About FORIN

Co-Chairs: Anthony  OLIVER-SMITH and Irasema ALCÁNTARA-AYALA

The Forensic Investigations of Disasters (FORIN) project proposes an approach that aims to uncover the root causes of disasters through in-depth investigations that go beyond the typical reports and case studies conducted post-disaster events. Thoroughly analysing cases, including both success stories and failures, will help build an understanding of how natural hazards do—or do not—become disasters. This is in furtherance of Goal 4 (Reducing risk and curbing losses through knowledge-based actions.) in the IRDR Strategic Plan (2013-2017), to which FORIN’s activities are aligned.

The methodology is built around case studies and, in keeping with the IRDR research objectives, the FORIN case studies will be integrated, that is more than an assembly of different disciplinary approaches.

The project has identified a diverse range of objectives:

  • Policy: conduct analyses with inputs from multiple disciplines, stakeholders, and policy makers in order to guide policy and encourage coherence across all key disciplines.
  • Management: focus attention on the link between research findings and improved policy formulation and application in practice, and develop and maintain a bank of high-quality case studies publicly available through the IRDR website.
  • Scientific research: advance methodological diversity and implement science-based results, and build a strong interdisciplinary capacity of young researchers.
  • Development: substantiate that generic causes have local manifestations, promote a ‘learning culture’ among all stakeholders, and foster wider dialogue between analytical researchers and implementing practitioners, building a common discourse in the process.
  • Disaster risk reduction: promote sustainable risk management and risk reduction through science-based research, relate the research to the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA), provide wider emphasis on reducing human consequences, and develop case studies that illustrate ‘risk-drivers.’

Many of the attributes of FORIN have already been described and published in the first IRDR FORIN project report, Forensic Investigations of Disasters: The FORIN Project (IRDR FORIN Publication No. 1).