UTNeeds ConferencePanel descriptions

Panel descriptions

  • A cultural turn in disaster studies? Exploring epistemological, socio-historical and scalar perspectives

    Desportes, Isabelle; Flörchinger, Verena; Jafari Berenji, Parisa; Sandoval, Vicente, Disaster Research Unit (DRU), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

    This panel stems from two observations. First, culture matters to prevent and respond to disasters. In line with a social constructivist approach, studies have for instance found how the relationship between levels of risk perception and risk preparedness is not straightforward (Appleby-Arnold et al. 2021): a population might have been confronted to disasters and be aware of risk, yet not take preventive action. In the middle, something called ´culture´ is mediating the relationship, referring to an array of factors ranging from social cohesion to trust in authorities over norms and values. Second, culture is too seldom taken into account in current disaster risk reduction and response (Krüger 2015).

    With the overall question of ‘what is the role of culture in building disaster resilient societies‘ in mind, we welcome contributions in line but not limited to the following sub-themes:

    • Epistemology and terminology

    An epistemological perspective to culture and disasters stresses that we should study disasters without preconceptions. While some argue that we are ´part and shaped by a culture out there´, Geertz (1987) for instance has defined culture as a “self-webbed web of meaning”. This definition puts the focus on interpreting and ´finding meaning´ rather than on identifying set patterns. It pushes us to pay particular attention to the words we use, and to question notions such as the Western cosmovision of a dualistic nature vs. culture. Power (im)balances and hierarchies are ever-present, including in (academic) knowledge production processes (Knorr-Cetina 2002) and in policy circles.

    • Socio-historical perspectives

    Looking back into the past provides examples of how societies experienced and responded to hazards and disasters. It also sheds light on the role of culture in the ways in which disasters were interpreted, and acted on. Socio-historical approaches hold great potential for enriching disaster research in order to explore underlying questions such as the role of past disasters, interpretation and memory processes (Fuentealba 2021), or institutions, traditions and adaptation, coping and learning processes developed over time.

    • Scales and hierarchies

    Culture is not only ‘local’ but a continuum: we seek to discuss the cultural configurations, hierarchies, functions, histories, and dynamics of disaster and risk in terms of their upwards, downwards, and transversal links to other geographical scales. We wonder how the relationships between culture, risk, and disaster are configured and unfold across scales as socially constructed processes that “can only be grasped relationally” (Brenner 2019).

    Session format

    Beginning with an interactive icebreaker (20 min.) we learn about our different backgrounds, position within disaster studies and how that shapes the way we approach risk and disasters. The warm up will be followed by three to four 15-minute presentations to provide insights into current research. The presentations serve as input for the roundtable discussion that follows (up to 55 min, using the ‘fishbowl format’ in case of many participants). The roundtable facilitates a platform for specific issues to be discussed intensively, to promote joint learning, and to encourage participants to collaborate on the topic beyond the session.


    Appleby‐Arnold, Sandra, Noellie Brockdorff, Ivana Jakovljev, and Sunčica Zdravković. 2021. ‘Disaster Preparedness and Cultural Factors: A Comparative Study in Romania and Malta’. Disasters 45 (3): 664–90. https://doi.org/10.1111/disa.12433.

    Brenner, N. (2019). Restructuring, Rescaling, and the Urban Question. In N. Brenner (Ed.), New Urban Spaces: Urban Theory and the Scale Question (pp. 87–114). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190627188.003.0003

    Fuentealba, Ricardo. 2021. „Divergent Disaster Events? The Politics of Post-Disaster Memory on the Urban Margin“. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 62 (August): 102389. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102389.

    Geertz, Clifford. 1987. Dichte Beschreibung. Beiträge zum Verstehen kultureller Systeme. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

    Knorr-Cetina, Karin. 2002. Wissenskulturen: ein Vergleich naturwissenschaftlicher Wissensformen. 2. [Dr.]. Suhrkamp-Taschenbuch Wissenschaft 1594. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

    Krüger, Fred, ed. 2015. Cultures and Disasters: Understanding Cultural Framings in Disaster Risk Reduction. 1 Edition. Routledge Studies in Hazards, Disaster Risk and Climate Change. London; New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

  • Children and Youth in Disasters: Addressing their Needs across Disaster Risk Management Phases

    Panel Chairs/Conveners: Dr. Hamed Seddighi, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Groningen

     Panel Description:

    Children play an essential role in the fabric of our societies, and their well-being should be a top priority in all phases of disaster risk management. When we consider the unique needs of children in the stages of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery, we prioritize not only their safety and well-being but also the long-term resilience of our communities [1]. Several international frameworks emphasize the importance of considering children's needs in disaster risk management [2]. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) explicitly mentions children as a vulnerable group and calls for their engagement in disaster risk reduction efforts. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) outlines the rights of children to survival, development, protection, and participation, including during disasters. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also stress the need to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all, including children, by reducing vulnerabilities and promoting resilience [2]. Children are often more vulnerable during disasters due to their age, physical and emotional development, and dependency on adults [3]. By addressing their needs, we can reduce the risks they face and protect their rights as outlined in these international frameworks. Taking care of children during disasters goes beyond safeguarding their immediate safety; it also involves minimizing the long-term consequences on their development, education, and overall well-being.  Schools, as crucial spaces for learning and growth, must be considered in disaster risk management [3]. Ensuring the continuity of education and creating safe learning environments for children helps maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives, even in times of crisis. Involving children in the decision-making process and disaster risk management activities empowers them and gives them a sense of ownership, responsibility, and resilience [2]. Encouraging their participation not only respects their rights but also creates an opportunity for them to contribute to building stronger, more resilient communities. Children are the future of any society, and their needs should be at the forefront of disaster risk management efforts. By investing in their well-being, we contribute to the resilience of our communities and promote intergenerational equity, ensuring that future generations do not bear the disproportionate burden of disasters.

    After this introduction, we would like to invite submissions for the panel on "Children and Youth in Disasters." We welcome articles that address different aspects of children and youth's needs in disaster risk management. Some suggested themes include, but are not limited to:


    1.      Formal, non-formal, and informal disaster education: Exploring various methods and approaches to educate children and youth about disaster risk reduction and resilience.

    2.      Integrating disaster education in school curricula: Examining strategies for incorporating disaster-related topics and skills into educational programs and curricula.

    3.      Considering children's needs in policy-making about disasters: Analyzing the importance of including children's perspectives in disaster risk management policies and practices.

    4.      Mental health and psychosocial support of children: Investigating the impact of disasters on children's mental health and well-being and discussing the best practices for providing psychosocial support.

    5.      Addressing the needs of children in disaster response: Evaluating the effectiveness of disaster response programs in addressing the unique needs of children and youth during emergencies.

    6.      Social consequences of disasters on children: Exploring the effects of disasters on children's lives, including child trafficking, child labor, child marriage, child soldiers, child abuse (sexual, physical, mental, and neglect), and other related issues.

    7.      Needs of children in various sectors: Assessing the requirements of children in sectors such as food, livelihood, health, WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene), shelter, and camp management during disasters.

    8.      Intersectionality in children's experiences of disasters: the interplay of age, ability, race, gender, tribe, class, religion, residency, and other factors

    We encourage interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives on these themes and invite researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to submit their work for consideration. By shedding light on the diverse needs of children and youth in disasters, this panel aims to foster a comprehensive understanding of their experiences and contribute to the development of effective disaster risk management strategies that prioritize their well-being and resilience.


     1.           Seddighi, H., et al., Preparing children for climate-related disasters. BMJ Paediatrics Open, 2020. 4(1).

    2.           Seddighi, H., et al., Disaster risk reduction in Iranian primary and secondary school textbooks: a content analysis. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness, 2022. 16(4): p. 1503-1511.

    3.           Seddighi, H., et al., Representation of Disasters in School Textbooks for Children with Intellectual Disabilities in Iran: A qualitative Content Analysis. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 2021. 53: p. 101987.

  • Research safety and security: Addressing the risks of studying disasters and humanitarian action.

    Panel organisers: 

    Dr Rodrigo Mena: Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Email: mena@iss.nl

    Lea Liekefedt: Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Email: liekefedt@iss.nl

    Dr Dorothea Hilhorst: Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Email: hilhorst@iss.nl

    Dr Marta Welander: contact@martawelander.com

    Panel description

    Introduction: Disaster research and practice commonly rely on gathering information and data from places affected or at risk of disasters. This practice, commonly called fieldwork (or in-situ research),  encompasses activities such as going on digs, experiments and collecting data at first-hand via observational and interviewing work (Angrosino, 2007; Goffman, 1989; Loyle et al., 2019). It involves being physically present in the places where information is collected and includes interactions between the researcher and the interviewees (or artefacts) for supposedly prolonged periods of time. Doing fieldwork, however, entails multiple risks for researchers, research participants, facilitators and organizations supporting or hosting research projects (Koch, 2013; Roguski, 2013). Depending on the context and specifics of each research project, these risks involve illness, accidents, reputational damage, (re)traumatization of research participants, stress, and even arrest or kidnapping in some scenarios. Unfortunately, multiple examples testify to the risks of conducting fieldwork research (see for instance Flower, 2010; Goode, 2010; Kleinman and Copp 1993; Shaw, 2011; Shih, 2015).

    Aim: This panel seeks to open a space for discussion and reflection not only on the risk of conducting research in our field of disaster and humanitarian studies, but more importantly, on how researchers, students, and practitioners address research-related risks. Research safety and security is the field that studies and advances the process of identifying research-related risks and of developing measures to reduce them as well as prepare, and respond adequately if something happens (Hilhorst et al., 2016). Safety and security of research is, moreover, an important ethical action. Understanding that research ethics is about do not harm, research safety and security is everything  that we do to avoid harm from happening, and therefore it is a core element of research ethics (Fujii, 2012; Matelski, 2014; O’Mathúna, 2010; Turner, 2013).

    We invite presentations and papers that discuss:

    1.       The risk of conducting research in the field of disaster and humanitarian studies and practices

    2.       The measures, practices and arrangements researchers and research intuitions have in place (or not) to develop research that is safe and secure

    3.       The effect of safety and security on research practise, including methods, case selections, analysis and research dissemination.

    4.       The experiences of people dealing with safety and security aspect of research

    Motivation: The motivation of the panel stems from the fact that there is limited knowledge on how researchers and universities can prepare for a safe, secure and ethical fieldwork practice. While the number of books, articles, or guidelines accounting for the risks, challenges and costs of conducting fieldwork research (particularly in places affected by violent conflict, authoritarian regimes, and high levels of fragility) is plenty, there is limited knowledge on how to conduct fieldwork research safely and secure.

    Outputs: The panel foresees the development of a journal special issue where panel participants and other actors can share and discuss in more detail about Safety and Security of Research.

    Organisations: This panel is hosted by the “Safety and Security Impact Journey” project (Erasmus University) and the IHSA Working Group on Safety and Security of Research.



