The upstream-downstream interface of Sri Lanka’s tsunami early warning system

Richard Haigh, Maheshika Sakalasuriya, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Senaka Basnayake, Siri Hettige, Sarath Premalal, Dahanayake Jayasinghe Arachchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to deliver a detailed analysis of the functioning of upstream-downstream interface process of the tsunami early warning and mitigation system Sri Lanka. It also gives an understanding of the social, administrative, political and cultural complexities attached to the operation of interface mechanism, and introduces an analytical framework highlighting the significant dynamics of the interface of tsunami early warning system in Sri Lanka.

Design/methodology/approach
Through the initial literature review, a conceptual framework was developed, highlighting the criteria against which the interface process can be assessed. This framework was used as the basis for developing data collection tools, namely documentary analysis, semi structured interviews and observations that focused on the key stakeholder institutions in Sri Lanka. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse the data according to the conceptual framework, and an improved and detailed framework was developed deriving from the findings.

Findings
The manner in which the interface mechanism operates in Sri Lanka’s tsunami early warning system is discussed, providing a detailed understanding of the decision-making structures, key actors, standardisation, technical and human capacities, socio-spatial dynamics, coordination among actors, communication and information dissemination, and the evaluation processes. Several gaps and shortcomings were identified with relation to some of these aspects, and the significance of addressing these gaps is highlighted in the paper.

Practical implications
A number of recommendations are provided to addresses the existing shortcomings and to improve the overall performance of tsunami warning system in Sri Lanka.

Originality/value
Based on the findings, a framework was developed in to a more detailed analytical framework that depicts the Interface operationalisation in Sri Lanka, and can also be potentially applied to similar cases across the world. The new analytical framework was validated through a focus group discussion held in Sri Lanka with the participation of experts and practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Nov 2019

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Tsunamis
Alarm systems
Information dissemination
Standardization
Decision making
Communication

Cite this

Haigh, Richard ; Sakalasuriya, Maheshika ; Amaratunga, Dilanthi ; Basnayake, Senaka ; Hettige, Siri ; Premalal, Sarath ; Jayasinghe Arachchi, Dahanayake. / The upstream-downstream interface of Sri Lanka’s tsunami early warning system. In: International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment. 2019.
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The upstream-downstream interface of Sri Lanka’s tsunami early warning system. / Haigh, Richard; Sakalasuriya, Maheshika; Amaratunga, Dilanthi; Basnayake, Senaka; Hettige, Siri; Premalal, Sarath; Jayasinghe Arachchi, Dahanayake.

In: International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 18.11.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The upstream-downstream interface of Sri Lanka’s tsunami early warning system

AU - Haigh, Richard

AU - Sakalasuriya, Maheshika

AU - Amaratunga, Dilanthi

AU - Basnayake, Senaka

AU - Hettige, Siri

AU - Premalal, Sarath

AU - Jayasinghe Arachchi, Dahanayake

PY - 2019/11/18

Y1 - 2019/11/18

N2 - PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to deliver a detailed analysis of the functioning of upstream-downstream interface process of the tsunami early warning and mitigation system Sri Lanka. It also gives an understanding of the social, administrative, political and cultural complexities attached to the operation of interface mechanism, and introduces an analytical framework highlighting the significant dynamics of the interface of tsunami early warning system in Sri Lanka.Design/methodology/approach Through the initial literature review, a conceptual framework was developed, highlighting the criteria against which the interface process can be assessed. This framework was used as the basis for developing data collection tools, namely documentary analysis, semi structured interviews and observations that focused on the key stakeholder institutions in Sri Lanka. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse the data according to the conceptual framework, and an improved and detailed framework was developed deriving from the findings.Findings The manner in which the interface mechanism operates in Sri Lanka’s tsunami early warning system is discussed, providing a detailed understanding of the decision-making structures, key actors, standardisation, technical and human capacities, socio-spatial dynamics, coordination among actors, communication and information dissemination, and the evaluation processes. Several gaps and shortcomings were identified with relation to some of these aspects, and the significance of addressing these gaps is highlighted in the paper.Practical implicationsA number of recommendations are provided to addresses the existing shortcomings and to improve the overall performance of tsunami warning system in Sri Lanka.Originality/value Based on the findings, a framework was developed in to a more detailed analytical framework that depicts the Interface operationalisation in Sri Lanka, and can also be potentially applied to similar cases across the world. The new analytical framework was validated through a focus group discussion held in Sri Lanka with the participation of experts and practitioners.

AB - PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to deliver a detailed analysis of the functioning of upstream-downstream interface process of the tsunami early warning and mitigation system Sri Lanka. It also gives an understanding of the social, administrative, political and cultural complexities attached to the operation of interface mechanism, and introduces an analytical framework highlighting the significant dynamics of the interface of tsunami early warning system in Sri Lanka.Design/methodology/approach Through the initial literature review, a conceptual framework was developed, highlighting the criteria against which the interface process can be assessed. This framework was used as the basis for developing data collection tools, namely documentary analysis, semi structured interviews and observations that focused on the key stakeholder institutions in Sri Lanka. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse the data according to the conceptual framework, and an improved and detailed framework was developed deriving from the findings.Findings The manner in which the interface mechanism operates in Sri Lanka’s tsunami early warning system is discussed, providing a detailed understanding of the decision-making structures, key actors, standardisation, technical and human capacities, socio-spatial dynamics, coordination among actors, communication and information dissemination, and the evaluation processes. Several gaps and shortcomings were identified with relation to some of these aspects, and the significance of addressing these gaps is highlighted in the paper.Practical implicationsA number of recommendations are provided to addresses the existing shortcomings and to improve the overall performance of tsunami warning system in Sri Lanka.Originality/value Based on the findings, a framework was developed in to a more detailed analytical framework that depicts the Interface operationalisation in Sri Lanka, and can also be potentially applied to similar cases across the world. The new analytical framework was validated through a focus group discussion held in Sri Lanka with the participation of experts and practitioners.

KW - disaster risk reduction

KW - interface

KW - Sri Lanka

KW - Tsunami

KW - Early warning

KW - upstream-downstream

M3 - Article

JO - International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

JF - International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

SN - 1759-5908

ER -