Side effects of research in natural hazard and disaster risk studies

Analyzing impacts on involved actors - fwf (UIBK)

Project management (UIBK): Eva Posch (Hertha-Firnberg-Programm)

The interest in participatory and transdisciplinary approaches in research has increased significantly in recent years. Particularly in countries of the Global South, the involvement of non-academic actors in research on natural hazards and disaster risk is seen as promising strategy: On the one hand to solve data issues, while on the other hand to raise awareness and build knowledge among the participants. While there are some studies on the (supposedly) positive effects of participation in scientific research processes, possible negative consequences for the actors involved are often ignored. In addition, the field of natural hazards and risk research increasingly deals with traumatic topics, which makes the way how research is conducted and how actors are involved in it all the more important. This research project investigates how participation in scientific research on natural hazards and disaster risk creates impacts - intended and unintended - and for whom. Using the example of glacial lake outburst floods in the Himalayas, the project will analyze (1) the effects of participation in research processes for non-academic actors; (2) how academic actors negotiate research relationships in the field of natural hazards and risk research; and (3) what factors influence the willingness of non-academic actors to participate in scientific research in the context of natural hazards.