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Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or room to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
TUE5.3: Capacity building and awareness
Time: Tuesday, 28/Aug/2012: 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Session Chair: Marie-Valentine FLORIN, International Risk Governance Council
Location: Sertig



GRIP-CERAM Shanghai - a new model of capacity building

Jiahong WEN1,2, Carlos VILLACIS3, Jianping YAN3, Lei CHEN1,2, Lijun YAN1,2, Zhenyang HUA1,2, Zhane YIN1,2, Veronica GRASSO3

1Shanghai Normal University, China, People's Republic of; 2GRIP-CERAM Shanghai, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234; 3GRIP/BCPR/UNDP, 11-13 Chemin des Anémones, 1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland

Since the establishment of the GRIP-backed Center of Excellence for Risk Assessment and Management (GRIP-CERAM Shanghai) that is jointly sponsored by GRIP (Global Risk Identification Programme) of UNDP and Shanghai Normal University in October, 2011, the center has established close cooperative relations with UNDP China, national and Shanghai local governments as well as academic institutions. The cooperative mechanism has been formed, based on the long-term cooperation in disaster risk assessment and management between the three sectors: (i) International organizations, (ii) China’s academic institutions and (iii) Government departments, which aims to cope with the challenge brought by natural and technological disasters.

The primary mission of the GRIP-CERAM Shanghai includes: (i) to solve the problem of academic research divorced from government’s and social needs; (ii) to become the open platform for domestic and international cooperation in disaster risk fields; (iii) to practically enhance the South-South cooperation in disaster risk assessment and management; (iv) to undertake multi-discipline researches on key issues in disaster risk fields.

The ongoing work of GRIP-CERAM Shanghai focuses on: (i) Risk-prevention-based safe city and resilience building; (ii) Community-based disaster risk management; (iii) Coastal area disaster risk assessment; (iv) Tourism destination disaster risk assessment and emergency management; (v) National Disaster Observatory and Urban Disaster Observatory(NDO/UDO).

GRIP-CERAM Shanghai aims to become an irreplaceable force pushing China’s comprehensive disaster risk assessment, prevention, management, decision-making and technology forward, and also a well-known institution focusing on consultation, technical development, popular science as well as information sharing and training in risk analysis and decision-making fields in the world.

The role of societal context in severe technical accidents

Wolfgang KROMP1, Iouli ANDREEV1, Irina ANREEVA1, Martin GIERSCH2, Helga KROMP-KOLB3

1BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria, ISR; 2San Pierro a Grado Nuclear Research Group, University of Pisa, Italy; 3BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria, gw/N

From an analysis of the accident in Chernobyl 20 years ago and from comparisons with other technological catastrophes of the last decades, social and institutional conditions are derived that are at the root of serious technical accidents. The guiding questions of the study are: (1) Were the organisational and structural conditions suitable to support the recognition of technical weaknesses of the plant before its installation or at least before an accident occurred? (2) How did the systems handle recognized technical weaknesses and precursors of the accident? How was the resulting risk taken into account? (3) Were the consequences of potential accidents minimised through extensive prior analyses of potential accident sequences? (3) Was the handling of the accident adequate or was the catastrophe possibly even amplified by lack of insight? Root causes underlying technological failures causing the different accidents and possibly human errors triggering them, were found to be economic considerations, errors of appraisal of limitations of technology and ensuing complacence, inadequacy of checks and balances, insufficient spread of information, prestige thinking and corporate interest of the involved industry. While nuclear technology and safety have been improved since Chernobyl, most of the root causes have not been addressed – they might even have gained relevance. The accident at Fukushima Daichi, and even more so the information communicated during and after the Fukushima accident by the nuclear establishment give indications in this direction. As Brychanov, the former director of Chernobyl nuclear power plant put it resignedly: Chernobyl has not taught anything to anyone.

READ - Risk Exposure Awareness and Deflection - creating an organization-wide risk awareness program


Bricade Ltd, New Zealand

System and Data breaches can be game changers for organizations that suffer major incidents. The key is to prevent the significant breach from happening in the first place.

That means making Risk Awareness a part of the corporate ethos, and training employees to focus on this issue. Unfortunately, many companies don't dedicate sufficient resources to this area, and no doubt we'll be discussing information security and data breaches for many years to come.

