Technology Enhanced Stakeholder Collaboration for Supporting Risk-Sensitive Urban Development [TRANSCEND]

Lead Research Organisation: University of Salford
Department Name: Sch of Science,Engineering & Environment

Abstract

During the last decade, many initiatives have been undertaken to make progress in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and response. However the progress in disaster risk reduction has been limited by the failure to acknowledge and address the development processes as the root causes of disasters. Previous initiatives have concentrated on reducing existing risks, rather than on how risks are generated and accumulated in the first place through development projects that are taking place as a part of the reconstruction phase after a disaster or in response to the demand of urban sprawl. Furthermore, work on resilience has attracted criticism for its failure to involve vulnerable communities and address the issue of equity and power. As a result, the Sustainable Development Goals which call for "reduced inequalities", "inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities" and "partnerships for goals" and the Sendai Priority 4 that calls for build-back better in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction, are hard to achieve due to a lack of research knowledge, current practices and policies.

One of the explanations for increasing risks is that the development and disaster risk reduction decision-making processes occur in silos, conducted by different agencies, institutions and other actors with differing priorities, perspectives and time horizons. Therefore, there is an urgent need to transform current development practices that increase or create risks, as well as unfairly distributing risks to vulnerable communities, to a new form of development practice that is equitable and resilient. This project consortium believe such a transformation can be achieved by enabling cross-organisational collaboration, openness, adaptability, learning, impartiality, power sharing and public participation.

The project aims to investigate processes, governance structures, policies and technology that can enable a transition towards a more risk-sensitive and transformative urban development approach. More specifically, the project aims to investigate the nature of a sociotechnical system, enabled by a collaborative foresight and consensus building virtual workspace, which can promote collaborative governance approach across relevant organisations and support the transparent and democratic involvement of all the relevant stakeholders (including experts from local authorities, disaster management authorities, developers, poor and vulnerable communities, and humanitarian organisations) to analyse, forecast, visualize and debate disaster-risk trade-offs and to choose development plans that ensure sustainability and equitable resilience, giving considerations to climate change adaptation.

The key research questions that the project is aiming to address are: What type of formal and informal collaborative partnerships need to be established to alleviate long-standing tensions between development and DRR and progress towards more risk-sensitive and transformative urban development? What changes are required within the current urban planning process to facilitate risk-sensitive urban development, giving consideration to natural disasters and their impact on the environment, economy and vulnerable communities? What are the type of narratives that need to be developed, presented and discussed to establish a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the proposed developments on the community, economy and environment ? What are the vulnerabilities that need to be considered within the local context? How can we make participatory planning more accessible to a range of communities?

Three countries (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia) from the Asia-Pacific region have been selected for this research since the Asia-Pacific region continues to be the world's most disaster prone region. These countries are frequently affected by a multitude of natural hazards including floods, landslides, cyclones and droughts.

Planned Impact

Communities (especially vulnerable communities) who are currently excluded from the decision-making process of urban development project planning will benefit since they will be able to engage in an informed and meaningful discussion with the decision-makers to influence development projects which will enhance their quality of life and resilience to future disasters. They will be able to gain an understanding as to how development projects can either escalate or reduce their vulnerability and influence the design, planning and delivery of housing and local infrastructure.

Disaster Management Agencies who are responsible for disaster mitigation, prevention, preparedness and response will benefit since they will be in a position to work closely with the local authorities and private organisations which are responsible for development projects in housing, transport, utilities, etc. They will be able to bring the risk view (vulnerability, hazard, exposure) into the participatory planning processes to make sure the new development projects have a positive impact on the overall resilience in the local area. The learning that they will gain through the Living Lab research will improve their leadership skills and capacity in disaster mitigation and prevention.

Local authorities who are responsible for creating a safer, healthier and prosperous environment for the local community will benefit because the sociotechnical system created by this project will help them to establish a collaborative culture among the local stakeholders in working together to achieve their sustainable goals. Furthermore, they will be able to develop a coherent strategy for development projects funded by various sources such as the national government, humanitarian organisations or private investors, after a disaster, to build-back better. The TRANSCEND environment will allow them to identify any project which has a tendency to increase local vulnerability and to position their urban growth in a positive trajectory. They will be able to develop strong local capacity in delivering inclusive sustainable development through community-led projects while increasing local accountability.

The national governments (particularly within Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia) will benefit as the TRANSCEND project aims to help them to understand how best to create a joined-up approach to creating sustainable and resilient environments involving government organisations operating under different ministries. The approaches that will be validated and proven to be successful for implementing adaptive governance can be deployed across the country. Furthermore, they will be able to identify and implement policies that will promote adaptive governance for creating risk-sensitive and equitable urban development.

Technology companies will learn how to transform their technology solutions to support local governments to implement participatory planning involving a range of stakeholders including communities. They will gain a greater understanding of how best to refine their big data platforms, data governance procedures, web-based solutions, and visualisation applications to create products to enhance e-governance practices.

