As Haiti struggles to recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthew, disaster recovery experts around the world are working to improve the systems and methods used in combating natural disasters and to raise awareness of how technology can help.

The global ICT professional association, IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing), recently established a Domain Committee on Information Technology in Disaster Risk Reduction (ITDRR) to bring together some of the world’s leading experts in this area to share their knowledge and expertise.

The ITDRR will stage its first Conference on Information Technology in Disaster Risk Reduction (ITDRR 2016) from 16-18 November, 2016 in Bulgaria,,  providing a forum for the latest research and developments in risk reduction and disaster recovery.

The Conference General Chair, Professor Dimiter Velev, said the increased frequency and severity of natural disasters has highlighted the importance of being prepared for such events.

“No one could argue the huge cost of disasters such as the recent hurricane in Haiti,” he said. “Modern information and communications technologies can play a significant role in facilitating effective decisions and helping rescuers to respond quickly and to optimise the deployment of resources.”

Professor Velev delivered a keynote speech at last month’s 2016 International Training Workshop on Natural Disaster Reduction – Natural Disaster Risk Modelling and Applications, held at the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction in Taiwan. He discussed ways of combining advanced information technologies such as Social Media, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Cloud Computing for implementing viable solutions for fighting disasters.

Prof Velev also shared IFIP’s commitment to advancing thinking around how technology can support risk reduction and disaster recovery strategies, introducing the new Domain Committee and discussing its priorities and initiatives.

He invited all attendees of the workshop, which was focused on the Asian region, to take part in the upcoming IFIP conference, which will take a more global perspective and is expected to attract attendees from around the world.