Managing disaster knowledge: identification of knowledge factors and challenges

Chaminda Pathirage, Krisanthi Seneviratne, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh
2012 International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment  
The number of reported disasters has increased steadily over the past century and risen very sharply during the past decade. Consequently the loss of lives, property, employment and damage to the physical infrastructure and the environment is also on the rise. Knowledge management can play a vital role through ensuring the availability and accessibility of accurate and reliable disaster risk information when required and through effective lesson learning. In this context, identification of key
more » ... isaster knowledge factors will be an enabler to manage disasters successfully. The paper presents key knowledge factors relating to disaster management cycle, and explores a few challenges relating to identified disaster knowledge factors. A list of disaster knowledge factors was first identified through a comprehensive literature review and later semi-structured interviews were conducted among few disaster management practitioners to explore the influence and challenges relating to identified knowledge factors. Technological, operational/ managerial, economic, social, legal and environmental factors seem to have direct influence over the disaster management cycle, while the influence of institutional and political factors seemed indirect and it is through other factors identified. Among key challenges, the lack of detection and warning systems, the need for effective education, training and awareness raising programmes, the need for regular updating of disaster related laws, lack of funds for economic planning measures, poor planning, poor communication, poor leadership, and poor institutional arrangement were highlighted.
doi:10.1108/17595901211263620 fatcat:smrtyhdlkjc57lkdasn7xldi34