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Weichselgartner, Jürgen and Pigeon, Patrick (2015): The Role of Knowledge in Disaster Risk Reduction. In: International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, Vol. 6, No. 2: pp. 107-116 [PDF, 1MB]

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Disaster risk reduction policy and practice require knowledge for informed decision making and coordinated action. Although the knowledge production and implementation processes are critical for disaster risk reduction, these issues are seldom systematically addressed in-depth in disaster studies and policy programs. While efforts and improvements have been made with regard to data and information, only limited resources are committed to improving knowledge management structures and integrating knowledge systems at different spatial levels. The recently adopted Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 addresses knowledge-related issues and provides the opportunity to highlight the critical role of knowledge in disaster risk reduction. This article presents insights into potential conceptualizations of knowledge that would advance disaster research and policy. We use cases from France to illustrate challenges of and pathways to disaster risk reduction. We suggest to further strengthen efforts that improve our understanding of the connections between disaster risk, knowledge, and learning. A better integration of multiple scales, different societal actors, various knowledge sources, and diverse disciplines into disaster risk research will increase its relevance for decision-makers in policy and practice. Well-targeted incentives and political backing will improve the coherence, coordination, and sharing of knowledge among various actors and arenas.

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