Monday, November 10, 2014

Call for Papers

cfp Cross-sectorial and Multi-scalar Perspectives of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Integration

Dear readers,

Within the 5th International Conference on Building Resilience, to be hosted by the University of Newcastle (Australia) on 15-17 July 2015, we will be holding a Special Session entitled “Cross-sectorial and Multi-scalar Perspectives of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Integration”, organized by Giuseppe Forino, Jason von Meding and Graham Brewer (University of Newcastle).

The Fifth Assessment Report by IPCC and the post-Hyogo 2015 framework by UNISDR recognize the increasing role of climate change in exacerbating and generating disaster risks. Accordingly, the debate about the integration of Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is also growing among researchers and policy-makers. Scholars have investigated common grounds, barriers, challenges and opportunities of this integration, as well as its potential role in reducing vulnerability and strengthening resilience and development. With a cross-sectorial and multi-scalar perspective, this session aims to investigate theoretical frameworks and case studies related to CCA and DRR integration, exploring its meanings, practices and different approaches in terms both of policies and actions. We seek empirically grounded and theoretically informed contributions to explore this integration from any related discipline.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

· Downscaling of CCA&DRR international policies
· National Adaptation Strategies/Plans and DRR
· Regional/rural/urban approaches to CCA&DRR integration
· Resilience, vulnerability, development and CCA&DRR integration
· Planning and CCA&DRR integration
· Governance approaches
· Role of stakeholders, collaboration and conflicts
· Grassroots and CCA&DRR integration
· Different meanings and perceptions of CCA and DRR among researchers, governments and stakeholders


· Birkmann, J., von Teichman, K., (2010) Integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation: key challenges - scales, knowledge, and norms, Sustainability Science, 5, 171-184.

· Birkmann, J., Pardoe, J. (2014) Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: Fundamentals, Synergies and Mismatches, in Glavovic B.P, Smith G.P, (eds.), Adapting to Climate Change. Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning, Dordrecht: Springer, 41-50.

· Howes, M., Tangney, P., Reis, K., Grant-Smith, D., Heazle, M., Bosomworth, K., Burton, P. (2014) Towards networked governance: improving interagency communication and collaboration for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in Australia, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2014.891974.

· Lei, Y., Wang, J. (2014) A preliminary discussion on the opportunities and challenges of linking climate change adaptation with disaster risk reduction, Natural Hazards, 71(3), 1587-1597.

· Schipper, L., Pelling, M. (2006) Disaster risk, climate change and international development: scope for, and challenges to, integration,Disasters, 30(1), 19-38.

Please send an abstract of 250 words to Giuseppe Forino (, Jason von Meding ( and Graham Brewer ( by 2nd January. We will notify the acceptance of abstracts by 3rd January. Please check all the important dates and deadlines on the conference website. After our feedback, abstracts should be submitted through the online conference management system by 5th January. A selection of papers may be part of a special issue in a peer-reviewed journal.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Key barriers in post-disaster reconstruction projects

In the 5+ years that I have been examining the operations of NGOs in post-disaster reconstruction, there have been significant moves made to combat some of the issues that have been heavily criticised in the past- skill deficiency, cultural ignorance, resource 'stretch' mentality among others. Some of the key outcomes of my work in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have been to identify the key PDR barriers that NGOs face in seven key areas (see image below), and to provide evidence that organisations must deploy certain configurations of organisational and operational competencies in order to effectively develop and implement strategies to address these barriers.

The research argues that the utilisation of these competencies, deployed in targeted clusters, has the potential to create positive outcomes for beneficiaries as measured by PDR Project Success Indicators (PDRPSIs). If dynamic tools can be developed that effectively model competency and predict success, all organisations involved in disaster response and recovery could benefit. In addition, the knowledge is highly transferable to other sectors and environments.

If you are interested in the research, check out my new paper.