Insurance providers will be able to fine tune some of their offerings and formulate and elevate some of their existing models for achieving resilience and equitable and sustainable goals whilst pursuing their commercial aspirations in risk management.

Academic and scientific communities will benefit from the new knowledge created in areas such as risk-sensitive urban development, system dynamics for modelling community resilience, disaster risk reduction, community engagement, participatory approaches to risk governance, and collaborative workspaces for exploring complex urban problems etc.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Since the TRANSCEND team hasn't been able to travel to work with the partner countries and to finalise the collaboration agreements with the partners due to COVID-19, the work was mainly based on literature review work to establish a sound scientific and technical foundation for the TRANSCEND project. By using the additional PhD studentships allocated by the host Institution, the team has managed to develop strong collaboration among the academic team members to initiate the development of several systematic review papers in areas such as community engagement, challenges in implementing risk sensitive urban development, climate resilience research, models for measuring maturity in collaboration, tools and methods for supporting community engagement, cascading affect of risks across domains, systems for assessing climate change impacts etc. In parallel, the team has focused in running a series of workshops to engage with the key stakeholders responsible for climate change adaptation and risk sensitive urban development with the view to implementing the proposed living labs. Furthermore, the MOBILISE platform that is being developed as another GCRF project has been redesigned to support the integration of various climate change models and other simulation models to support stakeholder narratives. Work is now about to start for collecting primary data for the planned research.

Team is now in the process of establishing the two Living Labs in Malaysia and one Living lab in Sri Lanka.
Exploitation Route The TRAANSCEND project aims to develop a set of socio-technical systems to support risk-sensitive urban development, climate change adaptation, community engagement towards equitable resilience and collaborative governance. These systems can be used by government organisations to develop more resilient cities against climate change. Similarly, local governments and NGOs can use the methods and tools developed by TRANSCEND to introduce participatory approach to development projects that consider community as a key stakeholder to produce equitable outcomes. Furthermore, organisations such as disaster management centres and climate change secretariat who understand the need for an multi-agency approach for implementing sustainable environments against climate change will be able to use the methods developed by TRANSCEND to promote greater collaboration among the key stakeholders.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

URL http://www.transcend-project.org.uk
 
Description The workshops organised by the TRANSCEND project have managed to raise awareness of the climate change challenges, equitable resilience and risk-sensitive urban development among some of the key stakeholders in the chosen three countries. As a result, they have made strong commitment to join the project and contributing to the establishment of the Living Labs. The project team is planning to build on this initial interest to transform the current practices that is inclusive and evidence based in building future resilient environments against climate change.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Title MOBILISE Web Platform 3.0 with an Interactive Interface to explore Disaster Risks on a Touch Table 
Description The MOBILISE Web Platform has been designed as a micro-service architecture to allow users to integrate range of data sources and simulators to provide an environment to enhance understanding of risks as well as collaborative risk governance. It also allow agencies to explore various disaster scenarios and ensure the agencies and the communities are prepared for disasters. This environment is being developed as a part of the MOBILISE project, but further enhancement has been made under the TRANSCEND project to the project to allow easy integration of climate change models, land use models and urban development project to support the communication of various risk narratives among stakeholders. Furthermore, in order to provide engagement with the community, a mobile app has been developed allowing citizens to receive risk information. This community app is being further developed to allow community to raise their concerns on disaster risks and development projects. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The agencies has now shown the interest of using this platform to support their risk reduction activities in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia. This environment has provided the basis for developing the Living Lab concept to bring agencies to work together to further develop the collaborative governance concept and respond to climate change challenges. 
 
Description Launch of the TRANSCEND project, December 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The launch ceremony of the TRANSCEND Project was held at Mount Lavinia Hotel, Sri Lanka to invited interested organisations. The PI presented the aim of this project to all those attending. There were two presentation sessions. One was on climate adaptation and urban development policy which was presented by Dr. Athula Seneratne. H.M.U Chularatne from the Sevanatha Agency presented on community participation in the process of developing urban development policy. These were followed by panel sessions discussing risk sensitive urban development as well as discussing the objectives of TRANSCEND project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://transcend.uthm.edu.my/2019/12/19/launching-of-transcend-technology-enhanced-stakeholder-coll...
 
Description Prof T Fernando & Prof I Ingirige (TRANSCEND PI and Co-I respectively) presented at Malaysia Japan International Institute of Technology (M J I I T) conference on International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, October 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Professor Bingu Ingirige (Co-I, TRANSCEND) presented on the impacts of climate change on urban development. This area (climate change & its effect on urban development) is one of the Work Packages within the TRANSCEND project. Professor Terrence Fernando (TRANSCEND project PI) presented on the outcomes of the MOBILISE project (a digital platform which will form the basis of the technology platform for the TRANSCEND project).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=204778944398666&id=103216141221614
 
Description TRANSCEND Malaysia UHTM Team meeting with Digital Disaster Risk Reduction (DDRR) solution provider in Petaling Jaya 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM team meeting with digital-disaster risk reduction solution provider (DDRRSP) for Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ = Petaling Jaya city authority) for discussion re disaster risk reduction. The DDRRSP is a collaborator in the Sustainable Development Goals - MBPJ project 2020.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://transcend.uthm.edu.my/2020/01/08/meeting-with-digital-disaster-risk-reduction-solution-provi...
 
