We are committed to ensuring that our research is usable in practice. All of our ongoing projects include briefing notes intended to deliver action points. Each briefing note is backed by a full peer-review publication where you can find further details on the data, methods, and findings. To view briefing note and to download a copy, click on the title.

An Open Data Approach to Mapping Urban Drainage Infrastructure in Developing Communities2020

This study seeks to propose a standardized approach and methods for mapping urban drainage systems in developing communities. The research draws on a case study from the Philippines, which sought to conduct rapid elevation surveys and drainage assessments employing open source geographical information system (GIS) tools. We develop a standardized procedure for digitizing drainage systems using OpenStreetMap and Field Papers, as well as discuss applications of this data for drainage design. The results contribute to a methodological framework that can be replicated in other similar developing communities where study of urban drainage is needed for sustainable development and disaster risk reduction efforts.

Defining a Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements Research Agenda2020

In the face of rising challenges, the humanitarian system is facing unprecedented change that requires better incorporation of past learning, but also the generation of new knowledge that can support aid to better assist communities affected by conflict and disaster. For the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector, there is an unclear roadmap for future research. The Global Shelter Cluster, in its current strategy , has called for the need to “further analyse existing evidence and gaps and set out a broader operational field research agenda.” This priority is one of four key pillars aimed to strengthen humanitarian shelter and settlement actors’ ability to respond effectively to crises. This study aimed to prioritise research needs within the humanitarian shelter and settlements sector. Drawing on Delphi methods, we solicited opinions on research needs from a panel of humanitarian shelter and settlement experts over three rounds of online surveys.

Mitigating Infrastructure Disaster Losses through Asset Management in the Middle East and North Africa Region2020

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has seen the number of disasters triple since the 1980’s. These losses are amplified by vulnerable infrastructure and are increasingly linked to poor maintenance of transportation links. Asset management and disaster risk reduction professionals from the MENA region and Australia were interviewed to understand how asset management can reduce disaster impacts on transportation infrastructure systems. Twelve interviews were completed with experts from the MENA region and Australia. Australian participants were included to shed light on more developed asset management practices with a lens for applicability of lessons to the MENA region. The asset managers interviewed worked in the public and private sector, as well as for multilateral organisations.

Prioritising Key Messages for Safer Humanitarian Shelter2019

The ‘8 Build Back Safer Key Messages’ developed by the Global Shelter Cluster in 2014 following Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines have proved valuable in offering a ‘minimum checklist of disaster risk reduction construction techniques for owner-driven self-recovery.’ However, limited resources and misunderstanding often result in households selectively applying the concepts and there is a need to prioritise these messages in future responses. Current formats make distilling the relative importance of components difficult and there is a need to more systematically distinguish the messages. This research conducted a Delphi survey of 12 humanitarian shelter and structural engineering experts using the Analytical Hierarchy Process, a method that uses pairwise comparisons to rank items, to aid in further understanding the relative importance of humanitarian shelter key messages.