To meet its research objectives the IRDR established four core projects, comprising working groups of experts from diverse disciplines, to formulate new methods in addressing the shortcomings of current disaster risk research.
Assessment of Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (AIRDR)
The Assessment of Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (AIRDR) project will undertake the first systematic and critical global assessment of integrated research on disaster risk. The enormity and complexity of disaster risk requires knowledge from the natural, social and health sciences, and engineering operating in an integrative fashion, not as separate disciplines examining one aspect of the problem. Such a synthesis of perspectives is not easy, but is vital in producing the new understanding of disasters and their impacts and in achieving the objectives of IRDR.
Disaster Loss Data (DATA)
The Disaster Loss Data (DATA) project will study issues related to the collection, storage, and dissemination of disaster loss data. Recognising the need for standards or protocols to reduce uncertainty in disaster loss data, the working group intends to establish an overall framework for disaster loss data for all providers, to establish nodes and networks for databases, and to conduct sensitivity testing among databases to ensure some level of comparability.
Forensic Investigations of Disasters (FORIN)
The Forensic Investigations of Disasters (FORIN) project will develop, disseminate and implement a radical new approach in disaster research that seeks to identify and explain the underlying causes of disasters, including the growth in magnitude and frequency of very large disaster events. It is intended that this research paradigm will lead to greater in-depth understanding and more enlightened and effective disaster risk reduction practices and policies.
Risk Interpretation and Action (RIA)
The Risk Interpretation and Action (RIA) project will focus on the question of how people — both decision-makers and ordinary citizens — make decisions, individually and collectively, in the face of risk. Decision-making under conditions of uncertainty is inadequately described by traditional models of ’rational choice’. Instead, attention needs to be paid to how people’s interpretations of risks are shaped by their own experiences, personal feelings and values, cultural beliefs and interpersonal and societal dynamics.
DRR, CCA and SDGs
This working group will focus on DRR research in the coherence of Sendai Framework, Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. Climate change is changing the characteristics of disasters. The world has adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) to help deal with disaster impacts through strengthened governance, better risk knowledge, resilience investment, and preparedness and recovery and reconstruction. The Paris agreement on climate change is the international framework adopted to deal climate change. The are many strategies to deal with climate change, mostly through strengthening institutions, planning and implementation of strategies for adaptation. DRR has also been suggested as the ‘first line of defense’ for CCA. They both advocate for vulnerability reduction, strengthening resilience, and integrations of climate risks considerations within development. In addition, the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015 by which disasters and climate change are strongly recognized particularly in goals number 11 on cities and 13 on climate change. It is important that strategies to deal with DRR and CCA, also needs to meet the SDGs strategically. While these 3 international frameworks are clear in terms of their intended outcome, the way by which the progress can be measured are still unclear. Capacity for research and scientific engagement related to DRR-CCA-Development also need to be strengthened. It is important to encourage scientific research and engagements within developing countries mainly Asia and Africa.