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RE-Energize DR3: Solutions for Data Processes and Stakeholder Engagement

Disaster risk reduction and resilience (DR3) is a cross-cutting issue in the context of sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 13.1 (Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries). The effective implementation of SDG 13.1 requires responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels (SDG 16.7).

The interdisciplinary consortium part of the Belmont funded project Re-Energize DR3 is lead by Prof Catalina Spataru who says that equitable DR3 involves a mixed of interdisciplinary methods, complex data processes, and stakeholder engagement across governance levels. More importantly, two elements play a major role in DR3 implementation: ensuring an efficient exchange of information/data processes across stakeholder groups, and participatory and equitable decision-making to influence DR3 processes.

Today, the teams from UCL (UK) and UNC (USA) that are part of the Re-Energize DR3 consortium delivered a unique session under the NCSE Drawdown Conference to showcase their innovative interdisciplinary approaches for information sharing, data processes as well as stakeholder selection and engagement. The NCSE Drawdown Conference focuses on the physical realities of climate change and the way it impacts people, ecosystems, markets, and how implementing climate solutions produces positive co-benefits to society, the economy and the planet. Split in nine ‘Thematic Pathways’, participants were able to engage with topics spanning water scarcity and water quality, science and policy interface, diverse perspectives and shared approaches in resilience and sustainability, climate solutions, innovation in sustainability education, governance of the resource nexus and combined impact of multiple stressors such as climate and COVID.

Under the ‘Data and Technology Innovation for Climate Solutions and Sustainability’ theme, we discuss practices in integrating data technologies, and identify strengths and weaknesses of multi-level governance approaches with respect to vulnerability. Vulnerability in the context of DR3 is multi-faceted and can be based in discrimination, geography or isolation, governance or policy, socio-economic status, and/or disaster exposure. We discuss how to approach stakeholder identification and engagement process in the context of multi-level governance for DR3 to ensure that no one is left behind when implementing machine-based solutions. With regards to stakeholder identification and categorization, we found that the groups we considered to be vulnerable and most impacted by DR3 were often characterized as low power, high urgency, and varying levels of legitimacy with its definition.

Shifting the debate to practices that integrates data technologies tools and methodologies, we discuss how potential partnerships could help in the measurement and monitoring of disaster risk reduction. The coordination of disparate organisational and technical elements is a key aspect that can promote the sharing of best practices and data, using real-time maps and highlighting vulnerable areas and communities by incorporating different indicators from multiple sources.

Speakers at the event: from UCL: Prof Catalina Spataru, Priscila Carvalho; from UNC: Dr Elizabeth Christenson, Prof Felix Dodds, Ranger Ruffins

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