Social Innovation Hackathon for Driving Innovation in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

Ambika Dabral, Sukhreet Bajwa, Satsuki Shioyama, Ranit Chatterjee, Rajib Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Time and again, disasters bring forth various challenges concerning risk communication, disaster-resilient infrastructure, last-mile delivery, disaster reporting, etc. These challenges often highlight the existing gap between research and academicians, and the policymakers and practitioners. Secondly, it brings forth the lack of adequate collaboration among experts and practitioners of different fields. Most of these challenges require innovative and low-cost solutions catering to local and contextualized problems, and calls for a multi- and transdisciplinary approach and collaboration. With this vision, amidst the current pandemic of COVID-19, Resilience Innovation Knowledge Academy (RIKA) India, Indo-Japan Laboratory (Keio University, Japan) and four partnering universities have launched the Social Innovation Online Hackathon (SIOH) 2020. SIOH aims to provide a unique virtual platform to student innovators and mission-driven entrepreneurs from different fields like architecture, engineering, disaster management, etc., to collaborate and develop innovative solutions for tackling the pandemic and future disasters. The paper aims to introduce SIOH and its four-step process as a tool of multi-disciplinary collaboration to promote innovation for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Besides the critical outcomes of the SIOH, the paper seeks to flag some indirect positive impacts of such an exercise. Among others, these include, firstly, the introduction of the field of DRR to academicians and practitioners of other sectors, thereby paving the way for its mainstreaming in other sectors. Secondly, such an exercise involving young students envisages to invoke a spirit of inquiry and innovation, which is crucial for bringing social change. Thirdly, it highlights the critical role of proper sectoral mentorship in handholding the young innovators in their journey of building resilient societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-82
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Integrated Disaster Risk Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Innovation
  • Resilient
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Emergency Medicine


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