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UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

'Disaster passed'. Resilient Caribbean futures via shared knowledge of recent disasters.

Disclaimer: The data for this page has been produced from IATI data published by UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Please contact them (Show Email Address) if you have any questions about their data.

Project Data Last Updated: 27/08/2020

IATI Identifier: GB-GOV-13-FUND--GCRF-AH_S00579X_1

Description

The 'Small Island Developing States' (SIDS) of the Caribbean are at the frontline of our changing environment and strategies to respond and cope with their consequences are now of paramount importance. The damage from the hurricanes of 2017 demonstrate starkly the challenge such countries face in dealing with recurrent high intensity hazards; on average the Caribbean incurs $835 million of losses from hurricanes per annum. This is in addition to the challenges posed by 'everyday' risks e.g. slope stability, water resources and the rainy season where longer term planning is blighted by the annualised expenditure subsequently incurred. Swift, strong, and inclusive recovery reduces impact on livelihoods and well-being and improves resilience towards future events. Attention to re-building strong physical infrastructure is important, but, long term benefits accumulate faster when strategies are inclusive and clearly tailored to the local cultural, social and physical environment (Hallegatte et al., 2018). This underpins the 'leave no one behind' strategy of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and demands disaster risk reduction strategies that place a strong emphasis on a wide range of knowledges as set out by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030). Our recent research includes three fundamental findings: (1) cultural responses to hazardous events in the Caribbean contain powerful knowledge about impacts, response and recovery and (2) the process of their transmission provides a strong mechanism to include communities in their own preparedness and recovery. (3) the historical as well as the recent past contains important knowledge that deepens understanding of how and why people place themselves in areas of high risk (problems) but reveals important strategies or moments when national and international response acted to counteract the impacts of hazardous events (solutions). The aim of this 'Follow-on-Fund' proposal is to share these findings to highlight the importance of cultural and historical knowledge in disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean. We want to put our research to work to help shape effective strategies, both directly in a country where they are responding to future hydro-meteorological risks while recovering from a geophysical disaster (Montserrat) and indirectly in the United Kingdom via agencies responsible for providing support and advice during and after hazardous events. We will create a new exhibit for communities on Montserrat, working throughout with MVO, involving the Montserrat Red Cross and Montserrat National Trust to access a wide cross-section of local views. However, we want to push this engagement further: our findings do not just map out a means for a more inclusive approach to sharing disaster risk reduction information locally, but contain positive experiences of transformation and coping that could inform policy and disaster response at an international level. Thus we also want to create an exhibit for the UK, demonstrating our findings across Dominica, St. Vincent and Montserrat aimed at those responsible for shaping response and policy in the English-speaking SIDS in the Caribbean. To do this we are working with the Overseas Development Institute, creating new partnerships with the British Red Cross, and responding to advice from the Emergency Response Team from the Department for International Development. Collectively, we will work together to understand how to create effective engagement. Finally, we will draw both elements together using a website as a digital tool to bridge between the different communities, as a means to further enhance conversations between these groups and to document and continue the process of sharing and learning, including our own.

Objectives

This 'Follow-on-Fund' proposal has three main aims. The first two are to (1) share the findings of a series of research projects that have highlighted the importance of cultural and historical knowledge in disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean and (2) engage in a process of collaborative learning with our partners responsible for disaster risk reduction as we develop the vehicles for how we share this information. Both of these will help us acheive our third aim (3) understanding how we can effectively integrate and celebrate cultural and natural histories and how this can or should change strategies for disaster risk reduction. To achieve these aims we have several objectives: (a) co-create and design two mobile exhibitions. One will be for use on Montserrat to celebrate, preserve and document the geo-cultural heritage of Montserrat, as well as act as a catalyst for interactions between differing sectors of society. Our partners in developing this will be the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and through them we will also work with the Government of Montserrat, the Montserrat National Trust and Montserrat Red Cross. The second will be used in the United Kingdom, and aimed at creating a dialogue with policymakers and donors of aid in international development. We will draw on our research in Dominica, St. Vincent and Montserrat to demonstrate the value of disaster risk reduction and try to influence ways the United Kingdom contributes to improved resilience and preparedness in the Caribbean. Our partners in developing this exhibit will be the Seismic Research Centre of the university of the West indies, the British Red Cross and the Emergency Planning Group of the Department for International Development. (b) extend our knowledge base of local experience of volcanic eruption and hurricanes on Montserrat through community story-telling workshops, to increase the breadth and depth of engagement (c) create a space in which we can reflect on our progress and learning so we can understand how to integrate equitable, inclusive impact with policy-relevant insights. We will collect information on how and why people learn from the exhibit and reflect on the variety of stakeholders that ineract with the exhibit. (d) Develop a website that will allow the project team to use the exhibit to find accessible means to share existing research findings, as well as to document how our own understanding evolves. We also want to use this as a way to connect the diverse diaspora of impacts communities in the Caribbean and their varying experiences. All of our partners will work with us on developing these materials and a significant dimension to this digital archive will be the encouragement of further sharing. Our ultimate goal is to put our research 'to work' to help shape effective equitable disaster risk reduction strategies, both directly in a country where they are responding to future hydro-meteorological risks while recovering from a geophysical disaster (Montserrat) and indirectly in the United Kingdom via agencies responsible for providing support and advice during and after hazardous events.

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