Seneviratne, T. K. K., Pathirage, C. P., Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2011) Disaster knowledge factors: benefits and challenges. In: International Conference on Building Resilience 2011: Interdisciplinary approaches to disaster risk reduction, and the development of sustainable communities and cities, 19-21st July 2011, Kandalama, Sri Lanka. (Unpublished)

Disasters bring about the loss of lives, property, employment and damage to the physical
infrastructure and the environment. The number of reported disasters has increased steadily over
the past century and risen very sharply during the past decade. While knowledge management
can enhance the process of disaster management, there is a perceived gap in information
coordination and sharing within the context of disaster management. Identification of key
disaster knowledge factors will be an enabler to manage disasters successfully. This study aims
to identify and map key disaster knowledge success factors in managing disasters successfully
through capturing good practices and lessons learned. A list of disaster knowledge factors was
first identified through a comprehensive literature review, covering the whole disaster
management cycle. Based on these literature findings, semi-structured interviews were
conducted among few disaster management practitioners to explore the influence and lacking
areas relating to these factors in managing disasters. The objective of this paper is to present the
interview findings on benefits and challenges related to the disaster knowledge factors. A
comprehensive list of benefits and challenges of disaster knowledge factors in managing
disasters is identified.

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