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WEXICOM - Weather warnings: from EXtreme event Information to COMmunication and action

WEXICOM is an interdisciplinary research project contributing to an optimal use of weather forecasts, with a focus on severe weather and warnings. Funded within the Hans Ertel Centre for Weather Research, the project is a collaboration between meteorology (Freie Universität Berlin), social sciences (Disaster Research Unit, Research Forum on Public Safety and Security, German Committee for Disaster Reduction), and psychology (Max Planck Institute for Human Development). The ultimate goal of this inter- and transdisciplinary approach is to facilitate transparent and effective communication of risks and uncertainties for individual user groups.
Duration
January 2015 to December 2018
Financed by
Hans Ertel Centre for Weather Research, Deutscher Wetterdienst
Partner
Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Meteorology; Freie Universität Berlin, Disaster Research Unit; Research Forum on Public Safety and Security; Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Participation in a Thematic Team as part of the Preparation of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) Istanbul 2016

Over the past ten years, the number of people affected by humanitarian crises and disasters has doubled whereas the overall budgets for humanitarian relief assistance even have tripled. At least 80 percent of humanitarian funding is allocated to refugees and forcedly displaced people - in 2014 the UN has recorded more than 51 Million displaced people. The expected future demands for humanitarian assistance will grow even further, but the existing humanitarian system is already overstretched. Thus, there is strong demand to explore more efficient and effective tools and structures.
Ban Ki-moon, The UN’s Secretary General, in 2013 took up the initiative to call for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS). Until the planned summit in May 2016, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs with the WHS-secretariat facilitates a global process of consultations with all major stakeholders as well as with affected people on major topics and on recommendations and expectations towards outcomes of the WHS and a future humanitarian agenda. DKKV is actively participating in one out of four global Thematic Teams, the one focusing on Reducing Vulnerability and Managing Risk”. Overall, the consultation process focusses on the following emerging issues:

• Ensuring affected people, particularly women, have a stronger voice and influence over humanitarian action;
• Confronting international humanitarian law (IHL) violations and finding new ways to protect and assist people in conflict;
• Developing new approaches for managing recurrent and protracted crises;
• Global action to address the funding gap;
• Adapting the humanitarian system to new contexts, actors and challenges;
• Localising preparedness and response; and
• Creating an enabling environment and investment in innovation to better deal with current and future humanitarian challenges.

In addition, a further set of four cross-cutting issues are being discussed separately:
• Gender equality in humanitarian action;
• Urban risk and response;
• The role of the private sector; and
• Understanding risk.

This first World Humanitarian Summit shall raise the needed awareness and support for these pending humanitarian problems/demands. One important element for this is disaster risk management together with increasing peoples and communities’ resilience as well as building up and enhancing local and national actors’ roles and capacities for preparedness and response. Studies repeatedly show that investments in preparedness and risk management have positive benefit to cost ratios and thus may reduce the demand for relief funding and activities in case of new disasters and crises.
Results of this work are of relevance both for the international humanitarian support by German actors as well as for preparedness and DRM strategies within Germany. Thus DKKV will continue to actively include its network partners within the ongoing workstreams and dissemination of results.
Duration
June 2014 to May 2016
Financed by
Federal Foreign Office, Humanitarian Aid and Demining Division, Division S 05

REX-INTEGRATED PREVENTION

The fundamental task of the project "Return on Experience for Enhanced Integrated Prevention" was to evaluate if the original design criteria and qualitative disaster risk reduction measures currently in place are adequate enough to offer appropriate protection with regard to extraordinary events. It estimated the extent to which collated knowledge of previous disasters was implemented after those events and how effective these actions were. In this context the topics of climatic and societal changes were included as part of the investigations.

The overall objective of the project was to contribute to the development of knowledge-based disaster-prevention policies.

Central to the project were:
- Tackling the critical issue of whether the existing technical frames and qualitative preventative measures are sufficient in dealing with extraordinary natural events.

- An assessment of how effectively, and to what degree, prior knowledge has been implemented, with the aim of improving civil protection.

- An evaluation of the extent to which design criteria and experience drawn from previous events have been adapted and integrated into existing prevention strategies or led to the readjustment of preventative arrangements.

- A consideration of the adaptation of the frameworks and prevention quality in view of societal changes (e.g. urbanization or demographic change), and the projected weather-induced extreme events caused by climate change.

The project was based on the analysis of 15 case studies from Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and France, and within this framework an analysis of 28 so-called ‘hotspots’ took place.
Duration
October 2010 to December 2011
Financed by
co - financed by the EU, Financial Instrument for Civil Protection
Partner
Coordinator: DKKV; Partners: French Association for Disaster Risk Reduction (AFPCN), Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI), Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMGW)