The primary motivation for the UKADR is to bring together the UK's rich and diverse disaster research community. This will facilitate collaboration and partnership to aid representation of the research community at government level in the UK, and, where appropriate, help with the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Alliance is independent and managed by voluntary contributions from the UK research community.
Membership is open to staff and PhD students of any research-and-capacity-building institute based in the UK that is active in researching disaster risk and its management. This includes universities and other educational institutions, charitable trusts, think tanks and research departments within government agencies, private businesses or civil society organisations. Disaster risk reduction, prevention and preparedness, disaster response, reconstruction and recovery are all of interest.
The focus of the UKADR project is all contexts and systems of disaster risk, recognising the UK's role in this field across an interconnected world.
UKADR understands that the science of disaster risk and its management is interdisciplinary. There is an emphasis on integrated and applied dimensions of knowledge production rooted in fundamental science. This includes work from the natural sciences, engineering and technology, medical and health sciences, agricultural science, social sciences and humanities, and includes information technology, economics and behavioural sciences.
UK science on disaster risk is widely recognised as world leading. UKADR aims to support excellence in science and enhance opportunities for impact on policy and practice by acting as:
- an alliance of the academic disaster research community, to facilitate collaboration and partnership across the UK
- an advocate of UK science to UK Government
- a contact point for UK Government seeking the best UK science input
- a mechanism for UK Government to communicate emerging needs to the UK science community
To help meet these aims, UKADR will sit on the UK Disaster Research Group, a committee of research funders, government departments and charitable donors, which has been hosted by the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UKCDS) since 2009.
UK Government first called for improved interaction with the disaster science community in its 2011 Humanitarian Emergency Response Review. This was repeated in the 2012 Government Office of Science Foresight Report on Reducing the Risk of Future Disasters. In 2015, UK Government's responsibilities under the UNISDR Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 placed renewed emphasis on science and on evidence-based policy and practice. In 2016, many from the international science community attended the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Science and Technology Conference on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, and a roadmap for supporting Sendai was shared under the leadership of the UNISDR Science and Technology Advisory Group.
UKADR will provide a national contact point for international efforts to coordinate scientific efforts to reduce the global impacts of disaster. It will also collaborate with other international agencies engaged in supporting Sendai. These include:
- International Council for Science
- International Social Science Council
- the UNISDR-sponsored programme on Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR)
- Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GADRI)
19 April 2016