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Evidence for Policy School - Disaster Risk Management



13-15 January, 2020, Florence, Italy

In a world flooded with information from a multitude of sources, collecting, managing, making sense of and communicating knowledge, or evidence, is highly challenging.

With scientific controversies, post-fact politics and societal challenges to the use of evidence in public policy, evidence-informed policymaking needs advocates and skilled practitioners, both in scientific and policy bodies.

To help researchers to have more impact and policymakers to use evidence for policy solutions, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (DG ECHO), in collaboration with the Italian Civil Protection Department, the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) and the University of Florence (UNIFI), organise an Evidence and Policy School in Florence, Italy.

The thematic topic of the 2020 Evidence for Policy School is disaster risk management – a key strategic area for the future of Europe. However, the workshop will not present either the latest science or specific policy solutions in this field, but will focus on the tools and approaches to inform the policymaking process through evidence.

What is unique about the event?

  • Policymakers and scientists meet and together develop skills in using evidence for creating policy solutions;
  • Participants will learn how their respective professional worlds operate;
  • Leading thinkers and practitioners producing science and policy around risk reduction, preparedness and response engage closely with participants through participatory, interactive masterclasses;
  • The thematic focus stimulates cross-policy dialogue and interdisciplinarity.

Who will be there?

  • Scientists interested in how to achieve impact on policy and
  • Policymakers interested in how to commission and use research to support them in their daily work
  • Both having experience of working within the field of disaster risk management (producing science or policy tackling it, using related data in their work on other topics, interested in the implications of this societal challenge on other fields, etc.) and
  • Working primarily in the Participating States to the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, i.e. EU Member States, Norway, Iceland, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey

What will you gain?

  • New knowledge on how to better integrate scientific evidence into policy-making;
    • Scientists will learn how to better communicate and visualise their results, tackle uncertainty and align their projects with policy needs.
    • Policymakers will learn how research can support policy, which science can be relevant to their field, where to find it and how to interpret it, and what can be expected from researchers.
  • New insights on how ‘the other side’ operates;
  • Enlarged network of likeminded professionals, working on disaster risk management with ambition of using evidence in policymaking;
  • Access to a global community of practice, exchanging top resources and expertise.


Key Note Lectures

Simulation Game - Panic at the border


Participants choose five preferred masterclasses, which are run throughout two days in five parallel sessions.


  1. Disaster prevention and climate adaptation: how to ensure synergies?

    facilitators:João Dinis (Empresa Municipal de Ambiente de Cascais (EMAC), Portugal); Alessandra Sgobbi (DG for Climate Action, European Commission)

    PDF iconSlide Presentation PDF iconExercise 1, PDF iconExercise 2, PDF iconSlides Cascais

  2. Integrated multi-risk assessment and planning – complexity thinking and systemic risk

    facilitators:Scott Williams (Climate-KIC)

    PDF iconSlide Presentation

  3. Science for disaster risk management – liability of the scientific world

    facilitators:Mauro Dolce & Daniela Di Bucci (Italian Civil Protection Department)

    PDF icon Slide PresentationPDF icon Further reading



  4. Emergency Management Priorities – hands-on Crisis Management Tools

    facilitators:Thomas Peter (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs); Alessandro Annunziato (Joint Research Centre, European Commission)

    PDF icon Slide PresentationPDF icon Exercise PDF icon Further reading

  5. Situational awareness and information management in emergencies

    facilitators:Jose Miguel Roncero Martin & Olimpia Imperiali (DG ECHO, European Commission)

    PDF icon Slide Presentation

  6. Communicating risk for action – at all levels – in DRM policy making

    facilitators:Iain Stewart (Sustainable Earth Institute, University of Plymouth), prepared jointly with BBC Media Action

    PDF icon Slide PresentationPDF icon Exercise



  7. How to brief your Minister on international disasters?

    facilitators:George M. Karagiannis (Deputy Secretary‑General for Civil Protection, Greece)

    PDF icon Slide PresentationPDF icon Exercise

  8. Monitoring and early warning for disaster risk reduction

    facilitators:Nicola Casagli & Giovanni Gigli (University of Florence)

    PDF icon Slide Presentation 1 PDF icon Slide Presentation 2PDF icon Exercise

  9. Data visualisation for evidence-informed policy making: a hands-on approach

    facilitators:Rafa Hohr (Prodigioso Volcán); Emiliano Bruno (Joint Research Centre, European Commission)

    PDF icon Slide Presentation      PDF icon Resources: dataviz, infographic and applications       PDF icon Chart type gallery

    PDF icon Paper: Brick et al: Winners and losers - communicating the potential impact of policies

Photo: Participants and facilitators

Monday, 13 January, 2020 - 09:00