The role of global science, academia, research and innovation is enshrined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction where it is recognized for the catalytic, boundary-pushing and transformative potential it holds for addressing the dynamic drivers of disaster risk.  

There are many challenges but because they are driven by development processes, they are also amenable to policy and local action. DRR needs to be reimagined with much more robust and broader reach and actors working collaboratively across sectors, disciplines and types of knowledge. Risk science must play an important role in changing the direction toward better outcomes.  

To foster a comprehensive scientific evidence basis, UNDRR works with scientists, academia and researchers through a variety of mechanisms:

UNDRR Science and Technology Advisory Groups (STAG)

Aligned with the Sendai Framework, the UNDRR Science and Technology Advisory Groups (STAG) endeavour to improve resilience to disasters through better scientific and technological understanding and enhance science-based decision making at all levels with a particular focus to the needs of developing countries. STAGs provide technical and policy advice based on their expertise, coordinate strategic engagement of science, research and technology institutions and promote and enhance better cooperation between science and policy for the uptake of science within policies and plans.


UNDRR STAG Report 2013

UNDRR STAG Report 2015

UNDRR Partnership with the International Science Council (ISC)

In 2018, UNDRR entered a partnership agreement with the International Science Council (ISC), a non-governmental organization with a unique global membership that brings together 40 international scientific Unions and Associations and over 140 national and regional scientific organizations including Academies and Research Councils. In addition, the ISC, together with the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), is a co-organizing partner of the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group at the United Nations. In this role, we secure a mandate for science at the UN and integrate science in major global policy processes, such as the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda.

The new partnership aims at enhancing scientific inputs towards the implementation of the Sendai Framework, with particular focus on:

  • Engagement with the scientific community around the development of frameworks, definitions and other relevant reports
  • Ensuring science-based evidence is available and promoted for a risk-informed approach to development
  • Increasing understanding of the impact of new technologies for DRR and risk-informed development
  • Bridging the data gap and data capacity required for risk-informed development

The partnership builds and expands collaboration between the UNDRR and ISC as co-sponsors of the Integrated Research for Disaster Risk programme (IRDR). Established in 2020 as a decade-long research programme, IRDR champions a global, multi-disciplinary approach to dealing with the challenges brought by disasters, mitigating their impacts, and improving related policy-making mechanisms. IRDR’s mission is to develop trans-disciplinary, multi-sectorial alliances for in-depth, practical disaster risk reduction research, and the implementation of effective evidence-based disaster risk policies and practices. Addressing the complexity of the risk landscape, IRDR supports the full integration of research expertise from the natural, socio-economic, health and engineering sciences in policy-making to reduce disaster risk.

As one of the first joint products, UNDRR and the ISC in 2018 initiated the work on new scientific Sendai hazard definitions and classifications list. A new technical working group was set up at the 2019 Global Platform and tasked with the development of the list in consultation with experts from the broad scientific and technical community. This work reflects the expanded scope of the Sendai Framework, which covers man-made as well as natural, biological, environmental, and technological hazards and calls for a multi-hazard approach to disaster risk reduction. The final report was launched in July 2020 and is available HERE.

UNDRR, ISC and IRDR also collaborated on the organization of the first ever Science and Policy Forum, held back-to-back to the Global Platform 2019.

Communication on DRR science and policy is shared and enhanced through the UNDRR Science and Technology Partners (S&T) which is open to all interested scientists, researchers and other partners.

Furthermore, science-based groups such as GAR Advisory Board, GRAF Expert Group and others, support UNDRR targeted initiatives on risk assessment, risk knowledge and information.

Last but not least, UNDRR is engaging with technical UN agencies and relevant international organizations, including UNECE, WHO, WMO, OECD and others on specific areas such as Natural Hazard Triggering Technological Disasters (NATECH) disasters, biological and meteorological hazards and risks, to further a coherent approach to science for DRR aligned with the UN Plan for Action.

Leveraging partnerships with the science and technology community to build and share scientific expertise in support of disaster risk reduction decision-making, individual S&T are encouraged to join efforts to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.Downloads

Science and Policy forum at Global Platform 2019 and key documents

ISC policy briefs published at GP19

STAG report on Data

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