    Angrosino, M. (2007) 'Doing ethnography and observational research: Data collection in the field', SAGE Research Methods Online, pp. 1-23. doi: 10.4135/9781849208932.

    Fujii, L.A. (2012) 'Research ethics 101: Dilemmas and responsibilities', PS, political science & politics, 45(4), pp. 717-723. doi: 10.1017/S1049096512000819.

    Flower, S. (2010) 'Despatches from Papua New Guines', RIMA: Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, 44(1), pp. 233-240. doi: 10.3316/ielapa.656720053609279.

    Goffman, E. (1989) 'On fieldwork', Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 18(2), pp. 123-132. doi: 10.1177/089124189018002001.

    Goode, J.P. (2010) 'Redefining Russia: Hybrid regimes, fieldwork and Russian Politics', Perspectives on Politics, 8(4), pp. 1055-1075. doi: 10.1017/S153759271000318X.

    Hilhorst, D,. Hodgson, L., Jansen, B. & Mena, R. (2016) 'Security guidelines for field research in complex, remote and hazardous places', International Institute of Social Studies and International Humanitarian Studies Association (IHSA). https://ihsa.info/security-guidelines-for-field-research-in-complex-remote-and-hazardous-places/.

    Koch, N. (2013). 'Introduction – Field methods in ‘closed contexts’: undertaking research in authoritarian states and places', AREA, 45(4), pp. 390-395. doi: 10.1111/area.12044.

    Kleinman, S. & Copp, M. (1993) 'Fieldworkers as Professionals', in Emotions and Fieldwork, California, United States: SAGE Publications Inc, pp. 140-153. doi: 10.4135/978141298404.

    Loyle, C., Smith, A. & Swedlund, H. (2019) 'Fieldwork in “restrictive” environments: Contrasting methodologies', SAGE Research Methods Cases, pp. 1-14. doi: 10.4135/9781526466631.

    Matelski, M. (2014) 'On sensitivity and secrecy: How foreign researchers and their local contacts in Myanmar deal with risk under authoritarian rule', Journal of Burma Studies, 18(1), pp. 59-82. doi: 10.1353/jbs.2014.0008.

    O’Mathúna, D.P. (2010) 'Conducting research in the aftermath of disasters: Ethical considerations', Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine, 3(2), pp. 65-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-5391.2010.01076.x.

    Roguski, M. (2013) 'Key issues effecting field researcher safety: A reflexive commentary', New Zealand Sociology, 28(1), pp. 18-35. https://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3193/.

    Shaw, W. (2011) 'Researcher journeying and the adventure/danger impulse: Researcher journeying and the adventure/danger impulse', AREA, 43(4), pp. 470-476. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2011.01032.x.

    Shih, V. (2015) 'Research in authoritarian aegimes: Transparency tradeoffs and solutions', Qualitative & Multi-Method Research, 13(1), pp. 20-22. doi: 10.5281/ZENODO.893087.

    Turner, S. (2013) 'Red stamps and green tea: Fieldwork negotiations and dilemmas in the Sino-Vietnamese borderlands: Red stamps and green tea', AREA, 45(4), pp. 396-402. doi: 10.1111/area.12017.

  • Cascading disasters: From vulnerability to resilience


    Francesca Giardini (University of Groningen, Groningen, NL) & Clara Egger (Erasmus University, Rotterdam, NL)

    An emerging challenge to societal resilience is posed by cascading disasters, which are extreme events in which cascading effects increase in progression over time and generate unexpected secondary events of strong impact (Pescaroli, Alexander, 2015; Cutter, 2017). These disasters uniquely trigger social cascades that deeply affect the social fabric and interconnectedness of communities, organizations and institutions. The impacts of disasters, and in many cases their likelihood, are amplified by ongoing global trends, like rapid urbanization, intensified development in hazardous areas, increased population movements, climate change and strong reliance on technologies, among others. As climate change progresses, societies around the world will be forced to grapple with more frequent heat waves, the spread of infectious diseases, land loss in coastal areas, and a host of other climate change-induced effects.

    On the one hand, cascading disasters can have severe and enduring repercussions at different levels, for example triggering illegitimate or ineffective modalities of emergency decision-making that in turn negatively impact societal resilience. On the other hand, institutions are responsible for existing vulnerabilities that can foster social cascades, while individuals need to be aware and able to prepare for and react to this kind of events. The urgent question that this panel aims to raise is the following: How to build effective and reliable organizations and institutions aimed at improving the adaptability and preparedness of citizens and societies to cascading disasters?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear how difficult it is to manage a complex system of interconnected and dynamic components (transportation, healthcare, economy, education), and how different countries are, in terms of risk perception, culture, attitudes, institutional and social trust, and socio-economic contexts. Cascading disasters require modular, flexible, and proactive responses from many interconnected actors, operating at different levels in different roles and embedded in different contexts. Effectively tackling this challenge requires moving from a reactive approach to risk management, based on predefined responses resulting from past events, to a proactive one based on the concepts of “global disasters”.

    The panel's participants will engage with the topic of organizational and institutional preparedness for cascading disasters, and we welcome papers from different disciplines (sociology, political science, psychology, economics, public administration, history, philosophy) and perspectives that will discuss this issue. The panel welcomes diverse methodological approaches, including simulation, comparative or single case studies or experiments. A panel on cascading disasters was successfully presented during NEEDS2021 and NEEDS2022 and we hope to make this a recurrent event for the disaster studies community.

  • Research as a means of capacity building: challenges and options

    Panel chairs:

    Nina Baron, University College Copenhagen, niba@kp.dk

    Matthias Kokorsch, University Center of the Westfjords, matthias@uw.is

     There is growing attention within disaster management studies on the role of scientific research projects, and to what extent they can support the building of disaster-resilient societies.

    We invite submissions for a panel that focuses particularly on this topic, introducing the findings and contributions of the Climate Change Resilience in Small Communities in the Nordic Countries project (CliCNord). CliCNord is a three-year research project (2021-23) that examines how small and remote communities in the Nordic Countries handle adverse events and build capacity, as well as how they can prevent, prepare, respond, and recover from natural hazards. The project is based on the premise that research can provide concrete support to small and remote communities on how to expand their capacities, for example in terms of civic engagement, informal procedures, institutional learning, technological innovation/intervention/accessibility, reconstruction, sustainable risk prevention, or effective communication.

    We welcome contributions from outside the CliCNord project that addresses the broader connection between research and the building of disaster-resilient societies. We encourage submissions that explore challenges and options related to how research can support capacity building in small and remote communities, as well as presentations of examples of research with this aim, critical reflection, and suggestions for methods and approaches.

    Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

    ·       The role of research in building disaster-resilient societies

    ·       Challenges and opportunities in supporting capacity building in local communities through research

    ·       Examples of research that aim to build resilience in small rural communities

    ·       Critical reflections on the CliCNord project and its impact on building disaster-resilient societies

    ·       Methodological approaches to conducting research on disaster resilience in small and remote communities

  • Creative and Reflexive Methodologies for Disaster Studies

    Panel Conveners:       

    Dr. Kaira Zoe Alburo-Cañete, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam

    Dr. Maria Carinnes Alejandria, Universiti Brunei Darussalam

    Kirstin Kreyscher, Deakin University

    Dr. Yvonne Su, York University

    Since the release of the Disaster Studies Manifesto, which underscored the need to develop a type of disaster scholarship that is reflexive and committed to forging respectful, reciprocal, and collaborative research relationships, there has been growing interest in developing research methodologies that reflect the values advanced therein. Indeed, research methods are not neutral data collection tools: they embody social practices which have both political and ethical consequences. Common tools used in disaster research (e.g., surveys and interviews), when uncritically employed, can often replicate (colonial) tendencies of extraction and cement the boundaries between “experts” and “victims”. In recent years, novel contributions to disaster research methods have been slowly emerging. In the spirit of the Manifesto, some researchers have turned to participatory as well as digital, visual, and other creative methods such as photovoice, video voice, documentary-making, and participatory video production which aim to foreground alternative/local perspectives and sensibilities of what matters in disaster research. These practices, though still peripheral in dominant disaster research, demonstrate that creative and reflexive methodologies provide opportunities for engaged research with some offering mediums that address the barriers of language or literacy often taken for granted in conventional methods.

    While new methodologies bring exciting new opportunities, they also bring forth new challenges. For example, even though video can reveal much more about someone, their surroundings, and their life, it can also inadvertently reveal things that study participants may not have wanted to be public. Or, despite researchers' best intentions to pass over control to participants/creators, the frameworks in which they ask participants to work within may still be colonial or overly restrictive. Thus, tensions over creative freedom, decolonization, authorship, censorship, and ethics are all important challenges to discuss. It is also important to start establishing good practices for using these new participatory, creative, and reflexive methodologies to minimize risk for disaster-affected individuals and communities, put in place processes that support their empowerment, and foster collaborative research relationships.

    Given the premise above, this panel aims to engender critical discussions around the methods and approaches used in disaster studies and how they can either reproduce power imbalances and harmful erasures of 'other' forms of disaster knowledge; or be a means with which to interrogate power in the ways that disasters are interpreted and analyzed, and express solidarity with groups who are most affected by disasters. A second but equally important aim is to provide guidance on practical applications of reflexive, creative, and critical research methodologies and techniques. Scholars on this panel will share their projects working with participatory and/or creative methodologies and provide reflections on the opportunities and challenges in carrying out such methods.

    Lastly, contributions to this panel will be considered for publication in a special issue of the same title which will be published in Disaster Prevention and Management journal. Depending on the interest that will be generated by this proposed panel, convenors aim to hold two sessions under this theme.

  • Adaptive governance by and for poor urban communities in the Global South

    Contact: Dr Jan Fransen, j.fransen@ihs.nl, IHS Erasmus University Rotterdam, 14 April 2023


    The panel aims to review and discuss new approaches by and for poor urban communities to govern disasters and shocks in bottom-up processes, based on recent research. More specifically, the panel discusses (1) the main challenges of vulnerable groups according to the latest IPCC report; (2) critical perspectives to urban resilience literature and practices in addressing these; and (3) new roles and approaches to community-based disaster management and research.

    Resilience can be defined as the capacity of actors, which enables them to survive, adapt, and thrive no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience (Rockefeller Foundation and ARUP, 2014). Vulnerable communities in cities face a daily struggle for survival with limited capacity and scarce resources. The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report concludes that the most rapid growth in urban vulnerability and exposure has been in cities and settlements where adaptive capacity is limited, especially in unplanned and informal settlements in low- and middle-income nations and in smaller and medium-sized urban centres (Dodman et al. 2022). Many interventions have either failed to build resilience (Eriksen et al. 2021), or increased inequity within cities (Anguelovski et al. 2016). Achieving resilience requires going beyond coping with disasters and shocks, to developing sustainable and lasting changes that reduce risk, improve living conditions, and enhance livelihood opportunities.

