Co-Chairs: Virginia JIMENEZ and Shuaib LWASA

Goal: To inform the post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction on scientific contributions to disaster risk reduction by:

  1. Providing a baseline of the current state of the science on integrated research on disaster risk;
  2. Identifying and supporting a longer-term science agenda for the research community and funding entities; and
  3. Creating a mechanism for substantiating advances in the scientific evidentiary basis for supporting policy and practice.

Approved in 2011 by the IRDR Science Committee (SC), AIRDR is providing a baseline of the current state of integrated research on disaster risk through a systematic and critical global assessment of the existing literature. AIRDR was created to inform on potential scientific contributions in the development of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. The results of AIRDR are also expected to help identify elements for a longer-term science agenda that can serve both the research community and funding entities. In addition, the project is generating input for new approaches to strengthen the scientific evidentiary basis for supporting policy and practice.

What is Integrated Disaster Research?

For the purposes of this assessment, integrated disaster research involves two or more researchers from diverse disciplines and specialties (including professional and practitioners expertise) active in the co‐production of novel concepts, theory, methods that leads to new knowledge. It includes a community of researchers spanning traditional academic boundaries (sciences, social sciences, humanities, health, engineering, law, arts, education, business), methodological approaches (quantitative‐qualitative, analytical‐interpretive, expressive‐performance), and real‐world experiences.

Integrated research examines problem‐focused socially‐driven research questions, which cannot be adequately addressed by one or a small number of research disciplines, or without collaborative problem solving and real‐world engagement of non‐academics. Many refer to this as transdisciplinary research (Hadorn et al. 2008) or transdisciplinary action research (Stokols 2006). Integrated research permits a more comprehensive understanding of the construction of a particular disaster situation, context, or problem and also provides policy‐relevant information for social interventions designed to reduce risk. An integrated research approach requires diverse epistemologies, theories, and methodologies, with no prior assumptions about the primacy of each in addressing the problem.

The notion of integrated research defined here also entails the incorporation of different stakeholders in the co‐production of knowledge, especially in the problem formulation and dissemination of research results. Where such participation is involved, we refer to this as “participatory processes of integrated research.” Finally, our consideration of integrated research on disaster risk considers the ways and extent to which researchers from northern continents and backgrounds interact with those from southern reaches, promoting richness and synergies in research concepts, methods, and design.


Hadorn, G. H., H. Hoffmann‐Riem S. Biber‐Klemm, W. Grossenbacher‐Mansuy, , D. Joye, C. Pohl, U. Wiesmann, and E. Zemp, (eds.) 2008. Handbook of Transdisciplinary Research. Springer: Bern.

Stokols, D., 2006. Toward a science of transdisciplinary action research. Am. J. Community Psychology 38: 63‐77.