The Regional Research Strategy presents a work plan for the Digital Belt and Road (DBAR) Initiative to support sustainable development and disaster risk reduction. The initiative advocates for the use of big Earth data and demonstrates possible applications for more than sixty countries. It also promotes cooperation between countries as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
This comprehensive strategy is the outcome of an international workshop and a regional training course. It presents a roadmap for regional convergence and for the building of national strategies and plans. The key objectives are as follows:
- To undertake innovative, implementation oriented research in the field of DRR through collaboration and partnership;
- To strengthen national research capacities to enable informed decision-making in different aspects of disaster risk reduction;
- To foster the development of young professionals and researchers through training and capacity building programs
The report presents twelve key action items over four priority areas and within a ten-year timeframe. Highlights and next steps include the following seven points:
- DBAR – Disaster (Risk) Research Working Group formed;
- Integrated Digital and Social Vulnerability Research Support Programme launched in 4 countries to start with, namely Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka;
- Regional Capacity Building Programme on Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction launched, with 15 countries already covered towards the creation of a cadre of young professionals;
- Annual Reports and event specific reports to be generated in accordance with the work plan execution. Substantive report such as Regional Status Reports on the theme to be taken up in later stages;
- Regional Research Programme to be launched on Asian Drought, covering climate change, water, agriculture, urban water stress and such themes;
- Regional coordinating capacity to be strengthened at IRDR, eventually aiming to reach out to all 60 DBAR countries;
- Links with Civil Society to be strengthened immediately, to be extended with subsequent efforts to engage with the private sector and media. Platform and fellowship exchange programme to be established, linking social sciences with the programme.