IDRiM2024 | The 14th International Conference of the International Society for the INTEGRATED DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT

Special Sessions

How do the interlinkages between technology, knowledge, and perception relate to Natech disasters and vice-versa?

Session rationale:

Recent crises and disasters not only unveil the systemic character of risk and its impacts but bring about the question why disaster losses remain high even in technological advanced and knowledge-based societies. In this vein, natural hazard triggered technological accidents (known as Natechs), that is accidents resulting from the juxtaposition of both natural and technological hazards and systems influenced and reshaped by anthropogenic activities and factors, provide a suitable basis for discussing the complex nexus between technology, knowledge and risk perception keeping in mind disaster risk reduction implementation. 

Session organizers:
Panel discussion

Focusing on NATECHs, the main themes for discussion are:

  • Interrelationships between the technological systems (e.g., industrial installations, safety
    systems), risks, and disaster – The role of technology in DRR. Industrial and public over-
    dependency to technologies and government systems.
  • How hierarchies of risks and risk acceptability are constructed. The role of experts and
    expertise versus public/ community involvement and participation in disaster risk
  • How disaster risk knowledge can become usable, useful, and used in disaster risk
    reduction particularly in the case of complex risks such as Natechs – Barriers in knowledge
    application for DRR. Paths from disaster to learning to enabling change towards
    sustainable risk reduction.

Macro-regional approach for disaster management in the Danube River Region

Session rationale:

At this stage no regional framework exists that supports the effective coordination of disaster response and preparedness activities in the Danube River region. Against this background have the EU-funded project DAREnet and the EUSDR Priority Area 5 Disaster Management Working Group established a strategic collaboration with the aim to streamline ongoing activities1 and exploit existing synergies. The envisioned macro-regional framework aims to improve the effectiveness of disaster preparedness and response to enhance the management of environmental risks in the Danube Region. This will be achieved by focussing on three main activities:

  1. Enable COOPERATION (i.e. improve the management and coordination of volunteers, provide a platform for different stakeholders to connect and support the building of partnerships)
  2. Encourage HARMONIZATION (i.e. support the development of standardized information management tools, strengthen Host Nation Support arrangements)
  3. Support INNOVATION (i.e. widen and improve training opportunities, standardize procedures and enable the use of new technologies, connect existing training facilities and strengthen their capacities)

The development of this macro-regional framework targets the following outcomes:

  • Contribute to the achievements of the EUSDR PA5 Action Plan
  • Improve regional cooperation among disaster response stakeholders
  • Improve identification and uptake of innovation
  • Improve the implementation of DG ECHO Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network

Hence, this session will be directly contributing to the main objective of the IDRIM 2022 conference.

Session organizers:

Improving Disaster Risk Management Practice: Engagement 🡨🡪 Activism

Session rationale:

This Special Session Proposal addresses IDRiM 2022’s theme of “Challenges of Moving from Research to Practice.” The idea that disaster risk management research should address important organizational, social, and cultural issues to produce actionable knowledge is at the heart of “engagement.” Indeed, disaster risk management researchers often “engage” with local communities, regional organizations, or national institutions to co-construct knowledge and drive transformation. However, what happens when communities, organizations, or institutions refuse to engage due to perceived threats to political, economic, or parochial interests? When should researchers seeking to affect change consider shifting from a strategy of engagement to a strategy of activism using vigorous public campaigning that may involve media outreach, letter-writing and petitions, demonstrations, protests, or other forms of advocacy? Under what conditions? And with what consequences? Numerous researchers have shown how collective action is relevant to support local campaigns connected to rights and justice in the aftermath of disasters (or in avoiding disasters in the first place). This roundtable asks IDRiM members and stakeholders to reflect on their own choices concerning engagement and activism to better understand the uncertainties, tradeoffs, benefits, and limitations. Questions explored will include:

  • What strategies can/should researchers use to coax reluctant communities, organizations, or institutions to engage?
  • When should engaged research transform into public activism?
  • What are the tradeoffs (professionally and personally) when considering an “engaged” or “activist” orientation to disaster risk management research and practice?
Session organizers:


When should researchers seeking to affect change consider shifting from a strategy of engagement to a strategy of activism using vigorous public campaigning or other forms of advocacy?

New advances in Multi-Hazard and Multi-Risk Analysis and Management

Session rationale:

There is an increased scientific and policy consensus that approaches to single natural hazard risk assessment and management underestimate risks and result in inadequate management approaches. Therefore, in order to build disaster resilience, there is a need for multi-hazard and multi-risk assessment and management, taking into account a variety of hazard interrelationships (e.g., triggering, compound, consecutive, amplifying). In this session, we will explore ways to characterize multi-hazard interrelationships, present innovative methodologies for multi-risk assessment based on systemic risk thinking, and explore enabling and hindering environments of multi-risk management and governance. In particular, the session will focus on key prospects and challenges ahead and how they could be overcome.

