The IRDR programme is guided by three research objectives:
Characterisation of hazards, vulnerability and risk.
The identification and assessment of risks from natural hazards on global, regional, and local scales, and the development of the capability to forecast hazardous events and their consequences is, of necessity, interdisciplinary. Understanding the natural processes and human activities that contribute to vulnerability and community resilience should be integrated to reduce risk. This objective addresses the gaps in knowledge, methodologies, and types of information that are preventing the effective application of science to averting disasters and reducing risk.
Understanding decision-making in complex and changing risk contexts.
Understanding effective decision-making in the context of risk management—what is it and how it can be improved—calls for an emphasis on how human decisions and the pragmatic factors that constrain or facilitate such decisions can contribute to hazards becoming disasters and/or may mitigate their effects.
Reducing risk and curbing losses through knowledge-based actions.
This requires the integration of outputs from the first two objectives and can only be achieved through implementing and monitoring informed risk reduction decisions and through reductions in vulnerability or exposure. Processes of human adjustment or adaptation can be used to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience.
Attainment of these objectives through successful projects will lead to a better understanding of hazards, vulnerability and risk; an enhanced capacity to model and project risk into the future; better understanding of decision-making choices that lead to risk plus how they may be influenced; and how this knowledge can better guide disaster risk reduction.