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Session Details

Strengthening Risk Information Governance:

The Role of the BC DRR Hub in Enhancing Use of Risk Information in Disaster and Climate Risk Reduction

20 October 2020

Webinar Format
Interactive Workshop

Information Sharing & Discussion

  • Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, Mitzi Dean - Speaker"
    Mitzi Dean was elected as MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin in 2017, and was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity in February 2018. Parliamentary Secretary Dean grew up in southeast England and has spent the last 30 years helping vulnerable people. Before moving to the Victoria area in 2005, Mitzi Dean served as a national development manager for children's services with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the U.K.'s largest child protection charity. Prior to that, she worked in child protection social work and community-based social services across Great Britain for more than 20 years. She also volunteered at a Romanian orphanage and a transition house in the U.K. providing refuge for women experiencing relationship violence. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Pacific Centre Family Services Association. PS Dean lives in Metchosin with her partner and daughter.
  • Robin Cox, Ph.D. Royal Roads University"
    Robin is the Program Head of the graduate programs in Climate Action Leadership at Royal Roads University (RRU) and a Professor in the Disaster and Emergency Management Master of Arts program. As Director of the ResilienceByDesign ILab (RbD) at RRU, Robin leads multiple action research and educational initiatives focused on resilience and enhancing the capacity of youth and adults to address the complex and intersecting challenges of climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
  • Emily Dicken, Ph.D. First Nations Health Authority"
    Dr. Emily Dicken has worked as a practitioner in the field of emergency management since 2006, spending the first twelve years of her career with the province of BC working in health emergency management and then for Emergency Management BC where she held the role of Director, First Nation Coordination. Emily is now the Director of Emergency Management at First Nations Health Authority. Beyond her work at FNHA, Emily pursues academic interests with a central focus on understanding colonialism as an unnatural and enduring disaster impacting Indigenous communities. When not working, Emily can be found enjoying time in the outdoors with her husband Jeff and their two young sons, Keegan and Bowen.
  • Jackie Yip, Ph.D. Natural Resources Canada"
    Jackie Yip is a Research Scientist within the Public Safety Geoscience Program at Natural Resources Canada, where she is leading research efforts in developing best practices and new methods for understanding flood risk and community resilience and recovery. Her research interest lies at the intersect of climate adaptation, disaster risk modelling, and decision-making, and specializes in predictive modelling and data-visualization.
  • Laurie Johnson, Ph.D. Laurie Johnson Consulting I Research"
    Laurie is an internationally-recognized urban planner specializing in disaster recovery and catastrophe risk management, and based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For over 30 years, she has combined her unique blend of professional practice and research to help communities address the complex urban challenges posed by natural hazards and disasters. Much of her post-disaster recovery efforts are captured in her recent book, After Great Disasters: An In-Depth Analysis of How Six Countries Managed Community Recovery (2017). She is President of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and on the Board of Directors of the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative and the Advisory Board of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM). She was also inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP) in 2018. She holds a Doctorate in Informatics from Kyoto University, Japan, as well as a Master of Urban Planning and Bachelors of Science in Geophysics, both from Texas A&M University.
  • Sahar Safaie (Moderator). Sage On Earth Consulting
    Sahar Safaie is the founder and principal consultant of Sage on Earth Consulting Ltd., based in North Vancouver. The niche of her expertise and services is to enhance the use of disaster and climate risk information in designing resilience policies, investments and programs. She has more than fifteen years of diverse experiences in BC and internationally including at United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Global Earthquake Model, the World Bank, and Risk Management Solutions. Sahar has lead development of two of the Sendai Framework implementation guidelines on National Disaster Risk Assessment and National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies.



  • Explore the rationale and proposed design concept for the BC DRR Hub

  • Discuss key challenges and barriers in using hazard and risk information in policy and planning in various sectors

  • Identify priority strategies, guidelines, or tools that can support harmonization and accelerate  enhancing the quality and use of multi-hazard and risk information

  • Discuss: what should the BC risk data management strategy be?


Understanding disaster risk with all its dimensions is fundamental for designing effective risk management measures. 

But the production of risk information and risk management processes tend to lack the necessary links and this fragmentation increases the price tag of each new risk assessment, keeps risk assessments within the scientific community and isolated from policy processes, and impedes the use of risk information in policy design, capability development and for shaping investments. A provincial center (notionally called the BC DRR Hub), would collaborate with a wider range of partners to ensure risk information is relevant in context and format, robust in scientific methodologies but also flexible in the approach to effectively meet the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) user needs.

The need for a mechanism to connect science and policy stakeholders to collaborate and co-design risk assessments and methods for use of risk information has been identified and discussed since the 2017 URBC symposium. A design concept has been developed through NRCan's DRR Pathways project which has received positive support from key provincial entities and research partners.  In this webinar, the participants will engage with two key elements of the design concept (Why we need BC DRR Hub? What would it do to support building resilient Communities in BC?)


Many members of the community of practice and past URBC participants have contributed to the concept of the DRR Hub over the years. A theory of change workshop was conducted in July 2019 with project partners of the DRR Pathways project. All of that input and some research on best practices internationally have been used by Sage On Earth Consulting Ltd. to develop the design concept note for the BC DRR Hub.

The session is concerned by Sahar Safaie (Sage On Earth Consulting) with Murray Journeay  (Geological Survey of Canada), Gurdeep Singh (GeoBC), & Micah Hilt (City of Vancouver).

Background Reading

BC DRR Hub Design Concept Note: This document provides high level information on the goals and objectives, value proposition, key components and activities, proposed institutional setup, and the timeline for establishing the Hub.

Click on: BC DRR Hub Design Concept Note (Oct 2020)

Please forward review comments or questions to

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