Citizen Science for Disaster Risk Reduction

‘Citizen science’ can place citizens at the centre of a process that generates new knowledge for disaster risk reduction. This project, funded under the Research Councils UK Global Challenges Research Fund, aims to understand how citizen science is currently applied to disaster risk reduction (DRR) objectives in the face of natural hazards, and how it might be more effectively applied in the future.

The project will map out a family of citizen techniques being applied across DRR contexts – some of which may not be conventionally labelled ‘citizen science’ but may mobilise existing forms of public knowledge or otherwise have a primary goal of citizen empowerment rather then knowledge production per se. Examples here would be the use of narratives or participatory 3D mapping of the risk environment. The project brings together an interdisciplinary team ranging from geologists, volcanologists and natural scientists, through to geographers, sociologists, historians and creative writers. We will work together to create an evidence base for what works now, and what might be most effective in the future. This will draw on the published literature, our discussions during two workshops and new findings from three field regions (Nepal, Ecuador and the Caribbean) with our project partners.

People involved: Jason Chilvers, Peter Simmons  (PI: Jenni Barclay (ENV)

Timeframe: Jan – Sept 2017