Uncommon sense: A review of challenges and opportunities for aggregating disaster risk information

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ambition to integrate disaster risk information from multiple stakeholders exists at different scales in any country and serve to control the risk of losses within companies, organizations and countries as a whole. Against the backdrop of extensive deliberations with risk management professionals in Sweden, this paper is based on an interdisciplinary scoping study of literature aimed to enhance our understanding about and possibility of aggregating disaster risk information from organizations across administrative levels and societal sectors. Whilst conceiving that aggregation involves collecting and synthesizing information, the paper exposes a number of barriers and opportunities related to these processes. Major impediments include unawareness of information needs, fragmented and highly distributed knowledge; distrust, prestige and secrecy, lack of empirical and quantitative data, heterogeneous ways of assessing and describing risk as well as the vast volume of information vis-à-vis the time and cognitive abilities available to process it. Remedial measures include multi-stakeholder risk assessment processes, trainings and exercises, allowances and regulations as catalysts for inter-organizational collaboration, trainings on the management of sensitive information, standardizations and the increased use of visualizations and GIS to support analysis and presentation of disaster risk information. The paper highlights existing research that may be particularly conducive for addressing problems communicated by risk management professionals as well as concerns that hitherto have not been thoroughly addressed by research. It also stresses the need to further strengthen the rigor of normative proposals by establishing cause-effect relationships and the influence of contextual factors.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Information Systems, Social aspects
  • Information Studies


  • Aggregation, Holistic, Information management, Risk governance, Scoping study, Societal safety
Original languageEnglish
Article number101149
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch