United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Science & Technology Conference, Geneva, Switzerland


Published: February 12, 2016 by Dr. Chris Hagar

I was invited to present a poster at the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Science & Technology Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, January 27-29. The conference focused on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. This Framework outlines targets and priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risk. “It aims to achieve the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries over the next 15 years” (UNISDR, 2015). The conference brought together over 700 participants (scientists, experts, policy makers, researchers and practitioners) from the science and technology community from many geographical regions and partnerships.

The four work streams at the conference were:
1. Science and technology partnership to support Sendai Framework implementation;
2. Understanding disaster risk, risk assessment and early warning;
3. Use of science, technology and innovation tools, methods and standards, and
4. Leveraging science through capacity development and research
Every work stream had an introductory panel and was split into working group sessions.

I participated in Workstream 1 which explored the national, regional, and global scientific and technical partnerships and platforms that support the implementation of the Framework. My poster entitled “Disaster Preparedness and Response: How Public Libraries Can Partner with Local Agencies to Meet Community Needs outlined a survey carried out in 2015 with US public library directors and staff involved in disaster preparedness and response (Hagar, 2015). The poster also highlighted how public libraries can contribute to the Sendai Framework. The opportunity to present the poster brought global attention to the important roles that public libraries, as community and information hubs, can play in disaster risk reduction and in strengthening community resilience pre and post disasters. My poster was unique in that no other presentation mentioned libraries. The concept of library involvement in disaster risk reduction was new to the delegates with whom I interacted. More work needs to be done…!

One of the main outcomes of the conference was the launch of the UNISDR Science and Technology Partnership and Road Map to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework.
You can view the outcome presentation at:


Further information about the conference and background documents can be found here

If you are interested in my work or have questions, please contact me at christine.hagar@sjsu.edu


Hagar, Christine. (2015). Public library partnerships with local agencies to meet community disaster preparedness and response needsProceedings of the 12th International Conference of the Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management. Kristiansand, Norway, May 24-27.

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). (2015). Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction. Geneva: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.


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