The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR) is a young and growing institute with over 40 established and early-career researchers in central London and a mission to lead research, advanced teaching and knowledge exchange in the UK and internationally. It is strongly interdisciplinary and has academic experts in disaster management, emergency planning, organisational and community resilience, mobile technology and data science, critical infrastructure, and natural and technological hazards. It is strongly multi-national both with researchers drawn from around the world and projects run globally. The IRDR is driving new research in cascading crises in modern society, conflict and disaster humanitarian response, digital health in emergencies, and gender responsiveness resilience. It hosts the Humanitarian Tech Hub which aims to link researchers, innovators and practitioners and develop innovative products, systems and training to meet humanitarian challenges.
The IRDR runs masters and diploma degree programmes in risk, disaster and resilience, and offers flexible learning to allow practitioners to study selected modules over 5 years. Students are encouraged to partner with companies and organisations for their dissertation projects. The IRDR runs masterclasses for practitioners and education programmes for schools, and aims to keep the public informed through its well-attended lively open events and interviews in the media.
The IRDR impacts policymaking and consults to governments, organisations and communities. With disasters such as the Grenfell Tower fire and the threat of terrorism, the IRDR is working to support business and community resilience for instance by developing practical benchmarking tools. Working with London and UK partners, it contributes to London emergency planning, including the training of gold command of London Resilience. Professor David Alexander’s practical guide on how to write an emergency plan has been downloaded over 10,000 since 2017. The IRDR has active engagement with London First and Resilience First. It aims to exchange knowledge with the community to make London the most resilient and vibrant city in the world and an exemplar for cities globally.