A Systematic Literature Review of Community-Based Knowledge in Disaster Risk Reduction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Community-based knowledge has protected communities from natural hazards for decades. This knowledge, gathered throughout generations from observation, has increased the capability of people to understand the behaviour patterns of natural hazards specific to their local environment. Many people have used these observations to develop their own sets of defence strategies. Recent disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies have highlighted the importance of community-based knowledge and previous studies have shown the contribution they can make towards productive DRR practices in different context. However, they also show a failure to translate that knowledge into practice. This chapter presents a study to understand the role of community-based knowledge in disaster risk reduction (DRR). It is based on a systematic literature review using academic literature published online after 2010, as well as recent international policy documents related to DRR. The study addresses three guiding questions: What are the definitions and terminology associated with community-based knowledge? How is community-based knowledge addressed within international policies on DRR? What is the contribution of community-based knowledge to current DRR practices? A key word search was carried out using the terms Community-based knowledge, local knowledge, traditional knowledge, indigenous knowledge, disaster management and disaster risk reduction. The literature highlights that recent development activities and DRR measures have considered community-based knowledge as an important factor in sustainable development, yet there is a gap in integrating these measures into practice. Further studies are needed to improve and develop the mechanisms of integration to apply community-based knowledge productively for DRR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMulti-Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risks
EditorsDilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh, Nuwan Dias
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030730031
ISBN (Print)9783030730024, 9783030730055
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2021
EventInternational Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risk Reduction: To promote the availability and application of research, science and technology to support implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 - Virtual, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Duration: 14 Dec 202016 Dec 2020


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risk Reduction
Country/TerritorySri Lanka
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'A Systematic Literature Review of Community-Based Knowledge in Disaster Risk Reduction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this