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Integrating Local Knowledge into Disaster Risk Reduction: Current Challenges and Recommendations for Future Frameworks in the Asia-Pacific

Sin, Yunjung LU (2017) VBRM15 20171
Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Abstract
The agenda of integration of local and indigenous knowledge (LINK) with disaster risk reduction (DRR) programmes has gained momentum since 1970s. Notwithstanding the incremental attention to LINK, researchers in this field agree that successful integration of local knowledge is difficult and the processes with such aims are not carried out fully and effectively. The purpose of this study is to provide practitioners, policy-makers and researchers with useful advice for full integration of LINK into DRR policies, programmes and education. The study explored current practices and examined challenges that arise in processes for integrating LINK with DRR by conducting literature review and eight expert interviews. The findings revealed that... (More)
The agenda of integration of local and indigenous knowledge (LINK) with disaster risk reduction (DRR) programmes has gained momentum since 1970s. Notwithstanding the incremental attention to LINK, researchers in this field agree that successful integration of local knowledge is difficult and the processes with such aims are not carried out fully and effectively. The purpose of this study is to provide practitioners, policy-makers and researchers with useful advice for full integration of LINK into DRR policies, programmes and education. The study explored current practices and examined challenges that arise in processes for integrating LINK with DRR by conducting literature review and eight expert interviews. The findings revealed that trust between local communities and implementing organisations, empowering the marginalized, institutional capacity and dissemination of LINK over generations are critical factors that help achieve the effectiveness and sustainability of such initiatives. Among these factors, institutional capacity showed strong connection with the others regarding lack of institutional arrangements and underfinancing. The study emphasizes the importance of enhancing institutional capacity by mainstreaming the agenda of integrating local knowledge in long-term national and local disaster risk reduction plans as well as diverting the funding from central to local institutions as one of the suggested steps to develop future frameworks in the Asia-Pacific. (Less)
Popular Abstract
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Did you know that indigenous people can predict natural hazards before disasters occur?
Local communities in the Asia-Pacific region have shown proven abilities to anticipate, react to and recover from disasters using their skills developed through generations. Numerous evidences accumulated during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami highlights the value of indigenous peoples’ knowledge and practices in dealing with disasters. For example, the Moken community in Thailand managed to escape in time by recognizing unusual behaviour of animals and a low tide as indications for a tsunami from their traditional folk tales.
Despite the considerable advantage of such knowledge and practices in managing... (More)
Power of indigenous people in disasters

Did you know that indigenous people can predict natural hazards before disasters occur?
Local communities in the Asia-Pacific region have shown proven abilities to anticipate, react to and recover from disasters using their skills developed through generations. Numerous evidences accumulated during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami highlights the value of indigenous peoples’ knowledge and practices in dealing with disasters. For example, the Moken community in Thailand managed to escape in time by recognizing unusual behaviour of animals and a low tide as indications for a tsunami from their traditional folk tales.
Despite the considerable advantage of such knowledge and practices in managing disaster risks within communities, researchers in this field agree that they are not yet fully integrated in current initiatives designed for reducing disaster risk, nor widely popularized for them to be effectively deployed within communities. The aim of this study is, therefore to provide practitioners, policy-makers and researchers in this field, with useful advice to enable genuine integration of local knowledge, into programmes for disaster risk reduction.
With this aim, the study explored current practices and examined a set of challenges arising during processes of integrating local knowledge with disaster risk reduction programmes by conducting a literature review and eight expert interviews. Also, the study investigated hindrance factors associated with each challenge that hinder a successful integration of local knowledge. The findings revealed that 1) trust between local communities and implementing organisations, 2) empowering the marginalized, 3) institutional capacity and 4) dissemination of LINK over generations are critical factors that help achieve the effectiveness and sustainability of initiatives and, at the same time, the challenges if not managed properly.
To address the above-mentioned challenges, the author provides a set of recommendation. First of all, implementing organisations may consider increasing initial community engagement activities with local communities for trust building. Second, organize activities that encourage communities to understand different groups of populations to let them recognize the need of involving the whole community. Third, facilitate policy advocacy to create favorable institutional conditions for the initiatives. Lastly, popularize integrated local knowledge through public education and communication channels.
In particular, institutional capacity showed strong connection with the others regarding a lack of institutional arrangements and underfinancing. The study emphasizes the importance of enhancing institutional conditions by mainstreaming the agenda of integrating local knowledge in long-term national and local disaster risk reduction plans as well as diverting the funding from central to local institutions as one of the suggested steps to develop future frameworks in the Asia-Pacific. (Less)
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author
Sin, Yunjung LU
supervisor
organization
course
VBRM15 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
local knowledge, indigenous knowledge, indigenous science, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, community resilience, community-based DRR, community-driven DRR, Asia-Pacific.
language
English
id
8923039
date added to LUP
2017-08-22 11:33:05
date last changed
2017-08-22 11:33:05
@misc{8923039,
  abstract     = {The agenda of integration of local and indigenous knowledge (LINK) with disaster risk reduction (DRR) programmes has gained momentum since 1970s. Notwithstanding the incremental attention to LINK, researchers in this field agree that successful integration of local knowledge is difficult and the processes with such aims are not carried out fully and effectively. The purpose of this study is to provide practitioners, policy-makers and researchers with useful advice for full integration of LINK into DRR policies, programmes and education. The study explored current practices and examined challenges that arise in processes for integrating LINK with DRR by conducting literature review and eight expert interviews. The findings revealed that trust between local communities and implementing organisations, empowering the marginalized, institutional capacity and dissemination of LINK over generations are critical factors that help achieve the effectiveness and sustainability of such initiatives. Among these factors, institutional capacity showed strong connection with the others regarding lack of institutional arrangements and underfinancing. The study emphasizes the importance of enhancing institutional capacity by mainstreaming the agenda of integrating local knowledge in long-term national and local disaster risk reduction plans as well as diverting the funding from central to local institutions as one of the suggested steps to develop future frameworks in the Asia-Pacific.},
  author       = {Sin, Yunjung},
  keyword      = {local knowledge,indigenous knowledge,indigenous science,disaster risk reduction,climate change adaptation,community resilience,community-based DRR,community-driven DRR,Asia-Pacific.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Integrating Local Knowledge into Disaster Risk Reduction: Current Challenges and Recommendations for Future Frameworks in the Asia-Pacific},
  year         = {2017},
}