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Cranfield University launches research unit to assess tsunami disaster response


A special unit to assess the recent earthquakes and tsunami disasters in Asia and to harvest the lessons learned from the international relief effort has been launched by Cranfield University’s Resilience Centre.

The Resilience Centre, a partnership between Cranfield University at Shrivenham and the Defence Academy of the UK, was founded in July 2004 to maximise the extensive defence and security management and technology expertise available at both Cranfield and the Defence Academy.

Speaking about the new research unit Professor Trevor Taylor, Chairman of the Resilience Centre, said: "We’ll be working closely with the international community through the United Nations, the UK Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and other Government departments, co-ordinating agencies and NGOs."

He continued: "This is a major undertaking by a British university in partnership with our colleagues at the Defence Academy of the UK. As part of the unit a full-time researcher will be engaged to collate all available data from India, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Somalia."

Members of the Resilience Centre, including Director Ivar Hellberg, will travel to countries affected by the earthquakes and tsunami to conduct field research and provide valuable training and support to the humanitarian and reconstruction efforts.

The Resilience Centre, which specialises in defining systems methodology for responding to complex emergencies, has recently been awarded a major EU contract for designing a command, control, communication and data information system for use in response to emergencies.

An interim report on the earthquake and tsunami disasters will be published in April 2005 and will include analysis of:

warning systems
initial response – access, assessments
coordination – national, international
in-country expertise, both national and international
health, hygiene and disease control
trauma counselling
livelihoods – fishing, agriculture and tourism etc
in-country infrastructure and administration
logistics – airlift, sealift,
in-country lines of communication
helicopters communications
land mines
key gaps and shortages
lessons learned
how the response of the international community might be improved in terms of speed and efficacy
how the UK response might be improved in terms of speed and efficacy
recommendations and policy implications

Ardi Kolah | alfa
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