top of page


UK Alliance for Disaster Research (UKADR) / DRG joint workshop part 2/6: Overview of the event

Networking Lunch

Informal, very helpful and appreciated for an initial opportunity of getting to know people before the workshops begin. The only constructive criticism would be the welcoming of name badges in future.


Mark Pelling, Amy Donovan and Adrian Butcher set out the background context and development, aims and objectives of each of their organisations brilliantly well for all the newbies in the room. This really helped to add a layer of context to the journey so far and the direction of travel intended and how this event, intended aims and objectives of the day fit into this in short / medium and long-term forward-thinking re-view.

Discussion 1: Science at the Mid-term Review - Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

Chaired by Catherine Marsden (FCDO) with panel discussion from Debra Roberts (IPCC Co-Chair, Working Group II); Dilanthi Amaratung (University of Huddersfield and UNDRR European Science and Technology Advisory Group) and Virginia Murray (UK Health Security Agency).

Key questions;

  • Is government really listening to the science and do they understand it?

  • How do we influence major global reviews and demonstrate leadership?

  • How can we leverage data and scientific approaches to deliver evidence in a meaningful and interpretable way to drive risk informed evidence led decision making?

  • How can we remove or reduce uncertainty and amplify the relevancy of the research to policy makers and practitioners?

  • How can we ensure sustainable research and responsible innovation? By scaling pilots and increasing funding available. Particularly for strategically significant pilot projects. (A key example that comes to my mind – the UKRI Local Policy Innovation Partnerships (LPIPs)

  • How can we scale up delivery and implementation of the Sendai framework, the SDG’s and the IPCC recommendations.

  • Where is the roadmap interlinking all the high-level policy agendas and the advice to government on how to implement it in their national and international policy?

  • How can we scale up and increase cooperation, participation and strategic ownership?

Key points

  • The fundamental need for transdisciplinary, transboundary research with regards to complex risk management

  • The fundamental need for disaster risk reduction to become a strategic national priority with regards to the future risk landscape

  • Research into multi-hazard risk management, complex interactions, cascading and compound risks needs urgent rapid funding

  • The UK has significant scientific expertise and a history of global leadership in this space, but that reputation is waning owing to a lack of strategic ownership. The UK Government did not send a minister to represent the UK at the Sendai mid-term review.

  • The need for shared discourse, terminology and language to ensure interoperability. The Hazard information profiles is one leading practise example and the review into version 2 is due to begin imminently

  • Invert the issue, how much are disasters costing us and how much do we stand to save. Communicate clearly in plain English recommendations and actions people can take based on the research, not just government, but whole system, whole cycle, whole of society.

Discussion II: Collaboration and coproduction

Chaired by Jess Camburn (ELHRA), with panellists, John Rees (BGS), Demet Intepe (Practical Action) and Andrew Collins, (Northumbria University).

Key points

  • The need for challenge led research, driven by the public and practitioners to solve real world problems and have real world value, meaning and efficacy.

  • The need to reinforce and uphold the principles of collaboration and co-production; to ensure morality and ethics drive fair, just, equitable, contextually appropriate partnerships of equality by addressing inherent power imbalances and biases.

  • The absolute need for diversity, inclusion and equality, the need for diversity of thoughts, theory, experiences, background, perspectives, insights and knowledge to solve complex problems.

  • Dear funders – encourage and facilitate long-term, sustainable research practises. Create a mixed research investment portfolio, of short (1-5yr), mid (1-10yr) and long term (1-15yr) projects that are reflective of the needs of the research by way of resourcing and efficacy. Consider broader research periods for meaning, value and efficacy. Other countries work on 15-year timescales; we only seem to work on 1-5 year timescales.

  • Barriers in access, language, participation, need to be accounted for and resourcing provided to overcome them rather than simply citing them as limitations to the research. Funders need to allow for agile, flexible adjustment to research proposals, methodologies, resources and plans to overcome real world problems.

  • A need to prioritise equity for impact and actionable outputs the benefit people, communities and society.

Discussion III: Interdisciplinarity and career progression

Chaired by Jaideep Gupte (Director of Research, Strategy, Innovation Arts and Humanities Research Council, UKRI) with panellists Julie Morin (UKADR, NEREIDS), Jerry Phillips (Bristol University) and Richard Dawson (University of Newcastle and GCRF Water Security & Sustainable Development Hub).

Key points

  • Collaboration with other disciplines is a major barrier. Communicating our relevancy is crucial. Stakeholder engagement and communication skill are key to overcoming this barrier and should be an essential skill to all researchers.

  • Having contextual understanding of other disciplines and how they operate is a necessity, they have their own internal barriers and cultures regarding research, innovation practise that we need to be aware of and understand – the example given of another discipline; where having more than one author on a paper dilutes the impact of the publication.

  • The culture of publish or perish must change, this short-termist culture is toxic to meaningful, value driven research and innovation. It is a hindrance and it is harmful to the end users and the researchers. We should be promoting quality at all costs over quantity.

  • Short-term timelines are the single biggest issue repeated throughout the day – it is not conducive to productive, meaningful high value outputs with real world impact. Everything should be done to bring this to a stop. The recommendation could potentially be flip the system. End users state their research needs, they become the commissioners, researchers develop their proposals in collaboration, the best pitch in terms of value, impact and outputs for the end user should get the bid, and the funders should compete to resource it with ultimately the end user and researcher determining which funder is a best fit.

  • Not enough Funded PhD opportunities for new early career researchers, limited conversion rates from Masters to doctorate.

  • Retention of skills and knowledge in the existing community without a national mentoring and upskilling, career pathway support to pass on knowledge and skills. Something organisations like the ICPEM should seek to address.

  • PhDs are not equally funded between research councils; PhD’s are not fairly funded at all. The funding does not event qualify as matching proposals for universal basic income. UKRI should take ownership of this issue immediately. To ensure fairness to all students and provide all doctoral students from all disciplines with a set universal basic income. Organisations like UKRI and the royal society of arts should begin to implement and apply their own research to their own practises for greater social impact and value RSA: and UKRI; Universal Basic Income and contemporary welfare policy reform

  • Capability, capacity and skills, long-term CPD offerings, standardisation, professionalization, accreditation and upskilling in the workforce. Skills and knowledge exchange programmes between science, policy and practise would facilitate greater relevance, appropriacy, shared understanding, partnership and interoperability.


Final remarks, summary and reflections from the day by Jaideep Gupta (AHRC), Amy Donovan (UKADR) and Mark Pelling (DRG).


bottom of page