Session organizers:

Disaster Mitigation and Earth Observations: The European Plate Observation System (EPOS) perspective

Session rationale:

In order to take preventive action on the effects of natural and man-made phenomena on society, we need to understand more about the Earth’s processes responsible for them. Novel measurement technologies, additional sensors and increasing data processing capacities offer new opportunities to answer some of the currently most pressing societal and environmental questions.

Over time, both at the national and European levels, vast seismological, geophysical, and geological data has accumulated and been used by various research networks to better understand the Earth. Consequently, Europe needs to develop a long-term strategy and infrastructure capable of investigating the physical processes that control earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis and the processes that control the Earth’s tectonics and surface dynamics. Therefore, comprehending these processes and forecasting them has required coordination at the European and national levels. Since 2010, a pan-European initiative has been launched to integrate the existing Earth Physics research infrastructure. These infrastructures are distributed in different European countries, and massive exchanges of data, information, and data processing models occur.

Earth observation data can contribute to more effective decision-making, producing information that can be used to identify emerging environmental problems and changes and to monitor ongoing natural phenomena. The EPOS Delivery Framework aims to support this endeavour in the solid Earth domain by providing access to data, products, and services supporting multidisciplinary analyses for a wide range of users.

This session aims to bring together different stakeholders involved in disaster mitigation and Earth observation activities, from data and service providers to end-users, providing an opportunity to share best practices and experiences and providing opportunities to advance our understanding of disaster risk, highlighting, in the same time, existing gaps and future research directions. We especially welcome presentations looking at existing available monitoring data and research-based services, figuring out feasible solutions and mechanisms to enable decision-makers, urban and land planners, and disaster managers to have access to actionable information and data useful to their daily work.

Session organizers:

Community Participation in Disaster Risk Reduction worldwide: Emic and Etic Perspectives

Session rationale:

There is increasing recognition of the importance of community participation in integrated disaster risk management. In spite of the fact that community participation has become a buzzword within Disaster Risk Reduction, there is no consensus regarding its definition, its process, its techniques, and its outcomes. Community participation has been defined, understood, and practiced in a variety of ways by scholars and practitioners. Its implementation remains uncertain due to the lack of an agreed-upon framework. The problem becomes particularly acute in the regions such as Asia and South Pacific, the most disaster-prone region of the world. Community-based disaster risk management or participatory DRR has been defined, designed, and implemented globally in accordance with western philosophical perspectives. For example in South Asia, this etic perspective of community participation poses a significant challenge to generalizing any systematic approach and developing tools for implementation of community-based disaster risk reduction in real life. Practitioners often abandon community-based DRR while attempting to forcefully incorporate borrowed concepts, mechanisms, and tools of participation in their indigenous systems. This etic approach to DRR fails to recognize locally available good practices and models of community-based DRR in Asia. The so-called theoretically successful participatory models and approaches have no real-life impact on a community’s disaster resilience. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the community involvement in disaster recovery in Asia from both an emic and etic perspective in order to establish a realistic, feasible strategy for the region that has the highest rate of disasters. In this session, we invite case studies, project experiences, field surveys, and models and frameworks related to community participation in disaster risk reduction globally. 

Session organizer:

Minority communities in DRR

Session rationale:

This session aims to present and discuss the roles of minority communities (e.g., racial/cultural/religious communities) in DRR. Although such minorities tend to be vulnerable in a disaster, some of them have worked as critical stakeholders in DRR. To increase the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction activities at all levels—one of the critical themes of IDRiM conference—, we have to pay attention to such communities, and thus the session fits the conference. The session also welcomes the presentations not only by researchers but also by practitioners and stakeholders.

Session organizer:

Importance of DRR training in Management Education in the Context of Covid 19 pandemic: New Pedagogy and Possibilities

Session rationale:

The main theme of the special session relates to the Covid 19 pandemic that has impacted every individual across countries. There is a clear disruption of the so called stable system that the developed world prided themselves on. Politics, society, economy all are going through a radical flux. The pandemic has brought in focus the need for a review of the development plans. The priorities have to be reworked as health, employment, education, business, environment et al have to be reviewed from a totally different perspective.


