CRRKN takes a forensic approach to disaster recovery


St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago W.I. – November 27th, 2019 – Caribbean policy makers, practitioners, scientists and community representatives are set to meet in Sint Maarten this Sunday, December 1, to learn lessons from recovery efforts after two major disasters.

At the upcoming 11th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM), the Caribbean Resilience and Recovery Knowledge Network (CRRKN) will host a pre-conference event titled: ‘Learning from disaster recovery: a forensic analysis’. This workshop will bring together different stakeholders involved in recovery efforts after the eruption of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat and Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Dominica. The meeting aims to: (1) improve recovery planning, (2) translate lessons from past events into policy, and (3) change the fundamental understanding of recovery across the Caribbean.


A forensic approach to knowledge generation is the key reason for this gathering. Participants will systematically reflect on both the root causes of disaster impacts and the effects of actions meant to address these impacts. Decision making, i.e. the priority given to certain actions and the level of participation by different stakeholders, will receive particular attention. Wide ranging discussions are to be had on whether or not recovery occurred equitably among societal groups and the impact of recovery actions on business continuity, economic recovery and community self-sufficiency.

Ph.D. researcher Ms Michal Camejo will represent The UWI Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) at the meeting. UWI-SRC Director, Dr. Erouscilla Joseph believes forums like these play an important role in moving disaster management in the Caribbean forward. “We see this network as a great potential vehicle for not only providing a mechanism to improve dialogue around post-disaster recovery in the Eastern Caribbean, but to influence recovery planning practices in the future”. This event is the brainchild of Dr. Donovan Campbell, Head of Geography and Geology, UWI Mona and ODI Senior Research Fellow Dr. Emily Wilkinson. Organisers maintain that in a region beset by serial disasters, effective recovery from hazardous events is not just a worthy goal, it is an imperative. The event is a collaborative effort between the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), The University of the West Indies, The University of Portsmouth, and The University of East Anglia.


About The UWI
For more than 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students across five campuses: Cave Hill in Barbados; Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda; Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago; and an Open Campus. Times Higher Education has ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018 and 2019. The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.

As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. For more, visit

Established in 1953, the Seismic Research Centre is a Centre within The UWI. It operates the largest network of seismographs and other geophysical instruments in the Caribbean region. The SRC monitors earthquakes and volcanoes for most of the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean, manages the Montserrat Volcano Observatory as well as it conducts education and outreach activities in these countries. The Centre is involved in a regional effort to establish a tsunami warning system for the Caribbean.