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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P028543/1
Title: A Collaborative Multi-agency Platform for Building Resilient Communities
Principal Investigator: Fernando, Professor T
Other Investigators:
Pathirage, Dr CP Kulatunga, Dr U Sulaiman, Dr N
Hettiarachchi, Professor s Jan, Mr MA Hettige, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
100 Resilient Cities Asian Disaster Preparedness Center Assoc of Greater Manchester Authorities
Cabinet Office Centre for Governance Innovations Construction Research Institute Malaysia
Environment Agency (Grouped) Federation of Sri Lankan LGAs Inara Technologies (PVT) Ltd
Jehanghira Union Council Melaka Historic City Council National Disaster Management Agency
Provincial Disaster Management Authority Rural Development Foundation Pakistan Satellite Applications Catapult
Secure Information Assurance Ltd Telespazio Vega
Department: Sch of the Built Environment
Organisation: University of Salford
Scheme: GCRF (EPSRC)
Starts: 01 May 2017 Ends: 30 April 2020 Value (£): 1,241,231
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Computer Graphics & Visual. Human Communication in ICT
Human-Computer Interactions Information & Knowledge Mgmt
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Mar 2017 EPSRC GCRF 1 Meeting B - 17 March 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is significant evidence of the growth of natural disasters on a global level. The Asia-Pacific region continues to be the world's most disaster prone region; it has many low-/middle-income countries and accounted for 47% of the world's 344 disasters in 2015 with 16,046 fatalities and reported economic damage in the region of US$ 5.1 Billion. In this context, the most disaster-prone sub-region is South Asia, recording 52 disasters and 14,647 deaths, representing 64% of the global fatalities, in 2015.

Scientific research has shown that disaster risks do not only exist because of the presence of a physical hazard; they are compounded by the presence of vulnerability. Therefore, there is an urgent need to shift our focus from pure emergency response and recovery towards a sustainable disaster mitigation framework that focuses on building resilience within a disaster prone area, involving government agencies and the local community to reduce the impact of a hazard. However, at present there is a lack of tools and methods available to agencies to enable them to come together to understand the underlying vulnerabilities of a disaster prone area and build resilience to reduce disaster impact on a community.

Digital technology has the potential for creating a collaboration environment for various agencies and communities to act collectively to reduce the impact of disasters. The goal of this project is to develop a Collaborative Multi-agency Platform that can be used for building resilient communities in disaster prone areas in low-/middle-income countries. The project will focus on the challenges faced by three countries: Malaysia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. These countries are frequently affected by a multitude of natural hazards including floods, landslides, cyclones, droughts, and earthquakes and have therefore been chosen as the focus for this research to capture broader set of disaster conditions and requirements common to low-/middle-income countries.

The project aims to address the following research questions: What is the nature of a resilience framework that will allow low-/middle-income countries to assess their vulnerabilities and resilience capabilities and take measures to build resilient communities? How can we enhance multi-agency collaboration within low-/middle-income countries? What changes are required in terms of technology, organizational structures and collaboration processes to enhance multi-agency collaboration? What are the characteristics of a collaboration platform that can support collective vulnerability assessment and reduction by multi-agencies? How can we establish a system dynamic model that can support the simulation of cascading effect on critical infrastructure systems due to a hazard? How can we construct a collaborative 3D environment based on near real-time 3D satellite data and analysis for supporting early response and damage assessment after a major disaster? In addressing itself to these questions, the project will lead to development of an advanced digital platform that can be used in low-/middle-income countries to strengthen their resilience capacities for disaster.

The project team is comprised of University of Salford (THINKlab & Centre for Disaster Resilience), the Universities of Moratuwa & Colombo (Sri Lanka), Tun Hussein Onn University (Malaysia) and the University of Peshawar (Pakistan). This team will be supported by a broad set of project partners, including industry and government agencies who are playing a key role in disaster resilience city agenda in UK, including: the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat, the Greater Manchester Resilience Forum, Rockefeller Foundation, Environment Agency, the Satellite Applications Catapult, Telespazio Vega Ltd and Secure Information Assurance Ltd. Similarly, in each partner country we have established industry and government agency stakeholder groups to engage and steer the project to achieve a greater impact.
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Organisation Website: http://www.salford.ac.uk