Skip to main content
UCP Knowledge NetworkApplied knowledge for action
A group of people sit at a table in a classroom format. They are watching a presentation on a large screen.

Evidence for Policy in Disaster Risk Management summer school

By Knowledge Network – Staff memberPublished on

The Evidence for Policy in Disaster Risk Management summer school brought researchers, scientists and policy makers together to make connections, share knowledge and explore methods of bringing additional research into policy-making.

The summer school Evidence for Policy in Disaster Risk Management, organised by the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network and hosted by Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, took place in Pisa, Italy from 29 to 31 May 2023.

The summer school brought together around 70 scientific experts and policy makers from 30 UCPM member and participating states. Participants came from a wide range of organisations, like research institutions, national civil protection agencies, EU institutions, the private sector and the UN.

This richness of profiles and the high level of speakers and facilitators resulted in a deep and meaningful exchange. Plenary and master class discussion focused on bridging the gap between science and policy making, facilitating knowledge sharing and the development of skills allowing for an improved translation of scientific evidence into policy solutions. 

Since I am working with anticipatory tools as a scientist, from my point of view, it was particularly useful to see how decision-makers use different foresight approaches. Also, the role-playing game broadened my perspective about specific but interconnected positions of decision-makers, scientists and hybrid experts during disaster events.

As a young professional integrating into the workforce during the Corona-Pandemic, I found the DRM Summer School in Pisa to be a valuable and unique opportunity to think outside the box. This was especially enhanced by insights into the approaches of other member and participating states as well as the experiences brought by the key note speakers.

Can hybrid experts help bridge the science-policy gap examined different strategies that are being employed in the emerging science-policy nexus and the advantages and limitations that technocratic developments and the use of hybrid experts have in the creation of evidence-based policy.

In the Masterclass Developing a behavioural and risk communication approach that is balanced and engages the public, participants identified key areas and strategies for effective science advocacy based on a fictional flood scenario in the city of Pisa.

Understanding the role of international disaster law for scientists and policymakers gave participants an insight into the linkages between international, national regional and sub-regional norms and legal instruments.

Interacting with practitioners in the field was a rare opportunity that allowed me to gain valuable insights. I realized the vast amount of data available and how interconnected various aspects are in the realm of Disaster Risk Reduction. The informative speeches by experts and the substantive experiences shared by practitioners truly broadened my understanding. I believe this event played a pivotal role in connecting the dots between policy and empirical levels.

Lastly, Understanding the economics of disaster risk management and its valorisation aimed at providing the participants with operative tools to evaluate the short and long-run economic impacts of natural disasters as well as the social and economic benefits of investments in this area.

The outcomes of the six Masterclasses were summarised by the participants and shared during a closing session on the last day of the summer school. This session was attended virtually by Patrícia Gaspar, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Home Affairs, who also shared her concluding thoughts with the participants. At the end of the event the participants identified a better understanding of each other's roles, foresight, and different communication techniques as some of the key points they will be integrating into their work in the future.

1 Like