To read this content please select one of the options below:

Data interoperability for disaster risk reduction in Europe

Massimo Migliorini (LINKS, Turin, Italy)
Jenny Sjåstad Hagen (University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway) (Bjerknes Center for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway)
Jadranka Mihaljević (Institute of Hydrometeorology and Seismology of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro)
Jaroslav Mysiak (Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies (RAAS), CCMC@Ca’Foscari Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, Venice, Italy)
Jean-Louis Rossi (Université de Corse, Corte, France)
Alexander Siegmund (Department of Geography, Heidelberg University of Education, Heidelberg, Germany)
Khachatur Meliksetian (Institute of Geological Sciences, Armenian National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, Armenia)
Debarati Guha Sapir (Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), School of Public Health, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 17 October 2019

Issue publication date: 11 November 2019




The purpose of this paper is to discuss how, despite increasing data availability from a wide range of sources unlocks unprecedented opportunities for disaster risk reduction, data interoperability remains a challenge due to a number of barriers. As a first step to enhancing data interoperability for disaster risk reduction is to identify major barriers, this paper presents a case study on data interoperability in disaster risk reduction in Europe, linking current barriers to the regional initiative of the European Science and Technology Advisory Group.


In support of Priority 2 (“Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk”) of the Sendai Framework and SDG17 (“Partnerships for the goals”), this paper presents a case study on barriers to data interoperability in Europe based on a series of reviews, surveys and interviews with National Sendai Focal Points and stakeholders in science and research, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and industry.


For a number of European countries, there remains a clear imbalance between long-term disaster risk reduction and short-term preparation and the dominant role of emergency relief, response and recovery, pointing to the potential of investments in ex ante measures with better inclusion and exploitation of data.


Modern society is facing a digital revolution. As highlighted by the International Council of Science and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology, digital technology offers profound opportunities for science to discover unsuspected patterns and relationships in nature and society, on scales from the molecular to the cosmic, from local health systems to global sustainability. It has created the potential for disciplines of science to synergize into a holistic understanding of the complex challenges currently confronting humanity; the Sustainable Development Goals are a direct reflectance of this. Interdisciplinary is obtained with integration of data across relevant disciplines. However, a barrier to realization and exploitation of this potential arises from the incompatible data standards and nomenclatures used in different disciplines. Although the problem has been addressed by several initiatives, the following challenge still remains: to make online data integration a routine.



The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest to disclose. The authors would like to thank all members of the European Science and Technology Advisory Group (E-STAG) for contributions to the work on which this paper built. The authors would also like to thank Sebastien Penzini and the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDDR) for competent support to the E-STAG. Special thanks are directed to Zvonko Sigmund and Sara Alonso Vicario from the E-STAG for practical assistance in the final stage of this work.


Migliorini, M., Hagen, J.S., Mihaljević, J., Mysiak, J., Rossi, J.-L., Siegmund, A., Meliksetian, K. and Guha Sapir, D. (2019), "Data interoperability for disaster risk reduction in Europe", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 804-816.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles