Volume 25, Number 1

Contents - Volume 25, Number 1

Published June 2021
Volume 25, Number 1 (complete issue)

Contents page - Volume 25, Number 1


Research Papers

Designing tsunami risk communication with communities: A site-specific case study from Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, Aotearoa New Zealand

Harmony Repia & Jo Bailey

Keywords: Tsunami risk, communication, Human-Centred Design, Mātauranga Māori, community

This paper describes a student research project that proposes ways to build earthquake and tsunami awareness through a community-centred approach to tell the story of tsunami as a potential risk. This project is centred on Tūranganui-a-Kiwa (the Poverty Bay region on the East Coast of Aotearoa New Zealand’s North Island), an area close to the Hikurangi Subduction Zone which is liable to produce tsunami with little or no time for an official warning. Recent research has revealed that these coastal communities have low levels of tsunami awareness and high expectations of receiving a formal warning before evacuation. In response, this project examined ways to incorporate Mātauranga Māori with Human-Centred Design to produce a meaningful and relevant narrative for encouraging community conversations about tsunami risk. This approach can increase ownership of risk management and recognises that communities, especially tangata whenua - “people of the land”, or indigenous communities who have authority in a particular place - hold various bodies of knowledge that can contribute to future risk management. A combination of methods comprised a co-design process, underpinned by Kaupapa Māori research principles, including developing personas and conducting semi-structured interviews and participatory workshops. A narrative developed through this design process manifested in a sculptural pouwhenua - marker posts, usually carved, that are used to mark boundaries of significant places - articulating local earthquake and tsunami hazards. This speculative output was presented in Wellington and Tūranganui-a-Kiwa and is envisaged as an ongoing conversation prompt. This paper describes and reflects on this research process as one that intertwined Human-Centred Design with the author's own situated knowledge as an emerging Māori design researcher. It suggests that a design process that is responsive to community, geography, and culture, undertaken without a predetermined outcome, is valuable in two ways: for the learning that takes place dialogically through the process itself and the potential for an artefact initiated through this process, which embeds narrative storytelling, to catalyse further dialogue in the community and expert groups and between the two.

Strategies for Internet-enabled and gender-sensitive tsunami early warning

M.K.K.K. De Silva

Keywords: Internet, tsunami early warning system, gender equity

Despite the scientific and technological progress made in coping with disasters, many lives are still lost due to gaps in warning communication. Women are overrepresented in the disaster death toll, particularly for tsunami, due in part to lower capacity for response and lack of access to tsunami early warning, a clear case of gender inequity. This is despite the Sendai Framework for Action (SFDRR) emphasising the importance of early warning systems meeting the needs of the end-user, including considering gender. However, Internet interaction provides opportunities for increasing gender-based potentials. As such, the present research explores Internet use to improve gender equity of the Sri Lankan tsunami early warning system. The present research adopted multiple case studies selecting the Municipal Councils areas in Sri Lanka most affected by tsunami (Galle, Batticaloa, and Hambantota). Thirty-eight semi-structured interviews demonstrated that the existing people-centred early warning system can be transformed into a gender-sensitive, Internet-enabled, and people-centred tsunami early warning system with new strategies including: use of risk knowledge for preparedness, use of monitoring and warning services for preparedness, dissemination and communication with the use of Internet-enabled digital technology, and community responding capacity with the gender equity aspect. In contrast to the literature, common key actors were found for the above components. Strategies such as identification of women as key actors in tsunami early warning, tailoring to men’s and women’s strategic and practical needs, recognising social media networks and smartphones, and digital risk information are important for effective, gender-sensitive, Internet-enabled tsunami early warning.


All papers are protected under the Creative Commons attribution as per our copyright notice.