Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies

International Roundtable Conference - 2018

Registrations Open

Date and time: Feb. 7, 2018 6:00PM - March 5, 2018 12:00AM

Venue: Library Conference Hall, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Deonar, Mumbai.





Technologies and Innovations in Disaster Management

for Developing Countries: Trends and Opportunities

Conference Dates: 3rd & 4th April 2018 (09.00 am to 06.00 pm)

Pre-conference Event for students and young scholars: 1st and 2nd April, 2018

Venue: TISS Library Conference Hall, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.


              Technologies and innovations could be a tool of building just and equal communities. It can be used to re build people’s lives, to increase their living standards, making them resilient towards crisis and enabling them to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. They provide an opportunity to re-imagine and innovate disaster management practices globally. Technologies have contributed immensely to the understanding of the mechanism and estimation of natural hazards of atmospherical, geological, hydrological, and biological origins. The study, the experiments, and observations of floods, severe storms, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, and their impacts on humankind have certainly helped move policy and other interventions on ground. Advancement in science is also enabling scientists capture social vulnerabilities and work on modelling or scenario building which contribute to mitigate impacts of disasters. Technology is used for various purposes like natural resource mapping, assessment and evaluation of damages, management and planning at local, regional and national level. Similarly combining innovative methods and tools of GIS and remote sensing, can help in myraid ways, not just identify the impact of complex disasters more accurately and quickly but also in providing early warnings to settlements potentially at risk.

      It is widely acknowledge that disaster management requires versatility with wide range of knowledge, practices and skill sets from varied fields including science and technology. The Sendai Framework aims to promote investments in innovation and technology development in disaster risk management research. Besides, Sustainable Development Goals emphasize building resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Innovations can be scaled up from local to regional level by simply creating awareness about the social change.

      The role of communities in enhancing scientific knowledge through documenting, contributing to co-production of knowledge and collaboration is significant in democratising knowledge. The Roundtable will also help reflect on this perspective on society, science and technology. Scientists must interface with communities and bring science to people and also engage with people's science, validating it or challenging it, as the case may be. The development of various tools for early warning systems, soft wares for maintenance of disaster databases, applications for need assessment and data collection through crowd sourcing are examples of effective deployment of technology in various phases of disaster management. It is only through a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding both complexity and changes in the environment that disaster studies will grow.

       While scientists are able to capture risks, hazards and vulnerabilities and also assess the impact of disasters the process of communicating these to people in the quickest manner and adapting them to indigenous methods remain a major challenge. Successful technology transfer requires not only exchange of technological solutions, but also strengthening policy and regulatory environments, and capacities to absorb, employ, and improve appropriate technologies.

       The conference endeavors to deepen knowledge and insights around disaster management by demonstrating synergy across science and technology and social sciences with a focus on building people-centered, participatory approaches towards disaster risk reduction and response where issues of implementation.


  • To discuss the development and diffusion of technologies for disaster management and social innovations, especially in the context of developing countries.
  • To identify challenges in the deployment of technologies and how they may be overcome.
  • To discuss indigenous approaches for the application of technologies and innovations in disaster management.


  1. Social Innovations for building resilience
  2. Technologies for information and data collection, dissemination and mapping
  3. Early warning System, Monitoring Systems and their linkages to SOPs
  4. Challenges of remote locales
  5. Technology based Risk assessment and solutions
  6. Modeling, scenario building
  7. Big Data for Risk Assessment

Abstract Submissions

      The call for abstract submissions opens on 7th February 2018 and closes on 5th March 2018. Notification of acceptance will be made by 8th March 2018.

Last date for submission of full paper is 20th March 2018.

Choice: Presentation/Rapid Fire

Abstract format:

      The maximum number of words in the abstract should be 500-1000 words with 6-7 keywords specified. The abstract should be left and right justified on the sheet, starting 6 points below the author names and affiliations. It is to be written in 12-point type. It is introduced on the first line by the word ‘Abstract’: in bold-faced type.

All abstracts should be submitted in English as .doc or .docx format and e-mailed to jtsds.roundtable2018@gmail.com

Pre-conference Event for students and young scholars on 1st and 2nd April

Two events are organised:

1. Rapid fire presentations:

Young practitioners and scholars from different universities and are invited to present their research or practice experience in not more than 7 minutes. Besides a 500 word abstract (deadline 20th February), the full paper (of 3500 to 5000 words) will have to be submitted by 10th March, 2018 if the abstract is accepted. This will be organised on 2nd April from 2 to 5 pm.

2. Developing early warning communication models or innovative ideas

The challenges towards developing effective early warning systems before disasters are severe but critical to save lives and minimise damage to property. Leveraging scientific information and use of advanced technology for informed decision making should help manage hazard risks. At the International Roundtable Conference, we invite applications for a pre-conference event which is a competition to bring together students and young professionals (below 30 years of age) to design low-cost, sustainable and innovative early warning systems for rapid onset disasters, solutions that can be mainstreamed for use of local and regional government, think tanks or non-profits.

Location: Selected classrooms at Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Group Size: About 4 participants per team

Protocol for Participation:

        The purpose of this exercise is to develop early warning communication models or innovative ideas that address real world problems. At the Jansetji Tata School of Disaster Studies, we focus on creating systems that reach the last mile populations, meaning that it should be accessible to a cross-section of the proposed populations. We welcome innovative technologies but we will not be restricted to it – creative, low-cost solutions designed or developed from the field are also welcome. In this competition, you will be expected to develop and design a prototype on paper, which will require some knowledge of risk analysis, communication technologies and design/development. During the competition, each team would be given a detailed problem statement and work stations but we will not be able to provide advanced equipment. You will not be allowed to bring any of your equipment, except a laptop or tablets.

      The winners to this event will be evaluated and assessed on the basis of: 1) originality, 2) scope for scaling up in real time, 3) cost-effectiveness, 4) ability to communicate the idea during the presentation, 5) work ethic and team management during the event. Three external evaluators will be assigned as judges in order to award points under the above 5 criteria. We want to keep this event as open and transparent as possible for students of all backgrounds and interests to participate.

      All the ideas will be presented on the afternoon of 2nd April, 2018. The winning team will be given an opportunity to present their solution on the day of the Roundtable conference on 3-4 April.

Prize Money: Rs. 25,000

Room and Board for Pre-conference Event: Limited accommodations are available for outstation participants.

Meals: Break fast, lunch and dinner will be provided to the participating teams during these 2 days of the event.

Travel and Accommodation

Participants and paper presenters are required to make their own travel arrangements. Limited guest house accommodation at TISS is available on a twin sharing basis through Roundtable Hospitality committee upon payment of about Rs.2,000 per day.

Conference Co-ordinators

  • Dr. Pradheeps Muthulingam, Assistant Professor, JTSDS, TISS, Mumbai.
  • Dr. Janvi Gandhi, Assistant Professor, JTSDS, TISS, Mumbai.
  • Professor Janki Andharia, Dean, JTSDS, TISS, Mumbai.

Student Organizing Committee

  • Mr. Girinath Reddy, Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies, TISS, Mumbai.
  • Mr. Harsh Aditya, Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies, TISS, Mumbai.
  • Mr. Prem G. Prakash, Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies, TISS, Mumbai.
  • Mr. Santosh Kumar, JTSDS, Secretariat.

Registration and Fees: For students - ₹ 1000, For professionals - ₹ 3000 

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