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Amaratunga, D, Malalgoda, C I and Keraminiyage, K (2018) Contextualising mainstreaming of disaster resilience concepts in the construction process. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 9(04–05), 348–67.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Construction; Built environment; Education; Disaster resilience; Knowledge gaps;
- ISBN/ISSN: 1759-5908
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-10-2017-0057
Construction industry and the built environment professions play an important role in contributing to society’s improved resilience. It is therefore important to improve their knowledgebase to strengthen their capacities. This paper aims to identify gaps in the knowledgebase of construction professionals that are undermining their ability to contribute to the development of a more disaster resilient society. The paper also provides a series of recommendations to key actors in the built environment on how to more effectively mainstream disaster resilience in the construction process.
Design/methodology/approachThe paper reports the findings of 87 stakeholder interviews with: national and local government organisations; the community; non-governmental organisations, international non-governmental organisation and other international agencies; academia and research organisations; and the private sector, which were supplemented by a comprehensive analysis of key policies related to disaster resilience and management. The findings were validated using focus group discussions that were conducted as part of six organised stakeholder workshops. FindingsThe primary and secondary data generated a long list of needs and skills. Finally, the identified needs and skills were combined “like-for-like” to produce broader knowledge gaps. Some of the key knowledge gaps identified are: governance, legal frameworks and compliance; business continuity management; disaster response; contracts and procurement; resilience technologies, engineering and infrastructure; knowledge management; social and cultural awareness; sustainability and resilience; ethics and human rights; innovative financing mechanisms; multi stakeholder approach, inclusion and empowerment; post disaster project management; and multi hazard risk assessment. The study also identifies a series of recommendations to key actors in the built environment on how to more effectively mainstream disaster resilience in the construction process. The recommendations are set out in five key themes: education, policy, practice, research and cross-cutting. Research limitations/implicationsThis study is part of an EU funded research project that is seeking to develop innovative and timely professional education that will update the knowledge and skills of construction professionals in the industry and enable them to contribute more effectively to disaster resilience building efforts. Originality/valueThe paper provides an extensive analysis of the gaps in the knowledgebase of construction professionals that are undermining their ability to contribute to the development of a more disaster resilient society. Accordingly, the paper recommends major changes in construction education, research, policy and practice with respect to mainstreaming disaster resilience within the construction process.