COPE Research Themes

Each year COPE selects a research theme relevant to the current and planned activities of scholars and researchers working within the COPE network. The themes are implemented on a rolling basis and provide COPE members to collaborate internally as well as with external experts/institutions in an interdisciplinary environment on grant applications, special issues and research projects around focused research topics. For more information about the running themes, or if you wish to become actively involved in the activities under a particular theme, please contact the research theme coordinator.




Technology plays a crucial role in all disaster event types and phases. From weather monitoring and early warning systems to the application of communication technologies, geospatial data and the harnessing of crowdsourced data from social media platforms, the tools and processes at our disposal for managing disasters are only growing. This theme explores the interfaces and interactions among societies and technology for disaster risk management, and assesses the ongoing impacts of these developments.
Research in this theme is focused, in particular, on the socio-cultural and governance implications of the application of technology in disasters, and aims to generate outputs which may be used to produce more disaster-resilient societies.
Specific activities taking place around this theme include:

  • Examination and assessment of the impacts of crowd sourcing and social media technologies on risk perceptions and disaster risk management practices. We collaborate with research institutions, first responder networks and local public authorities in Denmark and around Europe to evaluate best practices and provide evidence based recommendations for effective governance strategies
  • Research on remote sensing and geospatial based technologies, in particular in the areas of 1) food and resource economics 2) drone applications in emergency management and 3) international governance of satellite remote sensing for disaster management
  • Examination of the legal and policy aspects of risks posed by technologies in conflicts and humanitarian crises

Activities within the research theme are undertaken by scholars from Copenhagen Business School, University of Copenhagen, University of Southern Denmark and Roskilde University.

Researchers: Emmanuel Raju; Anne Bach Nielsen

Research Theme Coordinator: Assistant Professor, Kristoffer Albris

Related Publications:

Albris, K., (2018). Disaster Governance and the Rise of Social Media: Ethnographic Perspectives from Germany. Governance of Risk, Hazards and Disasters: Trends in Theory and Practice. editor / Giuseppe Forino ; Sara Bonati ; Lina M. Calandra. Oxon : Routledge.

Albris, K., (2018). The switchboard mechanism : How social media connected citizens during the 2013 floods in Dresden. In: Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management.

Bjerge B., Clark N., Fisker P., Raju E., (2016). Technology and Information Sharing in Disaster Relief. PLoS ONE 11(9): e0161783. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161783. September.

Clark, N., (2017). International Governance for Satellite Earth Observation in Disaster Response: Exploring Legal and Operational Dynamics. København : Det Juridiske Fakultet, 331 p.







Modern disaster risk management has become increasingly complex from local to global levels. Economic growth, new regional and global platforms, and an increasing awareness of disasters and climate change are some of the changes affecting the composition and interplays between stakeholders. Overall this presents disaster responders with the challenges of varied interests, objectives, functions and responsibilities among actors in unplanned constellations of disasters. Moving beyond governments, disaster risk management today is faced with governance challenges.

This research theme focuses on unpacking various governance challenges and exploring new forms of mechanisms to address disaster risk:

  • From local to global- disaster governance alternatives
  • Sendai framework and governance
  • Institutions and institutional convergence for disaster governance
  • Climate change adaptation governance and similarities for disaster risk governance
  • Disaster risk reduction and governance

Research Theme Coordinator: Associate Professor, Emmanuel Raju

Current Research Grant: Enhancing Synergies for Disaster Prevention in the European Union (ESPRESSO), European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, coordination and support action: DRS-2015

Related Publications:

Rolsted, M & Raju, E 2019, Addressing Capacities of Local Communities in a Changing Context in Nepal. in 2019 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. UNISDR.

da Costa, K., Raju, E., (2018). Governance in the Sendai: A Way Ahead?, Disaster Prevention and Management.

Albris, K, Lauta, KC & Raju, E 2017, Overcoming obstacles for disaster prevention: Challenges and best practices from the EU and beyond (Deliverable 2.2). Enhancing Synergies for disaster Prevention in the EurOpean Union (ESPREssO).

Coetzee, C., VanNiekerk, D., Raju, E., (2016) Disaster Resilience and Complex Adaptive Systems Theory- Finding Common Grounds for Risk Reduction, Disaster Prevention and Management, vol 25, no. 2, pp. 196-211.























COPE Research Projects

COPE's past and ongoing disaster research projects include: