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Building Resilience in Flood Disaster Management in Northern Peru

Researcher Links Workshop
Title: Building Resilience in Flood Disaster Management in Northern Peru
Duration: Four Days
Location: Piura, Peru
University News Article

Unique international project aims to tackle flooding in Peru.

Read article
Environment Journal Article

How UK universities are building flood resilience in Vietnam and Peru.

Read article
Peru workshop report Article

Report from the Peru Researcher Links Workshop, August 2018.

Read report

About the project

This workshop aimed to discuss and suggest improvements to current practice in flood disaster management with a view to building resilience.

Flood events due to climate change are becoming more frequent and affect both Peru and the UK. The consequences are economic, environmental and social: buildings are damaged; the landscape is changed people’s lives are devastated. Peru experienced record rainfall and severe flooding across many regions in March 2017. The UK has a long history of with modern thinking suggesting a move from hard to soft engineering solutions. Here, risk management is seen as implementing effective processes to engage with and inform affected communities, e.g. warning systems; deployment of local evacuation plans; and timely involvement of emergency services.


The team at Birmingham City University has considerable experience in this area and is keen to further develop its expertise in this aspect of humanitarian engineering.

Peru also has a long history of water management with evidence of sophisticated irrigation systems dating back to pre-Inca times. It is currently in the early stages of reforming its policies but a major challenge is that there are many stakeholders with often conflicting interests. In terms of flood disaster management specifically, there is still an identifiable element of mistrust between politicians, communities scientists that inhibits effective solutions. The team at IGP is involved in trying to build links that overcome these barriers.

The workshop learned from differences and similarities in the circumstances and approaches taken by the two countries and provided recommendations for improvement. Benefits from the workshop include the building of links between the partner institutions and a sharing of knowledge. The workshop brought together different stakeholders in the region with the purpose of strengthening resilience in the longer term.

Intended workshop participants

This workshop was specifically designed to bring together scientists and flood disaster management professionals with a view to sharing knowledge and improving inter-disciplinary working and communication.

Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) has expertise in monitoring, and flood prediction. Birmingham City University has expertise in the management of post-flood recovery.

The audience was primarily early career researchers involved in different aspects of flood management and interested in gaining a more holistic view of the four stages: preparedness; disaster management; rehabilitation; and recovery.


The workshop also attracted professionals from governmental departments, environmental agencies, emergency services and NGOs. The study visit was used to engage with local authorities and flood affexted communities in Chulucanas.

The participants were drawn equally from the UK and Peru.

Academics and early career researchers from institutions in the UK and Peru were invited to apply for funded places. See Application Process for further details.

Applicants were selected according to their profile and ability to establish effective collaboration for future projects. A range of participants from across the flood disaster management spectrum were chosen from the UK and Peru to ensure that the workshop was multi-disciplinary.

Aim and Objectives

The main aim of the workshop was to encourage a new generation of early career researchers to engage with and develop a systemic approach to flood disaster management encompassing stages of preparedness; disaster management; rehabilitation; and recovery.

To achieve this aim, the following objectives were set:
  1. A review and presentation of the latest technological developments in flood risk monitoring and prediction.
  2. A review and presentation of community based approaches to flood disaster management.
  3. A study of the interplay between technological and sociological solutions based on an actual recent flooding event (Chulucanas).
  4. The generation of ideas and connections relating to a systemic approach to flood disaster management incorporating technological and sociological solutions.

Objectives 1 and 2 were achieved through the presentation of key ideas by mentors from IGP and BCU together with interactive discussions and presentations involving the workshop participants.

Objective 3 was achieved by visiting the local town of Chulucanas and engaging with local authorities and communities. The life cycle of the flood was studied from the accuracy of model-based predictions through to the successes and failures of the social recovery programme. Particular attention was paid to the secondary effects of the event throughout the cycle of the disaster, e.g. what has happened since the waters receded?

Objective 4 was achieved through an interactive seminar bringing together the lessons of objectives 1-3. The target outputs for this session were to produce a rich picture designed to inform the development of a systemic approach.

This workshop will only have the desired impact if it represents the first stage of ongoing collaboration. Therefore, a secondary aim was to create a sustainable network that can facilitate further workshops to bring together key stakeholders throughout Peru with a view to implementing long term practical improvements.

Outline Schedule

The 4 day workshop covered all aspects of flood disaster management with the aim of giving delegates an holistic overview of the most up to date technological and sociological approaches that can be employed. Broadly speaking, the topics covered followed the four stages of preparedness; disaster management; rehabilitation; and recovery. Day 3 consisted of a site visit to the local town of Chulucanas which was badly affected by the floods of March, 2017. Meetings with local authorities and communities in Chulucanas were used to inform the participatory workshops on Day 4. There were opportunities provided on each day for delegates to present their work in the form of short presentations (e.g. using a Pecha Kucha approach) or posters.

A more detailed breakdown for each day is given below.

Expand Schedule





Day 1


General welcome and introduction. Keynote Address.



Presentation of latest technological developments in studies of flash floods.



Reception and networking event.



Day 2


El Niño: monitoring and prediction. Oceanic, atmospheric, hydrologic and hydrodynamic modelling.



Introduction to case study area (Chulucanas, Piura) to prepare for site visit.

IGP / Universidad de Piura





Day 3


Site visit to Chulucanas to include meetings with local authorities and community leaders

Universidad de Piura



Workshop Dinner



Day 4


Approaches to rehabilitation and recovery



Interactive workshop leading to an integrated action plan incorporating technological and sociological solutions (with particular reference to Chulucanas, Piura)



Workshop Ends


Leaders and Facilitators

Professor David Proverbs - Birmingham City University

Combining his expertise in building pathology and flood risk management, David has pioneered the development of flood reinstatement and recovery to the benefit of many Governments, Agencies, Charities, Companies and Institutions world-wide. He has published extensively on topics linked to flood damage, flood adaptation and flood protection. David is a confident and adept communicator and has given many key note presentations, guest lectures and undertaken various media activities. David has excellent leadership skills, having supervised 29 successful PhD completions, numerous funded projects and provided mentoring to the various teams he has led. He has secured research funding to the value of over £3.8m from a range of prestigious sources including EPSRC, NERC, World Bank, DFID on a range of flood risk management multi-disciplinary research projects.

View David's profile
Dr Yamina Silva - Instituto Geofísico del Perú

Yamina is an Engineer Meteorologist with a PhD in Physics and Mathematics. Her thesis was about atmospheric modelling and the simulation of extreme rainfall events during El Niño 1982/1983. She has worked with the MM5 model, evaluating its performance in reproducing atmospheric conditions (rainfall) in Peru. More recently, her work has concentrated on studying climate variability and extreme events in the Peruvian Andes with a particular focus on the Mantaro river basin. Yamina is currently leading a new research line at IGP related to atmospheric physics with the objective of understanding the physical, dynamics and microphysical processes associated with climate variability and climate change in the Andes. For this the Atmospheric Microphysics and Radiation Laboratory in Huancayo Observatory (3300 masl) has been utilised. Since 2014, she has had three projects funded by Innovate Peru and Ciencia Activa including running an international course on Atmospheric Physics. She has also led four projects that have attracted international funding (World Bank, IRDC, UCAR).

Dr Danny Scipion - Instituto Geofísico del Perú

Danny has a strong background in remote sensing of the atmosphere using radar. He recently led a project to build a low-cost wind profiler radar for studying turbulence and precipitation. He is also involved in rainfall rate estimation using a rainscanner radar recently acquired and installed at the Universidad de Piura (UDEP). During the workshop, he will coordinate the session about technological developments in studies of flash floods and early warning systems.

Dr Kobi Mosquera - Instituto Geofísico del Perú

Kobi has a PhD in Physical Oceanography. His work is focused on the dynamics of the long equatorial oceanic waves (Kelvin and Rossby) in El Niño phenomenon. He develops oceanic models and uses them with satellite information to monitor the evolution of the Equatorial Kelvin wave and predict its impact along the Peruvian coast. He represents IGP in the multi-disciplinary National Commission to Study El Niño Phenomenon (ENFEN). Kobi will lead the session about El Niño monitoring and prediction.

Roger Wall - Birmingham City University

Roger leads a masters programme in environmental sustainability at BCU. He has expertise in complex systems involving multiple stakeholders that necessitate social as well as technological solutions. He is engaged with the UK Engineers Without Borders challenge which encourages engineering students to think about solutions in a development context. He has run participative workshops involving people from different backgrounds and nationalities. He will coordinate the interactive workshops.

View Roger's profile


Piura is a town with a population of approximately 400,000, located in Northern Peru. It has an international airport and is easily accessible from the capital, Lima.

You can find more information about the town and surrounding areas here:

If you want more general information about Peru, the following links might serve as a useful starting point and help to whet your appetite:

Map of Piura's location within Peru.

Application Process

Academics and early career researchers from institutions in the UK and Peru are invited to apply for funded places.

Applicants will be selected according to their profile and ability to establish effective collaboration for future projects. A range of of participants from across the flood disaster management spectrum will be chosen from the UK and Peru to ensure that the workshop is multi-disciplinary.

Fee paying participants will be selected on a similar basis.

The application form can be downloaded above.

Completed application forms should be returned to

The closing date for applications is Friday, 18th May 2018.

This work is being supported by a Research Links grant under the Newton-Paulet Fund partnership. This grant is funded by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Peruvian National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC) and delivered by the British Council. Further information can be found at  Newton Fund

Newton Fund British Council

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