INTRODUCTION: Knowledge is a powerful resource to help governments, organizations, and communities to plan and improve their performance in mitigating the harmful effects of disasters. There is a crucial need for knowledge in all phases of disaster risk management, namely prevention, risk reduction, preparedness, as well as response and recovery. The present study aimed to assess the organizational, discourse, and metaphorical challenges and knowledge management improvement policies in disaster risk management in Iran.
METHODS: This qualitative study was conducted in Iran in 2016. The needed data were collected through in-depth interviews with 21 experts and policymakers and analyzed by content analysis method.
FINDINGS: Based on the obtained results, the following five categories were extracted: 1. current problems, 2. organizational and structural problems, 3. discourse level, 4. level of metaphors, and 5. knowledge management improvement policies in the disaster response phase in Iran.
CONCLUSION: As evidenced by the obtained results, the challenges presented to knowledge management in disasters included the repetition of the same problems of previous disasters, non-use of the experiences of previous disasters, forgetting disasters, the long return period of some disasters, failure to transfer field and operational experiences, ignoring the bitter experiences of disasters, violating processes and sometimes copying without considering operational experiences, lack of expert documentarians or disaster documentation teams, as well as too many disasters and too little documentation. Moreover, it was found that these challenges are rooted in structural, cultural, social, discourse, and mythological problems