Management education is one of the most attractive programs across the globe. Its ability to fill multiple roles in varying countries’ environment has created a vast demand for it. This growth is now visible across the globe. The pandemic has led the management education community to do and in-depth soul searching about the curriculum, pedagogy and learning outcomes in business schools. Owing to globalization multifarious changes are noticed in the functioning of industries across the world requiring manpower to move beyond the simple knowledge orientation. The young professionals receiving training in Business Schools have to be trained in the area of both manmade and natural disasters that are creating new normal situations in both personal and professional lives. Business today cannot ignore the disaster resilience factors as climate change and environmental issues impact business immensely. The need appears to be a seamless integration of the teaching –learning process, career counseling and the career services activities to ensure that the business schools meet the demand of making the world a better place by developing the right skills and values among the future professionals. Business schools have to offer the answers. Management Education has undergone remarkable changes over the years and today with online delivery in response to the pandemic that has engulfed the world, it stands at a juncture where the big question staring at its face is should the design and delivery be changed. With major extension in the scope of Management Education number of new challenges has also emerged. The academic institutions are trying to innovate in the course content as well as delivery to effectively disseminate the management curriculum. Both faculty members and students need to be brought up to speed on online delivery through expert training. Today both the academic institutions and the business world are trying to integrate a hybrid model of online and offline modes in its working structure. Therefore new skills have to be inculcated among students to cope with these demands. The mental and physical health of students have emerged as an area that requires immediate action to ensure holistic growth of the future citizens of the world. However, the crisis has also led to the widening of the learning horizon for both faculty members and students as the accessibility of international faculty and students has become easier. There is a spirit of collaboration and cooperation globally and this has helped in students getting exposure to international management teaching processes. All this has led to exploring new areas of knowledge and practice.


The purpose of this special session is to engage all concerned in a serious discussion with a view to revamping management education as a prelude to better stakeholder participation and viability in the present global economy. The special session will examine the issues that need to be addressed and a possible direction, with emphasis on content, design and delivery – so that management education can be rejuvenated to its glory again by deliberating on the suggested list of sub-themes given below:  

  • Understand the paradigm shift in global management education and evolve new models for management educators. Understand management of risk governance, policies, tools etc
  • Evaluate Management Education and practice 
  • Evaluate the strengths and drawbacks of online mode of education 
  • Understand the importance of digitization in academic institutions
  • Management of risk communication: medium, language etc. 
  • Management of delivery of social services by Management institutions
  • Review the scope of improving syllabi of courses in different areas of Management
  • Analyze the need for country specific design and delivery keeping in mind the political, socioeconomic and cultural differences across the globe
  • Highlight the importance of empirical research, experiential learning and training & development of the various stakeholders in the new emerging system
  • Management of physical and psychological health of the all the stakeholders of Management Institutions
Session organizers:

Considering the resilience of disadvantaged groups to disasters

Session rationale:

As IDRiM Women in Disaster Risk Science and Practice, we will talk about a rather controversial topic that of considering the resilience of disadvantaged groups to disasters. One may raise a number of questions here. How can scientists and practitioners enhance the resilience of disadvantaged groups? How can everyone be engaged in disaster risk management? How can the floor be opened for everyone to actively participate in the decision-making process? During the session, in addition to sharing research findings, facilitators will encourage the participants to share experiences and will facilitate a group discussion on questions such as the above. 

Session organizers:

Science-informed climate and disaster resilience planning in the Himalayas

Session rationale:

Mountain systems are disproportionately vulnerable to compounded climate and disaster risks. As impacts are worsening, the need for building resilience and equitable response is being identified. However, climate and disaster risk response is a complex process requiring many interconnected organisations, information, resources, and tasks. Recognizing this, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework established global goals on strengthening action to climate and disaster risk and highlighted the need of science-informed resilience planning together with international cooperation, and participation of local governments, grassroot organisations, and scientists’ community.

The proposed session aims to contribute toward resilience and risk management dialogue among stakeholders for science-informed resilience planning in the Himalayan mountains. Socio-environmental systems in the mountain regions are and will evolve along with the stressors. Decisions and resilience planning will need to be re-assessed in light of new data, methods and expanding science. Furthermore, effective co-creation of disaster risk reduction strategies that inform policy and technical decisions needs broader dissemination and scaling up.

In the hybrid session, we will discuss the current research findings on how climate change and disasters are coming together and links to societies in the mountains. By inviting experts and stakeholders to talk we will also try to understand the historic perspective from the experts and how they see the future scenarios. The session will be a platform where we will get to hear voices from all the domains involved in climate risk and disaster risk reduction planners i.e., practitioners, scientists and the younger generation entering this field. The intention is to create a dialogue with an aim at: 

  • specifying different meanings of resilience planning in the Himalayan mountains; 
  • understanding the current knowledge of, risk, and vulnerability;
  • listing points to guide for compounded climate and disaster risk and resilience planning for inclusive disaster governance. 

The session will be organised and moderated by team members of Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR), and South Asia Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (SAADRI).

Session organizers:
Research Presentations:

Implementation gaps are persistent phenomena in disaster risk management: can they guide the development of an implementation science?

