He has built his experience in risk and resilience working with communities of the Himalaya range, from the Pamir to Nepal, on various integrated mountains development initiatives. He is currently senior technical advisor on risk and resilience for SC UK aiming at piloting the integration of resilience as a mainstreaming thematic for the entire movement. He provides technical support to various SCI projects in Asia and Africa on DRR, CCA and resilience both in rural and urban context. 

Christophe will speak on "The Comprehensive School Safety framework, a global approach to make schools and children safer from disaster" in the 'Safer Communities through Safer Schools and Digital Health' session.

Professor Dina D'Ayala, UCL CEGE


Dina D’Ayala is a Professor of Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE) at UCL. She is Head of the Civil Engineering section in CEGE, Co-Director of the Earthquake and People Interaction Centre (EPICentre), and Director of the newly built UCL-Here East Env&Mech Lab. Her research focuses on the multi-hazard risk and resilience assessment and strengthening of existing structures, transport and school infrastructure and cultural heritage. She has 25 years’ experience working with international agencies, including the World Bank (WB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the British Council, in countries such as Nepal, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Philippines etc, contributing or leading interdisciplinary projects on enhancing resilience against natural hazards. She is a member of the Global Programme for Safe Schools (GPSS) by WB and leads the development of a framework for a Global Library of School Typologies, Vulnerability Functions and Strengthening Strategies. She is also a member of the Management Board of International Center for Collaborative Research on Disaster Risk Reduction (ICCR-DRR) at Beijing Normal University and a Director of the International Association of Earthquake Engineers (IAEE).

Dina will speak in session entitled ‘Safer Communities through Safer Schools and Digital Health’.

Professor Lessandro Estelito O. Garciano, DLSU, Manilla, Philippines


Lessandro Estelito O. Garciano is an Associate professor and Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at De La Salle University (DLSU), Manila. He obtained his Master of Engineering and Doctor of Engineering degrees from Tokyo City University, Japan. He also obtained a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (with focus on Structural Engineering) degree from DLSU. His research interests include wind, earthquake and flood hazard mapping, Bayesian updating methods, multi-hazard risk analysis and reliability theory. He is a member of Loads and Action Committee of the National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP), a director of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP), and the managing director of the ASEP Research and Development Committee. He is currently the Principal Investigator in the Philippines for ‘SCOSSO: Safer Communities thrOugh Safer SchOols’ funded by the UCL-EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and for ‘PRISMH: Philippines Resilience of Schools to Multi-Hazards’ funded by the British Council, Newton Fund Institutional Links Grants.

Lessandro will speak in session entitled ‘Safer Communities through Safer Schools and Digital Health’.

Dr. Benjamin Abo


Dr. Benjamin Abo is an emergency medicine and EMS/disaster physician now joining the faculty of the University of Florida as Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine after completing an EMS fellowship there. He has a 20 plus year background of international emergency medicine/EMS experience that remains active in the realms of research, education, speaking, and consulting. Prior to graduating from Touro University College of Medicine with honors, he obtained an undergraduate degree in Emergency Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh where he stayed on faculty there for multiple years as coordinator of education and international emergency medicine.

Throughout his career, both before and after medical school, he has taken on various international humanitarian endeavors including India, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ireland, and more. He has also founded U.R.G.E.N.T. (Understanding Relevant Global Emergencies aNd Training) and is the executive director of the International Institute of Sustainability in Emergency Services (iiSES). When it comes to anything having to do with culturally sensitive, sustainable growth in disaster preparedness, disaster response, EMS, or any austere medicine, Ben is always interested and excited to fill another passport and lend a helping hand.

Keynote: André Heller Pérache, Head of Programmes, MSF UK

andre heller

André Heller Pérache is Head of Programmes for Médecins Sans Frontières UK. He oversees an advocacy team focused on aid and foreign policy, and research and operational programming teams. He has previously been the Country Director of MSF missions in Haiti, Syria, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Yemen; and held various other positions in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. His recent work has including projects on safeguarding humanitarian medical work in the field, and policy pieces on civil-military collaboration and operations in high-security contexts.

IRDR audience photo


09:00 – 09:30 Registration

09:30 – 11:00 Safer Communities through Safer Schools and Digital Health (talks)

11:30 – 13:00 Panel discussion on Disaster Law and Human Rights

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch break

14:30 – 15:30 Keynote address on disaster relief operations

15:30 – 16:00 coffee

16:00 – 17:00 In Conversation with Maureen Fordham on gender responsive disaster risk reduction – rhetoric or action?

17:00 – 17:30 Poster introductions

17:30 – 20:00 Reception and Poster Presentations

Tweet about the conference on #IRDR7th 

The event is free to attend, but you need to register on Eventbrite 

Eventbrite - UCL IRDR 7th Annual Conference