    Folke et al. (2005) recommend adaptive governance for and by urban communities to resist, adapt and transform when faced with disasters. This approach argues for shared power and responsibility across actors, including local residents and organized groups, government agencies, civil society and other bodies (Seeliger and Turok, 2013). Without community buy-in, adaptive governance is likely to fail (Sharma-Wallace et al., 2018). In vulnerable communities in the Global South, the government may be less capacitated, and in many informal settlements, governments are largely absent. Here, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and other non-governmental actors are likely to take the lead (Dodman and Mitlin 2011; Fransen et al., 2021, 2023 and forthcoming). While these experiences have led to new insights and approaches on adaptive governance, there are socio-political debates surrounding the aestheticization of local struggles, withering of the state, and subsequent transfer of responsibilities to vulnerable poor communities. This leaves the question of how disasters can be better understood and constructed from the grassroots.

    1. Short introduction to frame the problem and objectives and to introduce the panel, based on Fransen et al. (forthcoming, 2023, 2021).

    2. Resilience of vulnerable groups: exploring challenges, by Dr David Dodman. This presentation and debate follow up on the latest IPCC report, of which David is the main author (Dodman et al., 2022).

  • Governing systemic disaster risk: perspectives from the south


    Annisa Triyanti, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, The Netherlands


    Gusti Ayu Ketut Surtiari, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Indonesia

    Iffah Farhana Abu Thalib, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam, Malaysia

    According to the latest projection by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if no effective legal, policies and process interventions implemented before 2030, windows of opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5 degree and achieve climate resilient development will be narrowed (IPCC, 2022 pp. 29-31). Higher global warming level means that more countries will experience more severe sea-level rise and extreme weathers events (Oppenheimer et al., 2019; Nicholls et al., 2021).

    There are two central narratives in this proposed panel: first, there is no natural disaster, since disaster risk is mostly produced by non-natural causes. Disaster risk is political and driven by a long history of missteps in human actions and decisions; thus, failed governance (Kelman, 2020; Triyanti et al., 2022). Second, in line with the focus of Sendai Framewok, disaster risk is systemic, meaning that it is multifaceted, interrelated, context-dependent, transboundary, and most likely producing nonlinear effects (IRGC, 2017, 2018; Schweizer and Renn, 2019; Renn, 2020; UNDRR, 2019). Both in literature and practices on the ground, disaster risk governance still centred around governing singular hazard event (e.g., flooding, typhoon, droughts) which produced impact in certain localities, but not very much focusing on discovering how disaster can be produced systematically by multiple hazards, multiple vulnerabilities such as socio-economic, and political vulnerabilities, finding root cause of the problems, and their implications to improve the effectiveness of governance mechanisms and strategies, including how the ensemble of governance actors, institutions, instruments, and implementations could deal with such systemic disaster risk. This lack of attempt to unfold systemic risk from the governance perspective, is mainly since it is a new field and therefore conceptually and empirically, is still evolving.

    The only existing framework to unfold systemic risk governance has been developed by the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC, 2018; Schweizer and Renn, 2019). Using the resilience concept as a basis, the framework offers guidance for early identification and handling of risk with stakeholders through pre-assessment, appraisal, characterization and evaluation, management, and cross-cutting aspect such as stakeholder engagement and communication (IRGC, 2018; Schweizer and Renn, 2019). The first attempt to test this existing framework in the context of the global south has been done by Triyanti et al (2022) through the case of Palu earthquake and liquefaction multi-hazards in Indonesia. The findings from this study shows that the framework has not fully compatible with the contextual conditions of the Global South countries (Triyanti et al., 2022), including the risk profiles and governance challenges which mainly related to the lack of governance capacity (e.g., conflicting political and geographical scales, timescales, interests and allocated responsibilities; ineffective regulatory instruments; adverse policy that marginalize vulnerable societies, and uncertainty in terms of social system).  Against this background, this panel will address the emerging debate on how to govern systemic disaster risk effectively and inclusively. Although the current research has begun to incorporate multi-risk approach, research on systemic risk governance is facing serious challenges to produce curiosity-driven research, presenting evidence of the interconnected of risks, while at the same time keeping the solution-oriented approaches for the policymakers and local communities feasible and tangible.

     This panel is expected to bring together contributions from different perspectives from academic and extra-academic actors, diverse countries in the global south, epistemologies and disciplinary backgrounds, contexts of hazards, and sectors. This panel will focus on:

    • Empirical accounts documenting the evidence of systemic disaster risk from diverse types of combination of hazards, including biological, societal, and technological hazards
    • Challenges and opportunities in designing governance strategies and policies for addressing systemic disaster risks, including issues related to science-policy interface
    • Transdisciplinary methods that facilitate inclusion of local and indigenous people.

     The format will be innovative, starting with a “harvesting session”, authors will present key lessons learned from their work in a form of one slide presentation, discussing a maximum of three main messages. The harvesting session will be followed by an open discussion, where audience and fellow presenters are invited to share their feedback and suggest future pathways, which can range from more reflective and process-based advice to practical and feasible solutions to deal with systemic disaster risk. The session will end with exploration of possible follow-up and collaborations.

    Keywords: systemic risk, evidence-based, governance, societal hazards, science-policy-interface, transdisciplinary methods

    In the case of successful panel proposal, we have some potential panelists in mind that we would like to approach. However, we would also be open to abstract submissions.


    IPCC. (2022). Summary for Policymakers [H.-O.Pörtner, D.C.Roberts, E.S.Poloczanska, K.Mintenbeck, M.Tignor, A. Alegría, M. Craig, S. Langsdorf, S. Löschke, V. Möller, A. Okem (eds.)]. In: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [H.-O.Pörtner, D.C.Roberts, M.Tignor, E.S.Poloczanska, K.Mintenbeck, A.Alegría, M.Craig, S. Langsdorf, S. Löschke, V. Möller, A. Okem, B. Rama (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, pp. 3–33, doi:10.1017/9781009325844.001.

    IRGC. (2018). Guidelines for the governance of systemic risks. Lausanne: international risk governance center (IRGC), doi: 10.5075/epfl-irgc-257279.

    Kelman, I. (2020). Disaster by choice: How our actions turn natural hazards into catastrophes. Oxford University Press.

    Nicholls, R. J., Lincke, D., Hinkel, J., Brown, S., Vafeidis, A. T., Meyssignac, B., ... & Fang, J. (2021). A global analysis of subsidence, relative sea-level change and coastal flood exposure. Nature Climate Change, 11(4), 338-342.

    Oppenheimer, M., B.C. Glavovic , J. Hinkel, R. van de Wal, A.K. Magnan, A. Abd-Elgawad, R. Cai, M. Cifuentes-Jara, R.M. DeConto, T. Ghosh, J. Hay, F. Isla, B. Marzeion, B. Meyssignac, and Z. Sebesvari. (2019). Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low-Lying Islands, Coasts and Communities. In: IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate [H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Zhai, M. Tignor, E. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A. Alegría, M. Nicolai, A. Okem, J. Petzold, B. Rama, N.M. Weyer (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, pp. 321–445. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009157964.006.

    Renn, O. (2021). New challenges for risk analysis: systemic risks. Journal of Risk Research, 24(1), 127-133.

    Schweizer, P. J., & Renn, O. (2019). Governance of systemic risks for disaster prevention and mitigation. Disaster prevention and management: an international journal.

    Triyanti, A., Surtiari, G. A. K., Lassa, J., Rafliana, I., Hanifa, N. R., Muhidin, M. I., & Djalante, R. (2022). Governing systemic and cascading disaster risk in Indonesia: where do we stand and future outlook. Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, (ahead-of-print).

  • Community Engagement in Disaster Management

    1.       Introduction to the Panel

    This panel invites contributions that discuss innovative and inclusive approaches to engaging communities in disaster management activities.

    Starting in the late 1970s, there has been a shift in disaster management to a more holistic view of disasters to include the entire disaster cycle and to integrate community resilience into disaster preparedness (Ryan et al., 2020). With the increased focus on community resilience, inclusive risk communication and community engagement have emerged as key strategies. Community engagement refers to “stakeholders working together to build resilience through collaborative action, shared capacity building and the development of strong relationships built on mutual trust and respect” (The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (2018, p.2). Community engagement requires an understanding of community needs and vulnerabilities, as different subpopulations are impacted and react differently to different hazards (Newnham et al., 2015). A major driver of community engagement is effective communication. Establishing inclusive communication practices can assist in enhancing engagement, as communication is the cornerstone of building trust between communities and disaster managers and increasing preparedness knowledge and awareness (Khan et al., 2022; Newnham et al., 2015).

    While community engagement and inclusive communication have been recognised as important to build trust and increase preparedness, in reality there has been varied success in the implementation of activities, no consensus on which activities are most successful in engaging communities and limited research on the effect of these activities (Sunarharum et al., 2020; Ryan et al., 2020). Additionally, more research is needed on how engagement techniques can be targeted to reach different vulnerable groups. Research has highlighted that there is room in most of the techniques currently used for improvement in both planning and execution. For this panel, we invite contributions that will highlight innovative approaches to community engagement, including (but not limited to) topics such as inclusive communication practices, innovative ways to understand community needs, explore different vulnerabilities and increase engagement with those groups, and using community engagement to empower communities, and improve risk perception and preparedness among communities.

    2.       Panel Format

    This panel will combine traditional short paper presentations with a more interactive discussion element. This discussion element will involve an activity to dissect an engagement activity, identified from the papers submitted, from different perspectives (civil protection authority, citizen, first responder, etc.) to understand and discuss the different community engagement activities and their benefits/drawbacks to different groups.

    This panel will accept both academic and practitioner papers, so the discussion will hopefully involve some on the ground experience from disaster management practitioners. The panel will be facilitated with creative methods to produce questions, examples, approaches and responses that will be documented to be shared more widely in the conference and after.

    3.       Chairs and co-chairs

    Selby Knudsen – Selby Knudsen, MSc, is a Research Analyst at Trilateral Research. She leads and contributes to projects and research related to disaster resilience, risk communication and standardisation. Her area of expertise includes disaster resilience and preparedness and she has experience working on research projects with emergency management practitioners, researchers and local government officials. She is currently Trilateral’s research lead on the H2020 project RiskPACC. Additionally, she has been track co-chair for the ISCRAM 2023 conference track, re-imaging ethical, legal and social issues in the COVID era.  

    Su Anson- Su Anson, PhD, is the Head of Innovation and Research at Trilateral Research. She leads and contributes to projects and research related to disaster resilience. Su’s areas of expertise include public preparedness and risk communication, including the use of new technologies such as social media and private messaging apps. Her research examines how data and new technologies can provide insights to inform risk communication approaches and community engagement to reduce vulnerability and exclusion. Su has over 16 years’ experience of working on international research projects with key stakeholders, including: emergency management practitioners, government officials, the public, and humanitarian actors.

    4.       Panelists

    Panellists have yet to be confirmed for the event, as they will be based on the papers submitted. We will do our best to include a variety of viewpoints, including representatives from community organisations, civil protection authorities, researchers and others involved in disaster preparedness and the local, regional and national level.


