Building resilience and reducing disaster risk
Climate change is leading to increasingly frequent and more severe hazards and disasters. People affected by poverty and inequality are the most vulnerable and hardest hit. We recognise that predicting and coping with disasters is not enough, so for over 20 years we have been reducing risk and making resilience a way of life for vulnerable communities.
Our team specialise in providing real-world insight, translating scientific research findings into practice to support risk-informed decision-making at local and national levels.
We work to apply innovative solutions in different contexts and at scale in order to reach the last mile with effective disaster risk reduction.
Our work includes
- Designing and implementing innovative research methodologies that seek out the voices of those normally excluded from mainstream research and provide rich intersectional and context-specific perspectives of marginalised people
- Partnering with leading researchers to bring together scientific disciplines to improve understanding of risk and to ensure research is carried out with, and informed by the concerns of, affected communities.
- Use our real-insight to bring innovations and new technologies to scale, maintaining a focus on appropriate technologies.
If you’re interested in finding out more or want to get in touch to discuss partnership opportunities, please contact us at:
Examples of our work
Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR)
Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) is a five year interdisciplinary, international research programme jointly funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC). SHEAR is carrying out innovative research in the most hazard-prone parts of the world to better understand and predict disasters, and minimise the risk they pose to vulnerable communities.
As Knowledge Brokers, PAC works to manage, synthesise, and share the new knew knowledge and tools being generated by the programme colleagues in the humanitarian and scientific communities to help to strengthen resilience to hazards around the world.
SHEAR – LANDSLIP
As part of the SHEAR programme, Practical Action Consulting and PAC Nepal have been collaborating on the ‘research-into-action’ LANDSLIP project. LANDSLIP has led to the establishment of the first regional-scale landslide forecasting system in South Asia – with plans to replicate these forecasting systems in other landslide-prone countries.
Practical Action Consulting has a critical role in ensuring effective multi-disciplinary collaboration across the different institutions and disciplines involved in this innovative research project: with research areas spanning geology, meteorology, social science, government response, risk communication & data management. Other key roles focus on social science research, development of a daily bulletin tailored to enable effective decision-making by sub-national government, as well as a focus on project legacy – capturing lessons & recommendations to share with national & global researchers and practitioners interested in landslide & multi-hazard risk management.
Missing Voices Methodology
Practical Action Consulting developed and piloted the innovative “Missing Voices” methodology to understand the different priorities, needs, and capacities of the different people who are affected by disasters and how inequalities increase the vulnerabilities of groups and individuals. The approach seeks to provide rich insight through first person accounts of disaster, early warning, and early action from groups who are often excluded from traditional research approaches. Applying the Missing Voices methodology to research and project design facilitates the development of practical, actionable steps to transform inequalities and affect meaningful gender and social inclusion in disaster risk reduction, delivering risk reduction and resilience programming that works for everyone.
Since the publication of our first Missing Voices report, we have been approached by UN Women and UNICEF, the Asian Development Bank, and the START Network, to apply this methodology to understand inequality of disaster risk, gender inclusive disaster risk financing, and gender transformative flood early warning.