I decided to be an academic after 15 years of real-world professional experience with ‘third world’ NGOs, INGOs, United Nations organisations, the private sector, think tanks and consulting industry. I identify myself as an interdisciplinary social scientist with an engineering background! My research focuses on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, humanitarian studies, emergency planning, crisis management, food security, sustainability science, risk governance, urban-rural resilience and broader societal safety studies.
Since 2016, I have been teaching and supervising students on the interdisciplinary dimension of humanitarian emergency and disaster management at Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia. Currently, I have been responsible for teaching core units offered in Master of Emergency and Disaster Management; Master of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response and the Bachelor of Humanitarian Aid and Development.
Prior to the present roles, I served as a Research Fellow in a S$ 1.5 million project on climate change impacts on key commodities in main food exporting nations at the Center for Non-traditional Security Studies, RSIS, NTU Singapore during 2014-2016.
I completed my PhD at the University of Bonn while based at United Nations University in Bonn, Germany. I also completed one winter-semester post-doctoral fellowship at Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA in 2011 and later received Willis Re Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at the Institute of Catastrophic and Risk Management (ICRM), Nanyang Technological University in 2011/2012. My postdoctoral research at ICRM recently received an award as Best Paper 2017 in Maritime Policy and Management (entitled Risk Assessment Framework for Exposure of Cargo and Ports to Natural Hazards and Climate Extremes. Maritime Policy & Management, 44:1-15).
My contributions to the global disaster studies include macro and micro level disaster governance, complex network theory application in disaster management, institutions and institutionalisation framework in disaster reduction. I am promoting a new concept namely the networked ecosystems approach to humanitarian studies and disaster risk reduction through both academic papers and consultancy work. My doctoral research has been one of the first systematic studies on disaster governance, looking at institutions and governance practices in disaster reduction in countries around the world. I was the one who first coined the term “disaster risk governance” (DRG) as a framework in my PhD thesis. Google hits on DRG are now reaching 90,000 as of early 2019. In addition, I recently worked on a global assessment of political will on disaster risk reduction using a quantitative approach; Understanding the evolution of disaster risk management policy from selected counties using longitudinal observation; How post-disaster need assessment framework informing long term recovery policy; Seismic mitigation culture and practices from the grassroots; the use of complex network theory application in disaster studies, institutions and institutionalisation of disaster risk reduction, disaster recovery and food system under changing climate. See my current research projects!
At the moment, I have been working on risk objects, disaster policy-making, disasters and utopia, systematic analysis of disaster code/laws (Indonesia and Australia), global mapping on political will for disaster reduction, governing climate and disaster loss, social network analysis and network theory application in climate adaptation and disaster management, multi-hazard + conflict early warning system, humanitarian reform, humanitarian technology, institutional vulnerability assessment, local disaster management policy reform, global and regional humanitarian ecosystems, NGOs/CSOs network structure, urban climate governance, disaster education, food system under climate change and critical realist approach to disaster policy-making.
For Prospective HDR Students, I Welcome PhD students for the following topics
- Disaster policy and utopia
- Climate change, environmental migration and human trafficking
- Disasters impact on migration and human trafficking
- Social exclusion, risk and disaster vulnerabilities
- Understanding long-term recovery trends in Southeast Asia [at >30 years timescale]
- Long term observation of community-based and/or community-led disaster risk management practices in ASEAN.
- Disaster risk governance and decentralization in Southeast Asia including Myanmar and Indonesia
- Using network theory to understand disaster governance in Asia – the Pacific
- Social network analysis and crisis leadership
- Governing climate change adaptation in urban/rural settings as well as agriculture and livestock sectors
- Seismic culture in Indonesia
- Global thinkers and theorists on disaster studies
- Object-oriented ontology and critical disaster/risk studies
- Disaster policy making and reform in developing countries
- Governing big-data and complexity methods for disaster risk reduction
- Multi-hazard early warning systems