    Ryan, B., Johnston, K. A., Taylor, M., & McAndrew, R. (2020). Community engagement for disaster preparedness: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101655

    Newnham, E., Patrick, K., Balsari, S., & Leaning, J. (2015). Community engagement in disaster planning and response: Recommendations for Hong Kong (Policy brief, October 2015). FXB Center for Human Rights, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. http://www.hkjcdpri.org.hk/download/policy/CommunityPreparednessPolicyBrief.pdf

    Sunarharum, T. M., Sloan, M., & Susilawati, C. (2014). Community Engagement for Disaster Resilience: Flood Risk Management in Jakarta, Indonesia [Paper presentation]. 4th International Conference on Building Resilience, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, United Kingdom

    Khan, S., Mishra, J., Ahmed, N., Lin, K. E., Siew, R., & Lim, B. H. (2022). Risk communication and community engagement during COVID-19. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2022.102903

  • The Urban Problem of Disasters

    Setting: Hybrid roundtable - physical as well as online participation to allow for transdisciplinary and global south perspectives

    Chairs: Anne Bach Nielsen, Suchismita Goswami and Maansi Parpiani, University of Copenhagen / Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research.

    Background: Disaster studies as a field is increasingly training its attention to the urban. There are growing threats of displacement in coastal cities, frequent earthquakes and floods in densely populated areas and the growth of urban heat islands. In this scenario, disaster studies have encountered what we term its ‘urban problem’. Though the sites of examination are cities, research is disaster studies has not been able to fully engage with and further urban theory. Given the complexity of the current urban predicament, an interdisciplinary approach to urban disasters is in order. In this roundtable, we invite presenters to speak and jointly reflect on the following questions from different disciplines to forge an interdisciplinary dialogue.

    • What makes disasters a truly "urban" issue? Is it the density, the diversity, the cultural amenities, or something else entirely?
    • Has our understanding of disasters evolved alongside our cities? And does the “urban” challenge key concepts in disaster research such as vulnerability, resilience and disaster risk reduction?
    • What role does the urban ecology play in mitigating and/or creating disasters? How do urban natural and physical environments shape our understanding of and approach to urban disasters?

    Goal and structure: The panel will offer a nuanced and multifaceted exploration of the disaster and urbanism nexus, drawing on the expertise of a diverse group of panelists. By examining the different factors that contribute to the disasters in urban spaces, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of what makes disasters a truly "urban" problem and how we can foster vibrant, livable urban environments in a future with climate crisis. This includes a deliberate attempt to suggest new ways to think across disciplinary boundaries working on disasters and the urban and on novel ways to integrate empirical insights with theoretical perspectives. 

    The structure of the panel is a collective discussion on the current stage of knowledge in the academic field(s) dealing with disasters and the urban. It takes shape as a roundtable discussion  guided by a type of reverse Q&A. The panelists will first give a brief introduction to their perspectives on the urban problem of disasters and their disciplinary background. This is followed by a series of open and explorative themes. For each theme participants are asked to reflect upon what the most pressing and important questions are for research to engage with in the upcoming years. This approach allows for a more organic and conversational discussion, as the panelists can explore the nuances in their positions and engage in collaborative and interactive conversations on the current state-of-the-art. The hybrid format of the panel will allow for both in-person and virtual participation, making the discussion accessible to a wide audience.

    Expected outcomes: The expected outcome of this panel is joint understanding of the current stage of research on the disaster/urban nexus, the existing research gaps and potentially a joint commentary or blogpost on how disaster researchers may engage with the urban problem of disasters in future work.

    We would like to call for abstracts that reflect on the role of the urban in disaster studies and which speaks to the thematics outlined in this call. Prior to the NEEDs conference we would invite all participants to submit a one-page “research profile and commentary” speaking to the goal of the panel. This will be circulated to all panelists prior to the roundtable to facilitate the best possible dialogue and mutual understanding of perspectives and positions.

  • Data for Resilience vs Data for No Harm: The Ethics of Data Use in Building Resilience


    Data ethics is “a branch of ethics that evaluates the moral issues related to datafication” (Floridi & Taddeo., 2016, p.1). Datafication describes the increasing use of digital data for policy and research and the increasing number of stakeholders involved in ‘data-hungry’ policy domains (Dijstelbloem & Broeders, 2016). While data for resilience is datafication needed to help communities to be resilient against different types of disasters. The datafication for resilience building is both “for good” and at the same time can cause harm if not evaluated critically (Reliefweb, 2023; Yabe et al., 2022; Emily et al., 2023). In other words, data ethics can be considered a moral layer embedded in our datafied society.

    Applying the scholarships affiliated with moral issues of datafication can result in too rigid data protection policies. At the same time, leaving out the moral layer of datafication can result in various harmful consequences (Floridi and Taddeo., 2016). This panel will discuss two sides of the datafication story. One side is on ethical datafication and what that would be to contribute to an understanding of different critical aspects of our datafied society. The other side is focused on building resilient communities through datafication. Usually, these two sides function in isolation, and bringing these debates into the discussion fosters an understanding of how data ethics might play a vital role in different projects and scholarships.

    Key Issues:

    1. How can we define “data ethics” that ensure that data is used without causing harm?

    2. How can technology be used ethically in data for resilience efforts, and what are the potential risks and benefits?

    3. What are the tradeoffs in datafication advice in data for resilience and scholarships associated with the ethical use of data?

    4. How can we make data protection policies flexible in order to serve the need of the data industries working towards building resilient communities?

    5. What role do policymakers and industry leaders play in shaping the ethical use of data for resilience, and what actions can they take to ensure a responsible approach?

    6. How can we balance the need for data in emergencies without undermining moral issues?


    For this panel, we invite panelists to prepare two slides on their academic or professional work and their opinion on a global question: Does the data for resilience entail data for no harm? And why and why not? 

    The format will be a ‘campfire session’ which is a semi-formal discussion and debate. The session includes ample space for questions from the audience and a facilitator to guide the discussion. The panel ideally invites academics and practitioners through an open call. There are two fixed panelists in this session:

    Fixed Panelists:

    1. Dr. Fran Meissner, Assistant Professor, Faculty of ITC, University of Twente.
    2. Esmée Tijhuis, Senior analyst, A-INSIGHTS.


    1. Muhammad Saleem, Lead researcher and founder, OpenGIScience Research


    - Broeders, D., & H. Dijstelbloem (2016). The Datafication of Mobility and Migration Management: the Mediating State and its Consequences pp. 242-260 in: I. Van der Ploegand J. Pridmore (eds.) Digitizing Identities: Doing Identity in a Networked World London:Routledge.

    - Emily, A., & Ohlenburg, T. (2023). Novel digital data sources for social protection: opportunities and challenges. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. https://socialprotection.org/sites/default/files/publications_files/20230327_novel_data_source_for_SP_0.pdf

    - Floridi, L., & Taddeo, M (2016). What is data ethics?. What is data ethics? Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A.3742016036020160360. http://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2016.0360

    - Reliefweb. (12 Feb 2023). Results in Resilience: Strong Analytics for Effective Disaster Risk Management. https://reliefweb.int/report/world/results-resilience-strong-analytics-effective-disaster-risk-management

    - Yabe T, Rao PSC, Ukkusuri SV, Cutter SL. (2022). Toward data-driven, dynamical complex systems approaches to disaster resilience. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Feb 22;119(8):e2111997119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2111997119. PMID: 35135891; PMCID: PMC8872719.

  • Flood Risk Governance: International Perspectives to Building Flood Resilient Societies

    Panel Conveners: Dr Steven Forrest1 and Dr Anne Bach Nielsen2

    1Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull, UK

    2Global Health Section, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

    The importance of flood risk governance for building flood resilient societies

    Flooding is an urgent and worsening societal problem that can cause significant disruption and damage (O’Donnell et al. 2020). Traditional approaches to managing floods are no longer sufficient on their own and are being reconsidered and incorporated within more holistic ‘flood resilience’ perspectives (McClymont et al., 2020). These perspectives recognize the importance of structural defences, but also that not every flood can be prevented and instead there is a need to also focus on reducing flood consequences. A broader perspective that includes engaging and mobilizing the community, installing property-level protection (PLP) and property flood resilience (PFR) measures, mapping and modelling potential flooded areas, designing and implementing incident response and business continuity plans, providing support for physical and mental health issues as part of the flood recovery, becomes more important when focusing on reducing flood consequences. This shift towards flood resilience and the need for a broader perspective is part of the shift from ‘government’ to ‘governance’ within flood risk management (Forrest et al. 2020; Morrison et al. 2017; Nielsen 2020). The shift towards flood risk governance also recognizes that the state may not have all of the expertise needed for building flood resilient societies with civil society and the private sector increasingly playing a greater role. The roles of the state, civil society, and private sector, and their success in working together is key for building flood resilient societies.

    This panel session will focus on exploring forms of flood risk governance and their contribution (or hinderance) to achieving flood resilient societies. We are keen to incorporate a diverse range of contexts and issues in order to potentially develop this further into a special issue for an international peer-reviewed journal after the conference. The panel could include papers on:

    • The division of roles, responsibilities and power between state, civil society and private actors
    • Social, spatial and/or environment justice and fairness in flood governance
    • Institutional mechanisms/approaches to support flood governance and their relative ‘success’
    • Implications of changing technologies and digital spaces for flood governance
    • Influence of emergent civil society and private actor resilience approaches on flood governance
    • Governing for flooding in the context of cascading and compounding disaster events (incl.COVID)


    The session aims to provide a platform for constructive feedback and dialogue among scholars working on flood governance and to contribute to advancing knowledge and understanding in this field. The format of the session is a workshop where participants provide and receive friendly and constructive feedback on work-in-progress. Each participant is expected to briefly present a paper and prepare feedback as a discussant for another participant's paper. This format aims to encourage constructive feedback and lively discussion among the participants. We aim to select 5-6 papers to allow for an in-depth discussion of each paper.

     Expected outcomes:

    The workshop aims to generate constructive feedback on the presenters' work and foster dialogue and collaboration among scholars working on flood governance. Based on the presentations and discussions, the workshop aims to identify key research questions and gaps within the field of flood governance. The diversity of perspectives and disciplines could merit the creation of a special issue on flood governance in an international peer-reviewed journal.

    Call for abstracts:

    We invite scholars from different disciplines who are currently working on flood governance to submit an abstract for their paper by 1st of July. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should clearly state the research question, methodology, and key findings. Full papers should be submitted to the chairs by [date]. The papers should be no more than 6,000 words, including references. We aim to achieve diversity in terms of disciplinary backgrounds, methodological approaches, and geographical regions.


    Forrest, S.A., E-M. Trell and J. Woltjer (2020), ‘Socio-spatial inequalities in flood resilience: rainfall flooding in the city of Arnhem’, Cities, 105, 102843.

    O’Donnell, E.C., C.R. Thorne, E.C. O’Donnell and C.R. Thorne (2020), ‘Drivers of future urban flood risk’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 378 (2168), 20190216.

    McClymont, K., D. Morrison, L. Beevers and E. Carmen (2020), ‘Flood resilience: a systematic review’, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 63 (7), 1151-1176.

