Participatory early warning and monitoring systems: A Nordic framework for web-based flood risk management

Hans Jørgen Henriksen, Matthew J. Roberts, Peter van der Keur, Atte Harjanne, David Egilson, Leonardo Alfonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews recent hydrological risk assessment, communication and early warning systems and proposes a framework to reformulate the classic view of Early Warning and Monitoring Systems towards a participatory one. The new framework is developed for flood risks (from multiple flood hazards), using examples from selected Nordic and other European countries. The study shows a potential for public participation in all stages of the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) cycle, with enhanced risk communication and awareness. Web-based access to hydrological data and nationwide modelling results can support adaptive and integrated management and learning about the flood risks on catchment scale. This can help identify cost-efficient solutions with synergy to other policy goals. The study shows how social media and digitalisation initiatives in the Nordic countries can support web-based access to historical data, real-time forecasts, and climate projections. Furthermore, the web-based access to data and model results can provide a coherent and integrated platform for stakeholder interaction and co-production for planning and decision-making that integrate hazard and risk knowledge. This can increase societal resilience and flood risk assessment across community and sector boundaries with proper analysis of risk areas, trade-off in costs and benefits of different solutions, and optimisation of climate change adaptation at the catchment scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1306
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Early warning and monitoring
  • Flood risk management
  • Public participation
  • Risk communication
  • Web-based access to data and model results

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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