Science Policy Briefing

Science Policy Briefing

Science Policy Briefing

Science Policy Briefing: Indian community-based disaster risk reduction (DRR)

In June 2020 Bath Spa’s Rich Johnson (Reader in Physical Geography) and Esther Edwards (Research Fellow), in partnership with the G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment, led an international research team (Canadian, Indian, and UK) in the publication of a science policy briefing paper: ‘Accelerating Change: Engaging Local Communities in Disaster Risk Reduction in the Indian Himalayan Region’.

This brings research evidence from the Pathways to Resilience project (Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, India) into dialogue with current international/ Indian national disaster risk reduction (DRR) policy-practice debates, to provide forward recommendations. The primary audience are government authorities, NGOs and researchers engaged with Disaster Management in the Indian Himalayan Region.

The briefing details the problem of increasing disaster risk in mountain regions alongside a gap in local community engagement. The briefing calls for a shift in emphasis, to one which fosters inclusive community engagement, and takes better account of local knowledge in disaster risk reduction.

Specific recommendations are:

  • (i) revision of State and District disaster management plans;
  • (ii) implementation of comprehensive awareness campaigns; and
  • (iii) programmes to capture the diversity of local knowledge.

The briefing and additional supplementary research dataset collection is open access via:

An Indian DRR NGO (DOERS, June 2020) remarks:

"The ‘Pathways to Resilience’ Project in district Kullu is a groundbreaking initiative to systematically bridge the gaps in the policy-practice interface through recommending a set of promising strategies to strengthen localised disaster risk management, not only in the district and the state, but quite possibly the entire region."

We welcome comments to Dr Rich Johnson (r.johnson@bathspa.ac.uk). 

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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