Where does local and indigenous knowledge in disaster risk reduction go from here? A systematic literature review

Arvin Hadlos, Aaron Opdyke & S. Ali Hadigheh

The embeddedness of local and indigenous communities in their environments has led them to develop time-tested knowledge and practices to prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the impacts of natural hazards. Collectively, these are referred to as local and indigenous knowledge (LIK) and have gained a niche in disaster risk reduction (DRR) scholarship. We conducted a systematic literature review, identifying 325 articles that were qualitatively coded to identify what practices constitute LIK, patterns in how it has been studied, and how current understanding of LIK fits to the Sendai Framework. We found a plethora of strategies that communities mobilise, from hazard forecasts to livelihood-based adaptation, with the study of these concentrated in middle- and high-income countries. Efforts to integrate knowledge (LIK and scientific) and power spheres (top-down and bottom-up) are increasingly prominent themes in disaster scholarship. There is a recognition of LIK in the Sendai Framework priority areas, although still embryonic, which we link to the existing body of knowledge in literature. Our synthesis pieces together a holistic understanding of LIK to offer a more concrete appreciation of what LIK is and how it can be further relevant for DRR efforts.