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Waterproofing Data

Waterproofing Data investigates the governance of water-related risks, with a focus on social and cultural aspects of data practices.

Typically, data flows up from local levels to scientific "centres of expertise", and then flood-related alerts and interventions flow back down through local governments and into communities. Rethinking how flood-related data is produced, and how it flows, can help build sustainable, flood resilient communities.

To find out more, please visit the Waterproofing Data website

This project develops three innovative methods around data practices, across different sites and scales:

  • Making visible existing flows of flood-related data through tracing data;
  • Generating new types of data at the local level by engaging citizens through the creation of multimodal interfaces, which sense, collect and communicate flood data, and;
  • Integrating citizen-generated data with other data using geo-computational techniques.

These methodological interventions will transform how flood-related data is produced and flows, creating new governance arrangements between citizens, governments and flood experts and, ultimately, increased community resilience related to floods in vulnerable communities of Sao Paulo and Rio Branco, Brazil.

The project will be conducted by a highly skilled international team of researchers with multiple disciplinary backgrounds from Brazil, Germany and the UK, in close partnership with researchers, stakeholders and the public of a multi-site case study on flood risk management in Brazil. Furthermore, the methods and results of this case study will be the basis for a transcultural dialogue with government organisations and local administration involved in flood risk management in Germany and the United Kingdom.

WP1: Making Data Flows Visible

Make visible the way citizens, local government authorities, and other agencies involved in the management of water-related risks engage with data on flooding.

WP2: Community Engagement Through Data Circulation

Engage intergenerational groups of citizens to produce, circulate and embed data, which incorporates and builds upon pre-existing flood memories and local knowledge of flood risk, to increase community resilience.

WP3: Data Integration and Curation for Decision Support

Integrate citizen-generated data with other data sources, such as environmental sensors, socio-demographics and risk mapping, in ways that support decision-making and policy-making on flooding.

WP4: Transformations Towards Waterproofing Data

Facilitate transformations of the data practices of key stakeholders, ensuring community knowledge of the research is accessible to all project stakeholders and beyond.

WP5: Translation of Waterproof Data Into Sustainable Governance

Translate “waterproof data” into sustainable flood risk governance, through integrating the different work streams, tracking governance changes and promoting a transcultural dialogue on flood data practices.

WP6: Development and Application of a citizen-science mobile application for community resilience.

Scaling up and dissemination of the project's methods to engage schools, flood-prone communities and local governments in the production and circulation of flood-related data to improve flood resilience.

A schematic representation of the research approach followed in Waterproofing data, showing the scales and work packages of the project.

Two case studies, in the cities of São Paulo and Rio Branco in Brazil, will be instrumental for developing interdisciplinary research methods in response to three main research questions:

1. How to make visible the way citizens, local government authorities, and other agencies involved in the management of water-related risks engage with data on flooding?

2. How to engage citizens to produce, circulate and embed data, which incorporates and builds upon pre-existing flood memories and local knowledge of flood risk, to increase community resilience?

3. How to integrate citizen-generated data with other data sources, such as environmental sensors, socio-demographics and risk mapping, in ways that support decision-making and policy-making on flooding?

Principal Investigator

Professor João Porto de Albuquerque, University of Warwick, UK

Co-investigators

Professor Maria Alexandra Cunha

Professor Alexander Zipf

Researchers

Carolin Klonner

Heidelberg University

Dr Conrado Rudorff

CEMADEN

Dr Joanne Garde Hansen

University of Warwick

Prof Jon Coaffee

University of Warwick

Dr Liana Anderson

CEMADEN

Dr Nathaniel Tkacz

University of Warwick

Dr Nerea Calvillo Gonzalez

University of Warwick

Dr Rachel Trajber

CEMADEN

Vangelis Pitidis

University of Warwick

Dr Victor Marchezini

CEMADEN

Dr Livia Degrossi

FGV

Dr Mario Martins

FGV

Dr Fernanda Lima

CEMADEN

   
   
   

Collaborating Organisations

Waterproofing Data brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and institutions from the three collaborating countries, United Kingdom, Brazil and Germany, through the funding of around €1m, provided by an international association of research councils: Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC), São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), in collaboration with NORFACE, the Belmont Forum and the International Science Council within the Transformations to Sustainability (T2S) research programme.


    


SDG11

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
The expected long-term impact of this project is a contribution towards the SDG 11 targets of:
              • reducing the number of deaths and people affected by water-related disasters and reducing direct economic losses caused (SDG 11.5)
              • increasing the number of cities and human settlements adopting integrated policies and plans towards resilience to disasters and holistic disaster risk management (SDG 11.B).

Funded by

GCRF Logo ESRC Logo H2020 Logo

FAPESP German Ministry for Education and Research

The Waterproofing Data project is financially supported by the Belmont Forum and NORFACE Joint Research Programme on Transformations to Sustainability, which is co-funded by DLR/BMBF, ESRC, FAPESP, and the European Commission through Horizon 2020. The UK funding for this project is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Programme Coordination
Belmont Forum ISC Norface T2S