Towards Forecast based Preparedness Action

King’s Water is involved in the Department of Geography’s second project funded through the NERC-ESRC-DFID Science for Humanitarian Emergencies & Resilience programme.

SHEAR is an international research programme jointly funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, NERC and the Economic & Social Research Council. The programme focuses on:

  • disaster risk assessment (mapping and analyses),
  • sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasting,
  • disaster risk monitoring, and
  • the integration of these into practical decision making.

The programme is targeting lower to middle income countries across sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, focusing on the co-production of knowledge using a multi-disciplinary and problem-centred approach. Research with NERC is specifically engaging with:

  • hydrological controls on landslide risk as part of multi-hazard risk assessment;
  • real time monitoring of risk, for example satellites and big data; and
  • applications of weather and climate forecasting.

This overall aim is improving the characterisation of hydrological controls on natural hazards to better predict their occurrence and scale.

King’s will be involved in a project on forecasting risk. Towards Forecast based Preparedness Action (ForPAc) aims to develop probabilistic forecasts for flood risk and preparedness actions and defensible humanitarian decision-making in the Horn of Africa and Kenya in rural and urban sites. The project is being led by Martin Todd at the University of Sussex. King’s Water is represented by Professor Bruce Malamud. Also joining the team from King’s are Professor Mark Pelling and Senior Visiting Research Fellow Emma Visman.

Work on ForPAc will begin in autumn 2016. The project will connect to ongoing work at King’s, including the Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge programme and the African Population and Health Research Centre based in Nairobi and Kenya Met Office.