    Morrison, A., C.J. Westbrook and B.F. Noble (2018), 'A review of the flood risk management governance and resilience literature’, Journal of Flood Risk Management, 11 (3): 291-304.

    Nielsen, A.B (2020), ‘Governing the transnational: Exploring the governance tools of 100 Resilient Cities’ in Hoff, J., Gausset, Q. & Lex, S. (eds.): The Role of Non-State Actors in the Green Transition: Building a Sustainable Future, Taylor & Francis, p. 230-246, chapter 17

  • Taking on the politics of disasters by storm: New spaces and opportunities for disaster risk reduction in conflict and humanitarian zones


    Panel description

    Disasters disproportionately impact people living in conflict and humanitarian zones. Yet, disaster-related services – from anticipatory to responsive – are often absent or inadequate, especially when taking into consideration the high level of diverse needs. The guiding principles of disaster risk reduction (DRR) highlight the importance of “all-of-society engagement and partnership” (UNISDR, 2015, p. 13), but approaches to inclusive engagement may be particularly challenged in places where cooperative and cohesive governance is not the norm – in places divided by violence, lacking institutions, and where segments of society are denied claim to participation. Often limited state resources are situated within a complex social-political landscape with blurry and potentially disputed lines of responsibility in regards to the provision of basic services, including those related to disasters. The contemporary politics of disasters denies that they are political at all (Siddiqi, 2018), but the anti-politicization of disasters closes opportunities to live up to the transformative potential of DRR to change the risk landscape.

    This panel focuses on the opportunities and positive experiences of addressing disaster risk in conflict and humanitarian zones, of intentionally engaging the politics of disasters, and reorients away from solely focusing on the challenges these spaces present for disaster-related action. New thinking and perspectives are required to inclusively reduce risks before, during, and after disasters in conflict and humanitarian zones around the world. DRR is possible – though constrained – even in high-intensity conflict zones like Afghanistan (Mena & Hilhorst, 2021). Some examples include rebel groups contributing to DRR in armed conflict zones like Mali and the Philippines (Walch, 2018) and cultivating participatory governance in informal settlements with high levels of territorial gang violence in Tegucigalpa, Honduras (Peters et al., 2022). With some shepherding, disaster-related actions designed and implemented cooperatively and inclusively can materially benefit people’s lives and also offer opportunities to improve societal relations (Peters, 2021), provide in-roads for disaster diplomacy (Kelman, 2012), and even contribute to environmental peacebuilding. Rather than considering conflict and humanitarian zones as exceptional cases, we seek to center these experiences in reshaping best practices for DRR to leave no one behind in all diverse and divided societies.


    This panel invites papers that focus on examples that disaster-related action are possible in these challenging setting, accepting, creating, and leveraging (violent) conflict as a space and process of learning, and that reflect on the politics of knowing, not knowing, and experimentation for more effective and inclusive approaches to DRR. We especially welcome empirical and practice-based contributions that uncover creative and unconventional approaches to navigate, promote, and implement DRR and disaster management in conflict, humanitarian, and other marginalized settings. Pending paper submissions, the conveners will also plan for a special issue or other venues to disseminate this collection of work. This session will be structured around three activities: 1) paper presentations, 2) a round-robin style of sharing and generating challenges and opportunities in practice, and 3) synthesizing group recommendations for policy.    


    Kelman, I. (2011). Disaster diplomacy: how disasters affect peace and conflict. Routledge.

    Mena, R., & Hilhorst, D. (2021). The (im) possibilities of disaster risk reduction in the context of high-intensity conflict: the case of Afghanistan. Environmental Hazards, 20(2), 188-208.

    Peters, L. E. R. (2021). Beyond disaster vulnerabilities: an empirical investigation of the causal pathways linking conflict to disaster risks. International journal of disaster risk reduction, 55, 102092.

    Peters, L. E. R., Clark-Ginsberg, A., McCaul, B., Cáceres, G., Nuñez, A. L., Balagna, J., ... & Van Den Hoek, J. (2022). Informality, violence, and disaster risks: Coproducing inclusive early warning and response systems in urban informal settlements in Honduras. Frontiers in Climate, 4, 937244.

    Siddiqi, A. (2018). Disasters in conflict areas: finding the politics. Disasters, 42, S161-S172.

    UNISDR (2015). Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. United Nations.

  • Quirky Disaster Research Misfits: Unconventional, Rare, and Exceptional Topics in Disaster Studies

    Panel chair: Cordula Dittmer, Daniel F. Lorenz, Disaster Research Unit (DRU), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany


     Disaster studies are a critical field that aims to understand and mitigate the impacts of various disasters. While mainstream disaster research typically focuses on well-known types of disasters and hazards by using well established concepts such as coping, recovery and preparedness there are also rare, exceptional, and unconventional topics that do not suit the mainstream research frameworks, panels, journals or discourses. In almost every research, one is greeted with bizarre stories, rituals, behaviors or artefacts that are most interesting and mind-provoking but do not fit into the established analytical schemes. These may include unusual subjects such as the impact of sports events on disaster response and recovery, the impact of humor on engagement and preparedness for disasters, the role of pets and animals, music or intimacy in disaster situations, … Often, however, there is no time to work on these topics or there is a lack of proper conferences, panels, journals or media to discuss them.

    These “quirky disaster research misfits" challenge traditional notions and concepts of disaster studies and can offer unique insights into the diverse and unpredictable nature of disasters as well as humans in disaster situations. 

    On our panel we would like to open up the space to discuss these quirky topics and "unwritten papers" and discuss how these might contribute to a broader and maybe a more adequate or at least alternative narratives of disasters. It is about elaborating the significance of these observations for the mainstream of disaster studies and also to name obstacles or challenges that lead to the topic not being pursued further.

    Just like the topics, the presentation formats may also deviate from the usual formats.

  • Would future events echo the past ones in highly dynamic environments? Challenges in assessing compounding and multi-hazard risk

    Session convenors:

    Dr. Funda Atun & Prof. Dr. Cees van Westen (University of Twente), Dr. Marleen de Ruiter & Prof. Philipp Ward (Free University of Amsterdam)

    First, the pandemic taught us hard lessons about the systemic impact of compounding disasters. Then, the flood event in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany in 2021, showed that Europe is not floodproof as it had been considered after the recent technological advancements. Indeed, the devastating earthquakes of 6 February 2023 in Turkey and Syria have proved to us once again the urgency to consider the complex direct and indirect cross-border impacts caused by compounding events. In Europe, over the last 40 years, extreme climate events have caused economic losses amounting to an estimated €446 bn, 81% of the total losses caused by natural hazards. Finding effective strategies to manage the risks associated with extreme climate events is imperative. Within the EU there are currently a number of international research projects that focus on better understanding and quantification of multi-hazards in order to provide more reliable information for disaster risk reduction planning. We invite those projects to this session to present the preliminary results of their projects and address possibilities for further collaboration and integration of their results, and interaction with stakeholders.

    In this session, we will discuss the needs and ways to develop new exposure and vulnerability analysis methods that enable systemic risk assessment across sectors and geographic settings. The challenge is that climate information is often abstract and does not necessarily respond to key stakeholders’ perspectives. Climate scenarios need to be combined with land use, and socio-demographic and economic trends that will have an impact on exposure and vulnerability. A range of tools are already used to assess possible adaptation scenarios, but a consistent assessment of them does not yet exist. Decision support tools focus on a short-term timeframe and often exclude consideration of long-term scenarios. Co-development is the way to overcome uncertainties as we involve various perspectives. We will discuss the ways to analyze risk changes across space and time and develop risk mitigation options using innovative serious games and social simulations.

    We would like to invite projects to discuss:

    • Tools that aim at increasing the preparedness of first and second responders in the face of multi-hazard events and reducing the risks related to impacts on various sectors that result from complex disasters.
    • Open-source software for multi-hazard/risk scenario generation, policy recommendations to enable decision-makers and practitioners to adopt a new approach to disaster risk management.
    • Decision-support systems (DSS) for disaster risk management considering multiple interacting natural hazards and cascading impacts using a novel resilient-informed, service-oriented and people-centred approach that accounts for forecasted modifications in the hazard (e.g., climate change), vulnerability/resilience (e.g., aging structures and populations) and exposure (e.g., population decrease/increase), building on the consortium’s existing strengths in this domain.
    • Best practices and successful multi-disciplinary that focuses on the transferability of the developed innovations to different territorial contexts and hazards.
    • The activities to maximise the chances of the innovations having a long-lasting impact with specific attention on the transferability of the developed innovations across territorial contexts and hazards.
    • Innovative risk assessment methods that are co-developed by various stakeholders and harmonised for multi-hazard, multi-sector, and systemic risk management.
    • The interlinkages between the different hazards and economic sectors 
    • The roadmap to more resilient communities and societies
    • The innovative tools to communicate risks to facilitate deeper learning in complex contexts and enable participants to learn, i.e. serious games, social simulations
  • Children as agents of change in the face of the climate crisis

    Session convenors:

    Vedant Menon (11 years old), Nora Nepa (10 years old), Dr. Funda Atun & Dr. Javier Martinez (University of Twente), Silke Heesen (Pre-University Twente)

    Children as agents of change in the face of the climate crisis There are more than 2 billion children below 14 years old worldwide. The majority of the population considers them vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and associated disasters. The main reason is their dependence on adults for their survival, in addition to several biological factors (UNICEF, 2015). Their lack of knowledge of disasters increases their vulnerability, as they do not know how to act in case of a disaster. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015–2030) states the importance of involving children and young people as agents of change in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The support is called through legislation, and curriculum development (UNDRR, 2015). As a result, the children-led disaster risk reduction (CLDRR) research theme has been developed in disaster studies.

    CLDRR focuses on children's capacities to protect themselves, their family members and the community and to implement essential changes within their communities. In this session, we would like to include children to participate in communicating during a crisis, in decision-making processes, or in information on preventing disasters. Children are strong enough to devise solutions and act if the necessary knowledge is provided. In this session, children will present the ‘’rising water, safer shores game’’ that has been co-designed by more than 60 children in India and the Netherlands on flooding and climate change adaptation for children aged 9-11. This activity demonstrates that educational materials prepared by children enable learning and that drawing is a universal language for children. It started in a school in Panju Island India in December 2019, where some of the children's drawings were incorporated into the board game. It continued in Enschede, the Netherlands, at an International School where the board game was tested and further co-designed with children incorporating the children's ideas and contributions. With the help of a board game, we engage children in climate-change-related disasters, particularly flooding. Situated on an estuarine island in India, the board game connects children of different backgrounds with current and future global challenges. We invite children to share their experiences.

    With this session, we support children’s active participation in Disaster Risk Reduction. Children have capacities to develop the skills needed to adapt, find innovative solutions, and protect themselves and their families.

    There will be presentations by children and a panel session. In the panel, children will discuss: • What constitutes a child’s capacity for facing climate-change-related disasters? • How can we engage children with climate-change-related disasters?

