Supporting participative pre-flood risk reduction in a UNESCO biosphere

Michael J. O'Grady, Barry Evans, Sylvester Eigbogba, Connor Muldoon, Abraham Campbell, Paul Brewer, Gregory M. P. O'Hare

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Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) has become the predominant strategy for pre‐emptively countering the havoc threatened by natural hazards, complementing traditional disaster management, and recovery activities. An important component of DRR activities is community involvement, imbuing the community with a sense of ownership of the risk reduction process, and thus increasing resilience to deal with natural hazards. Though the desirability for community engagement is acknowledged, the differing hazards, environments and community contexts, all pose many obstacles to enabling meaningful participation. This paper describes a participative, community‐oriented initiative for DRR in a context of the most common hazard faced by communities worldwide, that of flooding. A novel platform is presented which embraces participatory science principles in facilitating active community engagement in all stages of the flooding lifecycle. It is demonstrated how observations contributed by a community can contribute both to the practical mitigation of the effects of flooding and the calibration of inundation models. The novelty of the platform lies in its emphasis on mitigation activities during the pre‐flood stage, as well as its innovative use of image capture for enabling the safe assessment of water levels by the community
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12520
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Flood Risk Management
Early online date17 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2019


  • crowd sourcing
  • disaster risk reduction
  • flood risk management
  • participatory science
  • resilience


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