Session rationale:

A focus on implementation has long been one of the core-defining features of the IDRiM Society. Now,  as IDRiM embarks on its journey into a third decade, is IDRiM prepared to offer the clearer concepts and definitions needed to begin developing an implementation science? Furthermore, is IDRiM ready to take practical initiating steps for developing such a science? 

The main purpose of this session is to stimulate what we hope will be an ongoing discussion of these issues. We suggest that an examination of “implementation gaps” will provide a good conceptual pathway for developing an implementation science. Implementation gaps describe the differences between what was planned and what occurred. They can occur in disaster preparations, in disaster responses, and in disaster recovery. Most often they are discussed as failures of different types: “we knew what to do but we didn’t do it”, or “we thought we knew what to do, but we didn’t really understand the situation”, or “we didn’t know enough”. But gaps can also be associated with positive outcomes: “there were unanticipated opportunities that people took advantage of”, or “the response  (or preparations or recovery) didn’t follow the plan, but it was successful anyway”. 

To facilitate discussion the organizers will prepare a short concept paper describing this approach toward an implementation science. A distinguished panel of discussants will respond to the paper,  drawing from their experience and adding their own insights. After the panel discussion, the larger audience will have the opportunity to contribute their insights and views. It is our hope that the discussion will have an influence on future IDRiM planning and activities.

Session organizers:

Prevention of forest and urban fire disasters

Session rationale:

Our society has lived with the duality of fire since ancient times, it is often our friend, yet we consider it one of our ancient enemies. The fire is our friend as long as we can keep it under control, but it immediately becomes our enemy when it gets out of our hands. An uncontrolled fire is considered a disaster by those around it, no matter how large it is. Fires both claim human casualties and cause enormous material and natural damage, therefore it is not only worthwhile but also necessary to address them. In both our built and natural environments, it is very important to be able to prevent fires and suppress them in their initial phase, because that way we can reduce damage and avoid major disasters. Because of the above, examining the topic could be a valuable part of the conference.

Session organizers:

A Resilience Approach for Systemic Challenges in SDGs: Addressing Missing Links in Natural-Human-Social Systems and Macro-Micro Levels

Session rationale:

The session proposer has been working on a book titled A resilience approach to accelerate sustainable development goals (SDGs) in collaborations with others (to be published soon, Springer). The objective of the book is to articulate how to address systemic challenges driven by natural, human, and social risks at the local through global levels, many of which are integrated into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The systemic challenges are interrelated with systemic risks and effects related to climate change and disaster risk management, and their characteristics are: 1) complex cause-effect structures from macro to microlevels, 2) multiple interacting components, and 3) multidimensional and cascading impacts and deep uncertainties. These challenges can be addressed by not fixing a dot but connecting dots to form lines, taking into account natural-human-social living systems in a continuum, and missing links in macro-micro levels. These are a part of resilience approach (Resilience Approach).

The major purpose of the session is to provide keys in addressing systemic challenges we are facing in a modern risk society based on the above book, The session highlights the questions: i) what is Resilience Approach for systemic challenges, ii) how the “living systems” are interrelated with Resilience Approach, and iii) why the macro-micro linkages are critical in addressing systemic challenges, and how the linkages can be addressed through Resilience Approach, by providing relevant case histories and studies.

Session organizers:

Field-based efforts to promote communicative dialogues with local residents and researchers from humanity science-study of an implementation gap

Session rationale:

This session has multiple purposes: to illustrate the need for addressing “an implementation gap” in  IDRiM which needs more communicative dialogues with local residents and researchers, particularly from humanity science, and to present field based practices to develop “communicative spaces” which has potential to promote communicative dialogues. 

 This proposed session is designed to be organized in combination with another related session:  “Implementation gaps are persistent phenomena in disaster risk management: can they guide the development of an implementation science?

Session organizers:

Spatial and Temporal Correlation in Disaster Risk Assessment: Challenges between Geographic and Economic perspectives

Session rationale:

Integrated disaster risk management needs multidisciplinary cooperation. A challenge for efficient cooperation is that scholars with different background cannot understand each other even on the same issue.

“Spatial and temporal correlation” is a typical issue in disaster risk assessment which highly concerned by researchers from different backgrounds, but lack of common understanding. E.g. economists may be very confused by the “risk map” provided by geographers which shows different risk levels with different colors. And geographers may be also surprised by the “dynamic economic analysis” proposed by economists which include “no actual temporal issue” in fact.

Understanding each other is a significant premise of cooperation. Therefore, focused on the “Spatial and Temporal Correlation in Disaster Risk Assessment”, we would like to propose a special session to discuss the different understandings and concerns between geography and economy.

Session organizers: