In search of 'lost' knowledge and outsourced expertise in flood risk managment

Graham Haughton, Greg Bankoff, Tom J Coulthard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the parallel discourses of ‘lost’ local flood expertise and the growing use of commercial consultancies to outsource aspects of flood risk work. We critically examine the various claims and counter-claims about lost, local and external expertise in flood management, focusing on the aftermath of the 2007 floods in East Yorkshire, England. Drawing on interviews with consultants, drainage engineers and others, we caution against claims that privilege ‘local’ floods knowledge as ‘good’ and expert knowledge as somehow suspect. This paper urges carefulness in interpreting claims about local knowledge, arguing that it is important always to think instead of hybrid knowledge formations. We conclude by arguing that experiments in the co-production of flood risk knowledge need to be seen as part of a spectrum of ways for producing shared knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-386
JournalInstitute of British Geographers. Transactions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2015


  • flood risk management;local knowledge;expert knowledge;co-production of knowledge;consultants;outsourcing


Dive into the research topics of 'In search of 'lost' knowledge and outsourced expertise in flood risk managment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this