Description TRANSCEND Malaysia UHTM Team meeting with MBPJ (Petaling Jaya City Council) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM team meeting regarding the Community & Sustainable and Development Goals (SDG) Champions with MPBJ team (Petaling Jaya City Council) to discuss the TRANSCEND project & potential participation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM Team meeting with FAVORIOT 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM team had meeting with Favoriot (Favoriot deals with Internet of Things' solutions) for further collaboration in the TRANSCEND project. Dr Nora Sulaiman (Malaysia Co-I) spoke about the TRANSCEND project and its progress up until now. Dr Mazlan (of Favoriot) was interested in the project and in further collaboration. The meeting discussed: (1) Introduction to the TRANSCEND project/Living Lab concept & research at UTHM (Universiti Tun Hussein Onn); (2) Presentation on areas of interest including resilient built environments; (3) the possibility of collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM Team meeting with Futurise 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM team met with Futurise (a company under the Ministry of Finance that focuses on innovation, regulation and commercialization). The meeting, after presenting an update on the MOBILISE project also presented an introduction on the TRANSCEND project and DIGITAL- Disaster Risk Reduction generally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://transcend.uthm.edu.my/2020/01/09/2618/
 
Description TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM Team meeting with Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), RS & GIS Sdn Bhd and State Security and Enforcement Unit (SSEU) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact TRANSCEND Malaysia UHTM Team held a project meeting with Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), RS & GIS Sdn Bhd and State Security and Enforcement Unit (SSEU). Discussions covered the status of the TRANSCEND Project and the potential project launch (NB; subsequently, the proposed launch date had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://transcend.uthm.edu.my/2020/07/18/transcend-project-progress-meeting-with-sarawak-multimedia-...
 
Description TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM Team meeting with Serba Dinamik 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM (Universiti Tun Hussein Onn) team had a meeting with Serba Dinamik Sdn Bhd regarding further collaboration in the TRANSCEND project. RS & GIS were also in the meeting. Dr Nora Sulaiman (TRANSCNED Co-I) introduced the TRANSCEND project and its progress up until now. The MOBILISE platform was presented (this platform will be used in the TRANSCEND project Living Labs). Serba Dinamik expressed interest in the project and in potential collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM Team meeting with Sustainable Development Goals Champion (at MBPJ, Petaling Jaya City Council) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Meeting with the Community & Sustainable and Development Goals (SDG) Champions with Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to discuss potential collaboration within TRANSCEND.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://transcend.uthm.edu.my/2020/01/10/session-for-community-sdg-champion-with-mbpj/
 
Description TRANSCEND Malaysia UTHM team meeting with Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact TRANSCEND CO-I and team meeting with Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA). Discussions covered: (1) Introduction to TRANSCEND project (2) Plans for involvement in data collection from Sarawak disaster management agencies; (3) Discussions on potential collaboration with Sarawak Universities in TRANSCEND Research Project;
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://transcend.uthm.edu.my/2020/07/29/meeting-with-sma-for-collaboration-with-sarawak-universitie...
 
Description TRANSCEND UK team Tweet publicising TRANSCEND PI and Co-I presenting to an international audience at MJIIT conference to mark UN Disaster Risk Reduction Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The tweet publicised the activities of the PI and Co-I on Disaster Risk Reduction day, presenting at MJIIT Conference. The Conference highlighted recent and significant advances in research and development in advanced technology, applied sciences, and interdisciplinary works. Co-I, TRANSCEND presented on the impacts of climate change on urban development (this area is one of the Work Packages within the TRANSCEND project). PI TRANSCEND presented on an outcome of the MOBILISE project (a digital platform which will form the basis of the technology platform for the TRANSCEND project). The tweet generated awareness among a large cross section of stakeholders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://twitter.com/THINKlabsalford/status/1315938860409520128
 
Description TRANSCEND project Kick Off meeting, Sri Lanka, December 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The Kick Off meeting included a presentation about the project aims and vision (plus introduction to all Partners) by Principal Investigator, and Prof. Terrence Fernando. However, it also included presentations by (and discussions with) externals Mr Kishan Sugathapala of Sri Lanka's National Building Research Organisation who discussed 'Resettlement and Capacity Building', Dr. Hans Schaffers from Adventure Research Netherlands who introduced 'Living Labs as a Methodology', and Prof. Marie-Christine Therrien from Montreal's École Nationale d'Administration Publique and Cité-ID LivingLab who contextualized 'Adaptive Governance.' Much discussions ensued between all parties on the pathways/approaches ahead for the TRANSCEND project & on the support/advice offered by the external parties.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://transcend-project.org.uk/2020/06/25/transcend-sets-out-project-aims-and-objectives-with-a-su...