Data tools

Data tools for disaster risk reduction: an analysis of open access geo-referenced disaster risk datasets – Global



The first United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC) met in November 2018 in Deqing, Zhejiang Province, China, to discuss the importance and transformative role of geospatial information in understanding of the social, environmental and economic problems that afflict communities, and its potential for widespread application and use to ameliorate these problems (UN-GGIM, 2021). Over 2,000 participants gathered, representing governments, international organizations, civil societies, academia and the private sector to strategize and consider how innovation and collaboration could respond to this year’s conference theme : “The geospatial path to a better world”.

At the end of the three-day conference, the UNWGIC issued the Moganshan Declaration, a powerful recognition and call to action. The statement acknowledges that geospatial technologies have been unevenly adopted and, furthermore, beyond the reach of many developing countries. It also recognized that geospatial technologies are essential for decision-making and the delivery of services and projects critical to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals1 (UN-GGIM, 2018). The call: to work together, collaborate and innovate across sectors, Member States, knowledge and technologies to “drive progress in global geospatial development (UN-GGIM, 2018, p3)”.

Between 2000 and 2019, disasters claimed the lives of 1.23 million people, disrupted the lives of 4.2 billion people and caused $2.97 trillion in economic damage (Mizutori & Guha-Sapir, 2020). While the human, social and economic toll of disasters poses a serious challenge to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for many states, this study explores the use of geospatial information, in particular free spatial data. access, and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, a framework designed to manage disaster risk.

The priorities of the Sendai Framework are to (1) understand disaster risk; (2) strengthen disaster risk governance to manage risk; (3) investing in disaster risk reduction and resilience; and (4) build capacity to recover from disasters (UNDRR, 2015). This study advances our knowledge on the implementation of the Sendai Framework from publications that have used open-access spatial data and common issues in the implementation of the framework. Findings from a literature review reveal that many of the issues cited by recent work are data-related.
This study addresses these issues and discusses how they might be addressed by those with a vested interest in disaster risk reduction, from policy makers to community members.