    The session is open to schools and NGOs; the presenters and panellists will be children between 9-14 years old. The session language will be in English.


    UNDRR, The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015). Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Sendai: Japan. UNICEF, (2015). Unless we act now. The impact of climate change on children. Report published November 2015. New York: UNICEF.

  • The Role of Social Media in Disaster Risk Management

    Applicant names:

     Over the past few decades, social media has emerged as important channels for communication in all phases of disaster risk management (DRM) (Keim & Noji, 2011; Reuter & Kaufhold, 2018; Veil et al., 2011). Social media platforms and messaging applications are used by authorities and communities to communicate risks and early warnings (Houston, et. al., 2014, Wukich, 2019), to request assistance and establish situational awareness (Verma, et. al 2011, Yin, et. al 2012), and for the mobilisition of aid, resources, and volunteers (Albris, 2018; Mauroner & Heudorfer 2016; Palen & Hughes, 2018). The strength of these platforms lies in the exchange of multi-directional information among different stakeholders before and during crises. These processes can contribute to strengthening local disaster resilience and to more inclusive disaster risk governance (Clark et al., 2023).

     However, we now know that authorities and communities alike, still struggle to integrate effective processes for using social media into practice (Clark et al., 2022; Nielsen & Raju, 2021; Reuter et al., 2016). Social, technical, and institutional challenges that emerge include:

    •  Lack of inclusive risk and crisis communication processes between authorities and citizens which take into account issues of diversity, accessibility, and connectivity;
    • The integration of new actors including solution providers in the private sector into DRM processes;
    • Needs for the management of mis/disinformation by authorities;
    • The absence of institutional knowledge on the technology solutions and formal procedures for using social media in DRM.

     This panel is divided in two parts, and aims to dig deeper into the challenges above through contributions which touch on both conceptual and practical approaches to social media use in DRM. The topics to be covered in the panel include:

     Part 1: Social media as a channel of information, supporting crisis and emergency communication

    • Communication strategies
    • Management of mis/disinformation
    • Institutional knowledge and implementation challenges

    Part 2: Social media as a network, amplifying formal and informal resources in DRM

    • Source of information for disaster management (active crowdsourcing or ad-hoc)
    • Enabler for solution providers from civil society and the private sector

    We invite contributions from all disciplines including those working on topics on disaster governance, disaster resilience, civil engagement, vulnerability, decision making and sense making, critical GIS, crisis informatics, STS, data ethics, science communication, etc. Panelists will be invited based on abstracts submitted. They will be joined by members from research projects under the EU Horizon framework programmers on Disaster Resilient Societies, working on topics of social media use in DRM. The panel will be hosted by the LINKS and ENGAGE projects.


    Albris, K. (2018). The switchboard mechanism: How social media connected citizens during the 2013 floods in Dresden. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 26(3), 350–357. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-5973.12201

    Clark, N., Boersma, K., Bonati, S., et al. (2023). Exploring the impacts of social media and crowdsourcing on disaster resilience [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 1 approved with reservations]. Open Res Europe, 1:60. DOI: https://doi.org/10.12688/openreseurope.13721.2

    Houston, J. B., Hawthorne, J., Perreault, M., et al. (2014). Social media and disasters: A functional framework for social media use in disaster planning, response, and research. Disasters. 39. DOI: 10.1111/disa.12092.

    Keim, M., Noji, M.D. (2011). Emergent use of social media: A new age of opportunity for disaster resilience. American Journal of Disaster Medicine. 6. 47-54. DOI: 10.5055/ajdm.2011.0044.

    Mauroner, O., Heudorfer, A. (2016). Social media in disaster management: How social media impact the work of volunteer groups and aid organisations in disaster preparation and response. International Journal of Emergency Management. 12. 196. DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2016.076625.

    Palen, L., Hughes, A.L. (2018). Social Media in Disaster Communication. In: Rodríguez, H., Donner, W., Trainor, J. (eds) Handbook of Disaster Research. Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research. Springer, Cham. 497–518 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63254-4_24

    Clark, N., Fonio, C., Lüke, R., et al. (2022). First LINKS Case Report. Deliverable 6.4 of LINKS: Strengthening links between technologies and society for European disaster resilience, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (No. 883490). Retrieved from http://links-project.eu/deliverables

    Nielsen A.B., Raju, E. (2021). DMP Knowledge Base - A Consolidated Understanding of Disaster Management Processes. Deliverable 3.1 of LINKS: Strengthening links between technologies and society for European disaster resilience. funded by the European Research and Innovation Programme (No 883490). Retrieved from http://links-project.eu/deliverables

    Reuter, C., Kaufhold, M. A. (2018). Fifteen years of social media in emergencies: A retrospective review and future directions for crisis Informatics. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 26(1), 41-57.


    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-5973.12196

    Reuter, C., Ludwig, T., Kaufhold, M.A., et al. (2016). Emergency services׳ attitudes towards social media: A quantitative and qualitative survey across Europe. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. 95, 96-111, ISSN 1071-5819, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2016.03.005.

    Veil, S.R., Buehner, T., Palenchar, M.J. (2011). A Work-in-Process Literature Review: Incorporating Social Media in Risk and Crisis Communication. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 19(2): 110–22 DOI:10.1111/j.1468-5973.2011.00639.x

    Verma, S., Vieweg, S., Corvey, et al. (2021). Natural Language Processing to the Rescue? Extracting "Situational Awareness" Tweets During Mass Emergency. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 5(1), 385-392. https://doi.org/10.1609/icwsm.v5i1.14119

    Wukich, C. (2019). Preparing for disaster: Social media use for household, organizational, and community preparedness. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, 10(2), 233-260. DOI:10.1002/rhc3.12161

    Yin, J., Lampert, A., Cameron, M., et al. (2012). Using social media to enhance emergency situation awareness. IEEE intelligent systems, 27(06), 52-59. DOI:10.1109/MIS.2012.6

  • Latinx perspectives on slow disasters: Conceptual reflections from Latin America and beyond

    Panel conveners:

    • Valentina Carraro, Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam
    • Fabio de Castro, Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA), University of Amsterdam
    • Ricardo Fuentealba, Instituto de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de O’Higgins, Chile
    • Karen Paiva Henrique, Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam

    Recent work in disaster studies has introduced the idea of disasters as ‘slow’ events with layering, ‘formless’ consequences that are geographically dispersed and stretch in time, both back into the past and forwards into the future (Knowles, 2014). The ‘slow’ qualifier signals a move away from the idea of disasters as “event[s] concentrated in time and space” (Fritz, 1961 p. 655), to a focus on their double role as events/processes (Oliver-Smith, 1999), where moments of ‘incubation’ are as important as those of disruption. In this context, concepts such as ‘slow violence’ (Nixon, 2011), ‘slow disasters’ (Knowles, 2014) and 'slow emergencies' (Anderson et al., 2020) usefully underscore that the causes and effects of environmental catastrophes are neither exceptional nor unexpected, but, rather, the logical outcome of specific modes of governance, economic development, urbanisation processes, etc.

    The notion of slow disaster highlights a critical temporal dimension, but remains anchored in the Anglophone scholarly literature. Responding to recent calls to investigate the plurality of experiences and conceptual entry points to what we call ‘disasters’ (Gaillard, 2023), this panel seeks to discuss the spatialities and temporalities of disasters, taking Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) as a starting point. We build on the work of scholars writing in Spanish, Portuguese and other languages, expanding upon the concept of slow violence to stress notions such as environmental damage, environmental suffering or waste subjects (Auyero & Swiston, 2007; Ureta et al., 2017). This reframing of disasters closely aligns with prior work on the political ecology in LAC, primarily published in Spanish and Portuguese. While not focused on disasters, this scholarship has consistently highlighted the causal links between the region’s environmental problems and its colonial history, its positioning in global capital networks, and the prevalence of extractivism as an organising economic logic (Escobar, 2000; Gudynas, 2012; Mondardo, 2019). This panel aims to reflect on this diversity, conveying scholars, activists and people working on the multiple dimensions of what we call ‘disasters’ from different regions.

    The panel aims to stimulate a dialogue that stretches across languages, academic disciplines and geographies. We propose a hybrid format to bring a mixture of people based in Europe along with others working and based in LAC and other regions. We envision a roundtable dialogue in which 5-6 participants will engage with the three following questions (around 5 minutes for each): (1) How is ‘slowness’ used and/or could re-orient their work? (2) How helpful is the concept of slow disasters in understanding disasters and their effects in LAC and other regions? (3) What other framings exist and what relationships can be drawn across them to expand conceptualizations of disasters within and across different world regions? With that, the panel explores a collective theory-building effort from the South, developing more nuanced and historically-grounded perspectives on disasters in a time of rapidly exacerbating climate change.


    • Anderson, Ben, Kevin Grove, Lauren Rickards, and Matthew Kearnes (2020). “Slow Emergencies: Temporality and the Racialized Biopolitics of Emergency Governance.” Progress in Human Geography 44 (4): 621–39. https://doi.org/10.1177/0309132519849263.
    • Auyero, Javier and Swiston, Deborah (2007). Expuestos y confundidos Un relato etnográfico sobre sufrimiento ambiental. Iconos. Revista de Ciencias Sociales (28) 137-152.
    • Fritz, Charles (1961). “Disaster.” In Contemporary Social Problems, edited by R.K. Merton and R.A. Nisbet, 651–94. Harcourt.
    • Gaillard, JC (2023). The Tout-Monde of disaster studies. Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies. 15(1) https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v15i1.1385
    • Knowles, Scott Gabriel & Loeb, Zachary (2021). The Voyage of the Paragon: Disaster as Method. In: Remes, Jacob A. C. & Horowitz, Andy (eds.): Critical Disaster Studies, pp. 11-31. University of Pennsylvania Press
    • Knowles, Scott Gabriel (2014). “Learning from Disaster? The History of Technology and the Future of Disaster Research.” Technology and Culture 55 (4): 773–84.
    • Nixon, Rob (2011). Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Harvard University Press.
    • Oliver-Smith, A. (1999). “What is a disaster?”: Anthropological perspectives on a persistent question. In: A. Oliver-Smith & S. M. Hoffman (Eds.), The Angry Earth: Disaster in Anthropological Perspective (pp. 18–34). Routledge.
    • Staupe-Delgado, Reidar. (2021). Disasters and Life in Anticipation of Slow Calamity: Perspectives from the Colombian Andes. Routledge.
    • Tironi, Manuel, Katherine Campos-Knothe, Valentina Acuña, Enzo Isola, Cristóbal Bonelli, Marcelo Gonzalez Galvez, Sarah Kelly, et al. (2021). “Interruptions: Imagining an Analytical Otherwise for Disaster Studies in Latin America.” Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal 31 (3): 243–59. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-03-2021-0102.
    • Sebastián Ureta, Florencia Mondaca & Anna Landherr (2018) Sujetos de desecho: violencia lenta e inacción ambiental en un botadero minero abandonado de Chile. Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies / Revue canadienne des études latino-américaines et caraïbes, 43:3, 337-355, DOI: 10.1080/08263663.2018.1491685
  • Localizing disaster risk reduction strategies: humanitarian assistance, all-hazards approach, and Inclusivity in DRR


    • Dr. Sébastien P. Boret (Associate professor, International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University, Japan)
    • Dr. Takako Izumi (Professor, IRIDeS, Tohoku University, Japan)
    • Dr. Shinya Uekusa (Lecturer, University of Canterbury, New Zealand)


    The disaster risk reduction (DRR) community increasingly recognizes the importance of “Localization” and supporting local leadership capacities in confronting various hazards. Localization means real empowerment of communities, recognition of local capabilities, challenges and needs, and supporting grassroots DRR processes. The achievement of the Global Agendas, including that of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, relies on local level action. The Sendai Framework for DRR was adopted by 187 countries in 2015 at the UN World Conference on DRR. The document emphasizes the need for community involvement in designing and implementing inclusive policies and social safety-net mechanisms. Without community involvement in the DRR processes and understanding the risks they face, it is impossible to reduce hazard risks that have been increased by various reasons – climate change, urbanization, poverty etc.    

