What is Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)?

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) defines disaster risk as the potential loss of life, injury, or destroyed or damaged assets which could occur to a system, society or a community in a specific period of time as a function of hazard, exposure, vulnerability and capacity. So, disaster risk reduction is aimed at preventing new and reducing existing disaster risk and managing residual risk.

The Project

We aim to understand how citizen science is currently applied to disaster risk reduction (DRR) objectives in the face of natural hazards, and how it might be more effectively applied in the future. In this context, our definition of citizen science is as follows: Citizen science places citizens at the centre of a process that generates new knowledge for disaster risk reduction.” You can find a discussion of the terminology used across several types of citizen science here.

By trying to understand current success and how it might be improved for the future we are including ideas and techniques that might more normally be associated with the social sciences and humanities as well as the traditional sciences in our review.

Our definition uses the word ‘knowledge’ instead of ‘science’ to define the landscape of DRR-focused citizen science projects across the world.   This is because scientific, socio-scientific, cultural and political knowledge can all contribute to the reduction of disaster risk.  So, our attempt to understand the crucial ingredients for success in citizen also needs to draw on these knowledge traditions. In the context of this project the sphere from which the technique draws is of secondary importance to identifying how and when positive outcomes occur for communities at risk.



Details of the project, including our aims and objectives, and all of the individuals and institutions who are contributing.

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Project Map

An interactive map of the projects from around the world, we have encountered where they relate to DRR.

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Our collaborative blogspace containing reflections on projects around the world, our findings as well as citizen science and DRR more generally.

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A curated list of resources, designed for students and academics. Please feel free to suggest yours too!

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Citizen Science for Disaster Risk Reduction

This is the home of the ‘Citizen Science for DRR’ project, bringing you updates, resources and reports on the project’s findings.

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