The culture embedded in the terms CERTs and SCIRTs say it all: emergency response, respectively incident response. It’s all about taking re-active action after the damage is done. It’s all about fixing the damage, as opposed to pro-active preventing that damage from happening in the first place.

CERTs and CSIRTs require a paradigm shift - The pure focus on technological risks only needs a proper shake-up. There are many more types of risk an organization is exposed to.

What You Don’t Know That You Don’t Know.

Throughout the organization a full awareness is needed that the baddies are at least 2 years ahead of the defenders. That those baddies only need to focus on that one single point of weakness, while defenders need to guard 360/360 - 360-degree, 24x7 and holistic. It is of crucial importance all employees, management and owners of any organization take responsibility – if you cross the street without looking, you know what may happen. If you are gullible in cyberspace, it’s nothing different than the real world.

Holistic Risk Management can only be achieved once organizational security program is recognized as a benefit and a contributor to profit. The READ approach is designed to achieve such holistic Risk Awareness amongst all employees, management and business partners.

Seven elements for capacity development for disaster risk reduction


1LUCRAM, Lund University, Sweden; 2Training Regions Research Centre, Lund University, Sweden

Disasters are not evenly distributed in the world. Developing countries are bearing the brunt of the death and destruction, and the international community has identified capacity development for disaster risk reduction as a vital tool to substantially reduce disaster losses. However, not all capacity development projects have resulted in improved capacity for disaster risk reduction in the intended countries.

The purpose of this conference paper is to present a framework with seven requisite elements for effective capacity development for disaster risk reduction and give examples of its application:

(1) Terminology – understanding key concepts as well as how other stakeholders understand them.

(2) Local context – understanding the basic political and institutional, social and cultural, physical and environmental, and economic context of the project, including who are its stakeholders.

(3) Ownership – ensuring local stakeholders having ownership over the capacity development process.

(4) Capacity assessment – understanding risks and the current capacities available for disaster risk reduction, and determining commonly accepted capacity development objectives among stakeholders.

(5) Roles and responsibilities – ensuring local stakeholders to assume leading roles and external stakeholders to assume supporting and coaching roles, and that all stakeholders understand this division.

(6) Mix of activities – addressing capacity development needs in a systematic and holistic manner, acknowledging dependencies between stakeholders, sectors, levels, etc.

(7) Monitoring, evaluation and learning – ensuring continuous monitoring and timely evaluation of the actual effects of capacity development projects and their activities, and use these inputs for learning.

These seven elements have proven useful as a framework for analysing stakeholders’ notions of capacity development for disaster risk reduction, for gap analysis and evaluation of existing capacity development projects, and may be used to inform the design of future capacity development projects.

Social learning in education – an important step in practical integration of preventive risk reduction and adaptation to climate change

Magnus JOHANSSON1,2, Lars NYBERG1, Mariele EVERS1,3, Max HANSSON1

1Centre for Climate and Safety, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden; 2Evaluation and Monitoring Department, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, Karlstad, Sweden; 3Bergisch University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany

The potential of linking the preventive phase of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) with the adaptation in human society to forecasted consequences from climate change, has received growing acceptance internationally, but the integration of both fields is still at an embryonic stage. Integration in this case implies transdisciplinary approaches in complex fields where liabilities and stakeholders normally are found in different sectors and levels in society. For integration to be successful, a first step is to create platforms and contexts where participants may generate raised awareness about each other’s roles and evolve a shared problem identification. Social learning is a concept that has been used in many different contexts where uncertainty and change are crucial and challenging. It has earlier been linked as a suitable approach to issues such as public participation, governance or natural resource management. Here it is used in education, gathering among others stakeholders working within the fields of Flood Risk Management, DRR and Climate Change Adaptation at local or regional level around the two Swedish lakes Vänern and Mälaren. Teaching arrangements and didactic elements are described for the two pilot-courses that were held 2009-2010. The academic institutional arrangements favoured an open exchange and knowledge building, with local examples of management and strategies repeatedly in focus during several study visits in different cities along the shoreline. The elements of social learning facilitated the build-up of shared holistic perspectives, identified areas in need of development or research efforts and contributed to informal as well as formal relationships among participants.

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