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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T00357X/1
Title: GCRF Caribbean Resilience and Recovery Knowledge Network
Principal Investigator: Campbell, Dr D
Other Investigators:
Wilkinson, Dr EC
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Disaster Risk Reduction Centre
Organisation: University of the West Indies
Scheme: UKRI
Starts: 09 September 2019 Ends: 08 September 2021 Value (£): 146,730
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
28 Mar 2019 GCRF GE Networks Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
In a region beset by serial disasters, effective recovery from hazardous events is not just a worthy goal it is an imperative. The Caribbean Resilience and Recovery Knowledge Network will support a transformational approach towards post-disaster recovery in the Caribbean,particularly as it responds to the impacts of the 2017 hurricane season that caused $130 billion of losses in the region.

A community of researchers, practitioners and policymakers is emerging, but at the moment their response is ad hoc and driven by divergent research or short-term aid goals. This generates locally useful outcomes, that alleviate the worst symptoms from the disasters, however they are collectively less effective at encouraging long term resilience to future events, strengthening ecosystems or reducing long-term vulnerabilities in poor or remote communities.

The Caribbean Knowledge Network seeks to remedy this by creating a new culture for responding to and preparing for hazardous events. This is our principle aim. We will do this by joining together diverse researchers, and engaging with practitioners and policymakers from the outset. These groups are all motivated to come together and transform how we approach post-disaster recovery. The researchers (in the Caribbean and the UK) work on wide-ranging topics relevant to long term hazard resilience, connected by their desire to improve recovery from disasters. The practitioners bear responsibility for ensuring the best possible outcomes for communities at risk and face increasing challenges associated with climate change and environmental degradation in the region. The attention of donors and policymakers has been focussed by the recent systemic destruction from the 2017 hurricanes.

Thus, the Network is both timely and needed. We have structured a series of mutually beneficial activities to help us achieve our overall aim, and associated objectives. The first of these will be a forensic workshop where we will bring our multiple perspectives to bear to understand what drove and hindered recovery following three key events (the 2017 hurricanes, the Haiti earthquake and long-term recovery following Hurricane Ivan). To reflect the multiple perspectives were are calling these forensic analyses, and this will be a great vehicle for learning from each others expertise and perspectives. This will run in the same location and just before the Annual Caribbean Disaster Management conference, which will provide further immediate feed-in to our conclusions.

After that we will create some scenarios to help test, design and evaluate existing response and recovery plans for multiple types of hazard. We will visit several Caribbean countries to do this, and they will be co-designed with different social groups to ensure relevancy. These will be used to create new principles and strategies in each setting.

While we are doing this we will run a series of webinars to discuss challenges hilighted by these two activities. We will make these freely accessible to participants throughout the Caribbean and further afield.

The outcomes from all of this work will create our new community who will co-create a manifesto for research to transform recovery and use that to secure further funding. Importantly, however along the way we will also have created some tangible benefits which will ensure the longevity of the grouping and maximise its benefit. These are: (1) forensic analyses on several important disaster events, identifying priority actions and sets of principles; (2) flexible, tailored scenario exercises for local disaster practitioners so they can develop their own new strategies in response to these on four islands (3) the time and momentum to consider how to 'join up' strategies across the islands, critically in collaboration with regional and international agencies.

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