    This session has three critical focuses: Humanitarian assistance, an All-hazards approach, and Inclusivity in DRR, which urgently require further efforts for localization.

    The terminology of localization is often used for emergency response by increasing international investment and respect for the role of local actors recognizing that local actors already provide the overwhelming majority of humanitarian assistance. The COVID-19 experience showed that the current DRR strategy is insufficient and has to be scaled up to tackle multiple-hazards risks, especially at the local level. An all-hazards approach considers the commonalities in all hazards that allow for generalized preparedness and planning. Inclusive approaches to DRR must address the root causes of vulnerability through participatory and community-based approaches that aim to engage all persons and societies.     


    • To share the experiences and research under each focus as well as address the challenges to implementing localization.
    • To discuss what we could do to support the DRR localization, and how we could assist the initiatives.
    • To showcase solutions as viable options and strengthen localization and how we could contribute to it as a university network, and we should work together 

    Session outline (90 mins)

    • Opening remarks and introduction (5mins)
    • Presentation 1 / Q&A (15 mins)
    • Presentation 2 / Q&A (15 mins)
    • Presentation 3 / Q&A (15 mins)
    • Presentation 4 / Q&A (15 mins)
    • Presentation 5 / Q&A (15 mins)
    • Panel discussion (10 mins)
  • A humanitarian perspective on the Global Future


    Peter Heintze, KUNOpeter.heintze@kuno-platform.nl 

    The global future OCHA describes in its Strategy 2023-2026 is grim. Global ‘trends will interact to make crises more frequent and harder to resolve, as need and vulnerability become more entrenched. Crises will become less predictable, as underlying drivers and solutions become increasingly complex. (...) Risks will compound, creating protracted and entrenched vulnerability and need. (…) Many people will remain in need, while countless more will be pushed to the brink of survival.’ (OCHA’s Strategic Plan 2023-2026, page 11). One example, from the publication Acting on Internal Climate Migration (Groundswell Part 2): by 2050 'as many as 216 million people could move within their own countries due to slow-onset climate change impacts’.

    The coming decades will put humanitarian aid to the test. At the same time, the world's relatively rich countries will face growing demands for aid.

    What is it we (we humanitarians) see coming? And how are we going to deal with that?

    The panel KUNO would like to organize on this topic might be best formed as a somewhat different panel. Perhaps not a presentation of the latest (academic) insights on a specific topic, but rather an in-dept discussion on this overarching theme. An interactive discussion with representatives of the academia, practice and policy - and also the input from the audience.

     Potential speakers in the panel:

    • NGO-representative: Judith Sargentini, director MSF NL,
    • Policy making representative: the (new) head Humanitarian Aid MFA-NL
    • (Former) political representative: Bram van Ojik (former MP for the Green Party)
    • Academic representative: prof. Thea Hilhorst
  • Social entrepreneurship in disaster and crisis contexts: preparedness and response

    Conveners: Dr. Robert Larruina, Dr. Asma Naimi, Dr. Michiel Verver, and Prof. Dr. Kees Boersma. Department of Organization Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    Panel description:

    Given society's grand challenges such as climate change, rapid urbanization and global health, social entrepreneurship has become more important than ever (Hegendorn et al., 2022). Recently, the global pandemic challenged assumptions about the role of social entrepreneurship in addressing societal issues (Bacq and Lumpkin, 2021). The pandemic was a complex, wicked problem that changed the nature of many relationships and tested how much society relies on social capital networks (Bacq etal., 2020). The rise of social entrepreneurship that addresses existing social issues and responds to the challenges resulting from a disaster or crisis requires further research into the organization of their boundary-crossing activities and the spaces in which these unfold (Boersma and Larruina, 2023). The many unknowns and considerable challenges of disaster and crisis preparedness and response provide social entrepreneurship opportunities to form new alliances, experiment, and develop innovative solutions (Lumpkin and Bacq, 2019). Under social entrepreneurship, we understand the innovative activities of individual entrepreneurs or groups in which they develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues (Peredo and McLean, 2006).

    Because crises and disasters have far-reaching impacts (e.g., forced displacement, lack of basic resources or housing, hunger, poverty), an assessment of social entrepreneurship roles during crises and disasters is needed. The field would benefit from social entrepreneurship and disaster researchers seeking a deeper understanding of the outcomes and driving motives of social entrepreneurs’ endeavours, and studying new roles and possibilities for social entrepreneurship in the field of crisis governance. These considerations could be taken within the scope of resource sharing and collective action that can prevent or remedy different types of crises or disasters (e.g. refugee crisis, earthquakes). Against this background, the panel invites papers addressing some of issues in the following guiding questions:

    • To what extent can the capabilities and practices of social enterprises to manage complex relationships at the local level be used to address problems that cause or originate from crisis and disaster?
    • What role do cultural ties and community embeddedness play in the efforts to prepare andrespond to crises or disasters at the local level?
    • What role(s) can individual social entrepreneurs play in addressing social problems that require a coordinated response?
    • What is the nature and scope of the resource orchestration task presented by widespread crises such as pandemics or climate change?
    • What resources (human, financial, social, etc.) do social entrepreneurship need to be able to be prepared and respond to crises/disasters?

    We would like to challenge academics and practitioners to advance our knowledge of the intersection of disaster/crisis governance and social entrepreneurship and bring forth ideas in empirical or conceptual papers that address these challenges at NEEDS.


    • Bacq, S., & Lumpkin, G. T. (2020). Social entrepreneurship and COVID-19. Journal of Management Studies.
    • Bacq, S., Geoghegan, W., Josefy, M., Stevenson, R. and Williams, T. A. (2020). ‘The COVID-19 Virtual Idea Blitz: Marshaling social entrepreneurship to rapidly respond to urgent grand challenges’. Business Horizons, 63, 705–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2020.05.002
    • Boersma, F.K. and R. Larruina (2023). Between Here and There. The Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Restoring the Supply Chain of Face Masks During the COVID-19 Crisis. Journal of Homeland. Security and Emergency Management, accepted for publication.
    • Hagedoorn, J., Haugh, H., Robson, P., & Sugar, K. (2022). Social innovation, goal orientation, and openness: Insights from social enterprise hybrids. Small Business Economics, 1-26
    • Lumpkin, G. T. and Bacq, S. (2019). ‘Civic wealth creation: A new view of stakeholder engagement and societal impact’. Academy of Management Perspectives, 33, 383–404.
    • Peredo, A. M., & McLean, M. (2006). Social entrepreneurship: A critical review of the concept. Journal of World Business, 41(1), 56-65.
  • Filmmaking as a Research Method and Output in Disaster Studies

    Panel chair: Emiel Martens, University of Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Utrecht University, e.s.martens@uva.nl

    In recent years there has been a growing interest in using creative practices as research methods and outputs. This so-called ‘creative turn’ has also offered new means of academic expression and critical inquiry within the field of disaster studies.

    We invite submissions for a panel that explore disaster studies’ embrace of creative practices as research methods and outputs. Specfically, we want to explore how disaster researchers and research teams turn to filmmaking as a mode of representation and knowledge production. As an important form of creative inquiry, filmmaking can allow for, facilitate, and enhance collaborative processes, participatory approaches, multiple perspectives, alternative knowledges, affective experiences and civic engagements that are often difficult to come by in more traditional research methods and outputs. In this panel we want to show several films-as-disaster-studies and discuss the creative practice of filmmaking as an alternative research method and output in the field.

    For this special panel, we welcome contributions from researchers-turned-filmmakers, filmmakers-turned-researchers, film-based research teams and research-based film teams. We particularly encourage submissions of (short) documentary films that critically engage with (the problem of) disasters, disaster management and community responses to disasters.

  • Communication and Decision Making linked to vulnerability and disaster resilience

    Applicant names

    The growing complexity of our societies and the increasing presence of cascading, compounding and multi-hazard risks, require systematical analysis of what effectively enhances resilience. This calls for a holistic, inclusive approach connecting disaster risk theories from governance, sociology, anthropology, psychology, construction engineering and communication, at local and national levels. Effective community interaction with authorities is key to reducing disaster risks.

    Existing frameworks struggle to explain reconstruction decisions and circumstances that determine the impact of interventions on resilience. This panel aims to gather concepts, ideas, and experiences which can contribute to holistic frameworks for crisis and risk communication and decision-making by authorities, and also consider the needs, local conditions, and the direct engagement with local communities in the preparedness, response and recovery processes.

    The concepts of social vulnerability and resilience have been increasingly applied in disaster literature (Tierney, 2019; Orru et al. 2022), but their communicative drivers have remained understudied. This panel attracts papers that explore how communication-related factors may affect people’s capacity to prepare for and respond to hazards and crises. Contributions may include theoretical advancements as well as empirical studies (see, e.g., Hansson et al., 2020, 2021).

    The panel is particularly interested in how various actors have adjusted their communication practices to enhance access, understandability, and response to risk and crisis during recent complex hazardous events. The panel seeks insights and indicators from different fields, enabling integration by both public and private actors into prioritization, planning, and implementation or measures contributing to resilience. Contributions can touch on many themes including disaster resilience, disaster preparedness and prevention, access to safe housing, justice, localization, vulnerability, and civil engagement.

    Examples of questions are:

    • How can communication effectively influence decision-making to build resilience of vulnerable communities?
    • Which novel communication practices enhance accessibility or understandability of risk and crisis information, accounting for the different needs and preferences of individuals?
    • What has changed in risk or crisis communication following the lessons learned from recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, weather extremes (storms, floods, wildfires), or Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine?
    • How can interactions mitigate or prevent harm caused by people’s exposure to misinformation or disinformation?
    • How can risk or crisis communication lift crucial barriers to resilience?
    • What conditions are needed for effective interaction in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction processes?

    This panel may be connected to a Special Issue. Panel participants will receive support and guidance to submit their work to the special issue.


