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The Connectivity Hub expands its reach

The Connectivity Hub, a “search and discovery” tool linking climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) communities, announces its expansion from prototype to a complete working version. The Hub’s evolution means that it now reaches a wider set of platforms, taps more data, and uses a targeted glossary created specifically to address differences in the ways the two communities use common terms. Here, a video introduces the Hub, and SEI researchers Sukaina Bharwani and Julia Barrott answer questions about its premise.

Julia Barrott, Sukaina Bharwani / Published on 2 April 2019

This video introduces the Connectivity Hub and explains how it works. Video: Sukaina Bharwani / YouTube.

What is the purpose of a Hub? Why is it needed?

As its name implies, the Connectivity Hub is designed to link people with the knowledge they need and may not be able to find on CCA and DRR issues. The aim is to avoid redundancy and replication that can happen when people are not aware of parallel or complementary work going on elsewhere. No one wants to reinvent the wheel, or to waste resources. The Hub provides a way for you to  quickly and easily find information that you need, and information that you may not otherwise know exists.


How is the Hub different from other search engines?

The Hub is not a garden-variety search engine. Its design provides a highly visual, interactive, and comprehensive overview of knowledge on CCA and DRR, and links to the people producing this knowledge. Its searches rely on terminology and keywords that are carefully curated for CCA and DRR communities. Making these fine-tuned searches possible is a new glossary that includes definitions of commonly used terms by using taxonomies for CCA and DRR, which were created through work under the PLAtform for Climate Adaptation and Risk reDuction (PLACARD) project that also created the Connectivity Hub. With the new glossary, the Hub can located new projects, organizations, and individuals with key expertise. Thus, the Hub provides:

  • Dynamic and interactive visualizations of organizations, activities, and information that bridge topic-specific CCA and DRR knowledge networks.
  • Content (including articles, projects, and organizations) to help users find relevant evidence, expertise, peers, tools, methods, and good practice insights.


Why are these differences important?

Despite the wealth of information available in the Information Age, a significant gap remains between research, policy, and action. We continue to see many, separate and unlinked activities taking place in parallel and in “silos” that do not connect with one another. This lack of connection leads to wasted talent, energy, and opportunities. We created the Connectivity Hub to generate synergies, open dialogues, and to foster collaboration and learning.

Who will find the Hub useful?

The Hub is designed for a wide variety of people: planners, decision-makers, researchers, policymakers, students, and interested citizens who are trying to find information, organizations and people relevant to their work in CCA and DRR fields.

How do I begin to use the Hub?

Glad you asked! Here are the steps to get started:


  • Type a term in the search box or click on one of the “Popular searches” such as “flood”, “vulnerability” or “infrastructure”.
  • Click on the crosshair of any search result. You will be able to explore that search topic in the context of other connected articles, organizations, topics, and people. (See the current version for testing.)
  • Or in Explorer view, use a search term to see what content is available. Refine the search if needed.
  • Click on the node title itself to show a summary of the content.
  • The button at the bottom of any content window takes you to the full content on the source platform, such as Eldis, ClimateAdapt, PreventionWeb, and weADAPT.

What organizations are involved with the Hub?

PLACARD created the Connectivity Hub, which is designed and led by SEI. The Hub links data from several European and global CCA and DRR platforms, including:

  • Climate-ADAPT, the European Climate Adaptation Platform;
  • PreventionWeb, the knowledge-sharing program of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster REduction (UNISDR);
  • Eldis, a knowledge-sharing platform on development issues, and BRIDGE, a specialized gender and development research and information service; both hosted by the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex); andweADAPT, SEI’s the global climate adaptation platform and network.

Can others contribute ideas for the Hub?

Absolutely! The Hub is a new tool, and we are still refining it. Please do get in touch if you have any comments or suggestions on improving the Connectivity Hub or contact [email protected] for more information.

Where can I learn more?

The Connectivity Hub team will be at the 2019 European Climate Change Adaptation Conference in Lisbon, 28–31 May. Come to our presentations:

“Search and discovery of climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction reduction landscape” – 12:30-13:00 Thursday, 30 May, TS023, Room 15. We will showcase the Connectivity Hub in the Tool-shed room, where innovative tools in the context of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction are on display.

“Supporting and further strengthening institutional coordination between and capacities of CCA and DRR communities – recommendations and ways forward” – 11:15 Wednesday, 29 May, SP018, Room S1. We will run the session, “Adancing ‘Search & Discovery’ for climate action: Exploring the potential of Linked Open DAta and ARtificial Intelligence approaches’ together with partners, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership and Semantic Web Company.

Topics and subtopics
Climate : Adaptation, Disaster risk
Related centres
SEI Oxford

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