Cranfield University launches research unit to assess tsunami disaster response

January 26, 2005

A special unit to assess the recent earthquakes and tsunami disasters in Asia and to harvest the lessons learned from the international relief effort has been launched by Cranfield University's Resilience Centre.

The Resilience Centre, a partnership between Cranfield University at Shrivenham and the Defence Academy of the UK, was founded in July 2004 to maximise the extensive defence and security management and technology expertise available at both Cranfield and the Defence Academy.

Speaking about the new research unit Professor Trevor Taylor, Chairman of the Resilience Centre, said: "We'll be working closely with the international community through the United Nations, the UK Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and other Government departments, co-ordinating agencies and NGOs."

He continued: "This is a major undertaking by a British university in partnership with our colleagues at the Defence Academy of the UK. As part of the unit a full-time researcher will be engaged to collate all available data from India, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Somalia."

Members of the Resilience Centre, including Director Ivar Hellberg, will travel to countries affected by the earthquakes and tsunami to conduct field research and provide valuable training and support to the humanitarian and reconstruction efforts.

The Resilience Centre, which specialises in defining systems methodology for responding to complex emergencies, has recently been awarded a major EU contract for designing a command, control, communication and data information system for use in response to emergencies.

An interim report on the earthquake and tsunami disasters will be published in April 2005 and will include analysis of:
  • warning systems
  • initial response - access, assessments
  • co-ordination - national, international
  • in-country expertise, both national and international
  • health, hygiene and disease control
  • trauma counselling
  • livelihoods - fishing, agriculture and tourism etc
  • in-country infrastructure and administration
  • logistics - airlift, sealift,
  • in-country lines of communication
  • helicopters communications
  • land mines
  • key gaps and shortages
  • lessons learned
  • how the response of the international community might be improved in terms of speed and efficacy
  • how the UK response might be improved in terms of speed and efficacy
  • recommendations and policy implications.

    Cranfield University

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