Connecting communities for climate and disaster risk preparedness (CCC-DRiP): A research development based approach in Dominica
Climate adaptation and disaster risk management and response are traditionally considered the responsibility of governments. Where resources are limited, the costs of coping with infrequent extreme climate events are typically not prioritized, and slow-onset climatic changes are often viewed as issues to be dealt with in the future. Yet it seems that every year more resources are consumed by response, recovery, and rebuilding after extreme climatic events that are becoming more frequent, highlighting the need to not only mitigate impact but to improve preparedness, risk management, and climate resilience. The utility of information communication technologies (ICTs) to mitigate and manage potential disasters and to plan for long-term adaptation has increased dramatically in recent years.
This project aims to enable selected communities in Dominica to move from response to preparedness as an example for the Caribbean region. It is supported through a collaboration between IDRC and Ericsson Response, a volunteer humanitarian organization headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden that provides IT support in emergency situations. The research team, led by the University of the West Indies, will engage communities and other stakeholders as active participants in data gathering and generation, modelling, and validation. Working with technology specialists from Ericsson, the research team will assess the current situation and anticipated needs in sensor, data, and communication functionalities for planning and early warning systems, seek technological solutions to inter-operability protocols for data gathering, storage, access and dissemination, and propose appropriate policies related to natural hazards data. They will develop appropriate knowledge and capacity building solutions that can be delivered to students and broader connected communities through the Ericsson “Connect to learn” program.
At the end of the project, the targeted Dominican communities will have location and time-specific information on climate-related hazards in appropriate and accessible formats, which will be used by government agencies and communities to plan and prepare in the short and long term. These communities will be connected to communication networks (cell, radio, and internet), primarily through local schools serving as resilience hubs, that deliver and transmit appropriate information and warnings. School children and the broader community will have access to information, education, and training, and they will be able to use connectivity to prepare for extreme climate events and associated impacts.