    Hansson, S., Orru, K., Siibak, A., Bäck, A., Krüger, M., Gabel, F., & Morsut, C. (2020). Communication-related vulnerability to disasters: A heuristic framework. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 51, 101931. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101931

    Hansson, S., Orru, K., Torpan, S., Bäck, A., Kazemekaityte, A., Meyer, S. F., Ludvigsen, J., Savadori, L., Galvagni, A., & Pigrée, A. (2021). COVID-19 information disorder: Six types of harmful information during the pandemic in Europe. Journal of Risk Research, 24(3–4), 380–393. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2020.1871058

    Orru, K., Hansson, S., Gabel, F., Tammpuu, P., Krüger, M., Savadori, L., Meyer, S. F.,Torpan, S., Jukarainen, P., Schieffelers, A., Lovasz, G., & Rhinard, M. (2022). Approaches to ‘vulnerability’ in eight European disaster management systems. Disasters, 46(3), 742–767. https://doi.org/10.1111/disa.12481

    Tierney, K. (2019). Disasters: A sociological approach. Polity Press.

  • Humanitarian Engineering Design

    Organizers: Humanitarian Engineering research group at the University of Twente represented by Alberto Martinetti, Peter Chemweno, Nina Jakubeit & Nikola Petrová

    The context:

    The world is facing challenges of increasing complexity. We believe integrated socio-technological solutions are needed to properly tackle the Humanitarian Challenges. Implementing socio-technological solutions at appropriate leverage points increases resilience, which is much needed in case of disasters.

    Hence, there is an apparent need to train a new generation of engineers that are knowledgeable in the fields of engineering as well as social sciences. Challenge-based learning seems to be a suitable educational approach for Humanitarian Engineering education. Challenge-based learning facilitates the acquisition of 21st-century skills by solving complex open-ended challenges that are set in a real-life context (Nichols, 2016).

    Will such engineering professionals have the skills and competencies to work together with underserved communities and create appropriate technological solutions that reflect their complex cultural, political and economic environment?

    Humanitarian Engineering and intercultural sustainability projects involve parties who are situated in very different ethnic contexts. Because the stakeholders have varying values and knowledge bases and access to resources, it is important to approach and start projects without assuming the problem. Broadly speaking, the aim is to tackle humanitarian challenges, but the underlying factors influencing the issues are not always well understood.

    Therefore, designers and engineers must design for sustainability and keep the concept in mind at all stages of a humanitarian engineering project. With foresight, you will realize that some projects may not even be worth pursuing because, for instance, they consume too many non-renewable resources throughout the lifecycle (i.e., building, operating, or maintaining a technology) or have countervailing impacts on other parts of the system.

    The panel aims to critically discuss vision, methods and practical studies to properly tackle global humanitarian engineering design projects and to successfully work on developing design concepts and solutions that achieve social, economic and/or environmental outcomes.

    This panel welcomes contributions that:

    • Propose innovative humanitarian engineering design toolkit;
    • Discuss challenges and solutions of humanitarian engineering design;
    • Investigate innovative design solutions that can support global humanitarian challenges;
    • Using innovative educational methods, such as CbL, to train humanitarian engineers

    Chair: Alberto Martinetti, Peter Chemweno, Nina Jakubeit & Nikola Petrová


    Nichols, M., Cator, K., Torres, M. (2016) Challenge Based Learner User Guide. Redwood City, CA: Digital Promise.

  • Interrogating localized approaches to disaster studies in Asia-Pacific

    Panel Convenors: Sneha Krishnan, Hanan Zaffar (OP Jindal Global University)

    Since the 2015 World Humanitarian Studies, held in Istanbul, Turkey “localization” gained increasing prominence, as one of the major aspects of the humanitarian reform agenda through its inclusion in the Grand Bargain (ARC, 2020). Often disasters in Global South get limited media attention and hence local actors are left behind to support in the recovery activities. Disasters in the Global South have provided examples where the local actors have not only acted as first responders but also played a critical role in longer-term recovery (Krishnan, 2017, Kuiper et al 2019). In countries where disasters affect conflict-ridden areas the legitimacy of the State is also often called upon question.

    Within the shifting humanitarian landscape, such trends towards greater localization have led many international stakeholders to reflect on their own organizational structure, and their approach to partnerships and capacity strengthening, and how these may need to adapt in response to structural and normative changes in the humanitarian sector  (van Brabant, 2017, Wall and Hedlund 2016).

    This panel calls for studies based on empirical evidence, policy analysis and country-specific case studies of how localization occurs. The panel will include the following topics:

    • What are the various approaches to locally led responses?
    • What are the enabling factors and barriers to community-led approaches?
    • How can government and non-governmental organizations measure and evaluate participatory outcomes?
    • How can existing humanitarian funding frameworks be remodeled to meet the localization objectives?

    We also welcome presentations that envision challenging reforms such as:

    • If local empowerment and leadership is better achieved in the absence of international actors, what does this reveal about how the sector has been approaching this goal in the past?
    • What are the explicit and implicit understandings of successful leadership in the humanitarian and development sectors, and how do these value systems promote or marginalize different actors?
    • How can local leadership and empowerment be amplified in the future?
    • What evidence can anti-colonial, feminist and Global South experiences provide to advance theory and practice in localization agenda?

    This panel is particularly interested to explore challenging geographical terrains such as the Ganga-Brahmaputra deltaic region, the great Himalayan terrains, the multi-hazardous Sub-Saharan African region amongst others. Journalists, practitioners, and policymakers sharing insights from recent humanitarian responses are also welcome.


    ARC (2020) A window of opportunity: learning from covid-19 to progress locally led Response and development think piece, Australian Red Cross, Humanitarian Advisory Group and the Institute for Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University

    Krishnan S (2017) Understanding the consortium model operating in humanitarian responses to recent disasters in Eastern India, Environment and Urbanisation, Vol 29, Issue 2, pp. 459 - 476 https://doi.org/10.1177/0956247817718430

    Kuiper et al (2019): Of locals and insiders: A “localized” humanitarian response to the 2017 mudslide in Mocoa, Colombia? Disaster Prevention Management Journal, www.emeraldinsight.com/0965-3562.htm

    Van Brabant, K. and Patel, S. (2017), Understanding the Localisation Debate, Global Mentoring Initiative.

    Wall, I. and Hedlund, K. (2016), “Localisation and Locally-led Crisis response: a literature review”, Local to Global Protection, Copenhagen, available at: www.local2global.info/wp-content/uploads/L2 GP_SDC_Lit_Review_LocallyLed_June_2016_final.pdf (accessed 11 April 2023).

  • Problem of practicing nuanced vulnerability assessment

    Panel chairs: Marianne Bach Mosebo (mmos@kp.dk), Maren Egedorf (maeg@kp.dk), Emergency and Risk Management, University College Copenhagen, Denmark; Kati Orru, Associate Professor in Sociology of Sustainability, University of Tartu, Estonia; Samuel Rufat, Professor of Geography, CY Cergy Paris University, France

    This panel focuses on how practitioners, policymakers and researchers can put into practice the need to nuance the vulnerability concept in disaster risk reduction and the humanitarian and development sectors. Disasters and crises do not discriminate between people, but the structural conditions under which people live do discriminate and put certain groups of people at a higher risk before, during and following disasters and crises

    1. The principle of Leaving No One Behind (LNOB) was adopted as part of the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development. To meet the target of LNOB we need to address vulnerability in a nuanced way that addresses and respects its complexity. The intersectionality approach has especially won traction in recent years and is being introduced “as an essential tool to identify needs more precisely and refine response”
    2. However, in disaster management policies and practice, the social side of vulnerability is often seen as an intrinsic and static characteristic of an individual or a group, such as people with disabilities, the elderly, or those living in poverty (see Orru et al. 2021 for a European overview). The consequence is that we risk not reaching the people most in need and continue to leave ‘someone behind’ and do harm (6). Emerging solutions, such as the “Intersectionality Resource Guide and Toolkit: An Intersectional Approach to Leave No One Behind”
    3. or dynamic scenario-based vulnerability assessment tool (Orru et al., 2022) provide applicable step-by-step ways of integrating a nuanced approach to vulnerability. However, capturing the vulnerability as a dynamic characteristic of individuals and support structures, that make individuals and communities susceptible to negative consequences in given situations, including the inability to access adequate resources to anticipate and cope with hazards (Morsut et al. 2021), has raised methodological challenges such as the limitations in data accessibility, scale, resolution, representation of the people, and social contexts (Rufat et al. 2019).Further, researchers’ and practitioners’ understandings of social vulnerability remains elusive (Fekete et al. 2023).

    The panel will discuss the practical experiences and novel solutions in reflecting the vulnerabilities across these key contributions:

    1. What is the state of the art in the ways to capture the multifaceted and intersecting factors (e.g. individual resilience, social capital or institutional support capacities) determining vulnerability and shaping the disaster outcomes for individuals and communities?
    2. What are the novel conceptual and methodological advancements in assessing social vulnerability post-hoc, in scenario-based analyses or forecasting vulnerabilities in the further future (e.g in 2060)?
    3. What are the lessons learned from vulnerability assessment practices on the ground? For example, vulnerability assessments as part of municipal or state risk assessments, NGO/INGO/UN assessments, or community self-assessment? We will round up the session with a discussion on how best to disseminate the results of our joint knowledge sharing to make an actual impact: a policy brief, blog posts, special issues of journal articles, or something completely different.


    1. Intersectionality in Disasters. Tanya Gulliver-Garcia. Center for Disaster Philanthropy. 2021.
    2. Impartiality and Intersectionality. Impartiality and Intersectionality - Humanitarian Law & Policy Blog. Hugo Slim. 2018.
    3. The Intersectional Humanitarian: Pursuing Sustainability. Blog. Alicia Kurt.
    4. Intersectionality Resource Guide and Toolkit: An Intersectional Approach to Leave No One Behind. UN Women. 2022.

    Fekete, A., & Rufat, S. (2023). Should everyone in need be treated equally? A European survey of expert judgment on social vulnerability to floods and pandemics to validate multi-hazard vulnerability factors. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 103527. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2023.103527

    Morsut, C., Kuran, C., Kruke, B. I., Orru, K., & Hansson, S. (2022). Linking resilience, vulnerability, social capital and risk awareness for crisis and disaster research. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 30(2), 137-147. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-5973.12375

    Orru, K., S. Hansson, F. Gabel, P. Tammpuu, M. Krüger, L. Savadori, et al. (2022) Approaches to ‘vulnerability’ in eight European disaster management systems. Disasters, 46(3), 742-767. https://doi.org/10.1111/disa.12481

    Orru, K., Klaos, M., Nero, K., Gabel, F., Hansson, S., & Nævestad, T. (2022). Imagining and assessing future risks: A dynamic scenario‐base social vulnerability analysis framework for disaster planning and response. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 1468-5973.12436. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-5973.12436

    Rufat, S., E. Tate, C.T. Emrich, and F. Antolini. (2019). How valid are social vulnerability models? Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 2019. 109(4), 1131-1153. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2018.1535887