By Su Anson and Maurice Said, 14 July 2017
Last month, the Crisis team’s Su Anson and Maurice Said participated in the 7th Annual Conference of the Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction (IRDR) at UCL, presenting information on two projects – ResiStand and PREP1. The conference took place on 21st June 2017 in London and brought together over 150 researchers, practitioners, NGO representatives, and members of the public interested in issues surrounding risk and disaster reduction. Conference participants had the opportunity to listen to presentations, ask questions during panel discussions, and present posters on their research.
Prof. David Alexander’s timely talk on “High Rise Building Disasters”, made reference to the emerging lessons from the recent and local disaster that occurred at Grenfell Tower. An interesting keynote address was given by Andre Heller Pérache from MSF on the power relations and politics surrounding the aid sector. The penultimate session was in the form of a thought provoking conversation between Prof. Maureen Fordham and IIan Kelman on “Gender Responsive Disaster Risk Reduction – Rhetoric or Action?”. Further information on the conference programme can be found here.
The last session of the day consisted of poster session teaser summaries, whereby each researcher who had designed a poster had two minutes to provide an overview of their poster and why conference participants should visit the poster during the evening reception. Maurice Said presented on the PREP1 project and Su Anson on the EC funded ResiStand project.
PREP1, a social media analysis tool for PREParedness, is a six month project funded by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF). Working with the Global Disaster Preparedness Centre (GDPC) and the Red Cross/ Red Crescent network, the project aims to provide an open source social media analysis tool for enhancing preparedness and risk awareness in varying contexts across the globe. The project further aims to support the work of the Global Disaster Preparedness Centre (GDPC) in understanding the user requirements of Red Cross/Red Crescent societies in various social, geographic and economic contexts. The poster, presented by Maurice Said, illustrated the project’s concept. It also provided an overview of the type of social media platforms used by humanitarian agencies. This data was gathered through semi-structured interviews conducted with Red Cross/ Red Crescent personnel in countries across the globe. The aim was to have representatives from different cultural contexts around the globe, as well as different levels of engagement with social media and social media analysis tools.
Su Anson presented on the two-year ResiStand project, which is concerned with increasing disaster resilience through standardisation. During the two-minute summary presentation of the ResiStand poster, an overview of the EU Security Standardisation Landscape was provided. This outlined how there are very few standards that are developed and how there is an inadequate participation of stakeholders. ResiStand’s stakeholder based approach designed to help address these challenges was introduced, focusing on the project’s end-user community. The end-user community consists of organisations using standards in their work (first responders, law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organisations). The poster summary and poster itself focused on the research (online questionnaire, desk-based research, and workshops) undertaken with end-users to identify their standardisation needs and requirements, and their perspective on the drivers, benefits, and challenges of participating in standardisation activities. From this research over 200 standardisation needs were identified, focusing predominantly on the preparedness and response phases of the disaster management cycle. The poster presented is illustrated below. The next step for the ResiStand project is a workshop on standardisation potential that is taking place in Brussels on 11th September 2017. For further information and to register, please click here.
ResiStand and PREP1 are two of multiple projects that the Crisis team are currently working on. For information on all of the current projects the Crisis team are working on, please click here.