Resilience that Protects

Practical Action Consulting
Disaster Risk Reduction

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 Practical Action Consulting (PAC) 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.

 

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, PAC International 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.

PAC International 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.

PAC International’s Disaster Risk Reduction Capability Statement

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Meet our experts

Sarah Brown

Disaster Risk Reduction Lead
PAC International

Sarah’s work focuses on disaster risk, early warning, improving decision making under complexity, end-mile communication, gender and inclusion. She is an experienced researcher, and has an extensive background on the nexus between development, risk reduction and humanitarian action. She has worked closely with a wide range of humanitarian agencies, managing the 20+ INGO Conflict Sensitivity Consortium ensuring humanitarian policy and practice more effectively mainstreams conflict sensitivity. Extensive experience leading policy and practice oriented research, including leading research for UN Women and UNICEF Gender and Age Inequality of Disaster Risk.

Dr Mirianna Budimir

Senior Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor
PAC International

Dr Budimir’s work at Practical Action looks at improving the science-practice interface on topics such as disasters, early warning services, end-mile communication, forecast-based early action and decision making, gender, and international development. She is also a Knowledge Broker for the Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) Programme. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Southampton in interacting multi-hazards and an MSc in the Science of Natural Hazards at the University of Bristol.

Alison Sneddon

Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor
PAC International

Alison works on innovative research and knowledge management for Practical Action. She is a researcher within the SHEAR Knowledge Brokering team, capturing learning and best practices for wider dissemination, and leading research studies on forecast-based financing and impact-based forecasting. Alison led on quantitative analysis for a Global Flood Alliance study on Gender Transformative Early Warning Systems in Nepal, as well as on quantitative analysis for a UN Women study on Gender and Age Inequality of Disaster Risk. Before joining PAC, Alison worked as a Senior Programme Officer with a regional NGO based in Pakistan.