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 am responsible for teaching core units in Master of Emergency and Disaster Management and Master of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response at CDU Australia. I also teach community-based risk management and hazard/risk assessment units at the Bachelor of Humanitarian Aid and Development. Some of the units include:
DEM820/21 Research Project (Co-convenor)
Brief examples of topics covered in the units :
In DEM511: Risk, hazard, and vulnerability assessments at different levels in different contexts, including complex humanitarian settings; conflict warning systems; how to make resilience a reality; integrated DRR/DRM approaches; critical evaluation of humanitarian response standards; food security and other sectors under changing climate; understanding disaster policy assessment and disaster policy-making processes; participatory urban adaptation; students video project on disaster theories from >50 prominent scholars;
For DEM513; Crisis leadership theories and practice; Decision making under uncertainties; crisis and risk communication; disaster bureaucracy and leadership; Crisis leadership case studies from Harvard Kennedy School (10 cases including leadership and decision making from Indian Ocean Tsunami to 9/11 cases); understanding decision making models; civil-military coordination; humanitarian technology and innovation; how to do consulting in humanitarian emergency and disaster management; crisis communication skills.
For DEM514; Understanding institutions and disaster risk; complexity theory and social network application in disaster and emergency studies; advanced livelihoods analysis; end to end global and local disaster early warning systems; cultural response to risk and disasters; cultural safety and disaster; participation and DRR; social exclusion and disaster reduction; psychology of disaster risk and decision making; key concepts and theories and practices in social science approaches to disaster management problems.
For DEM615; Reflective practice concepts and theories in humanitarian emergency and disaster management; Reflective Practice in Disaster and Emergency Management [From Paulo Freire and Donald Schön to present day’s reflective practice] ; Students’ reflective case studies writing projects could be: a critical reflection of recent disaster interventions;
Brief examples of topics covered in the units :
For DEM513; Global humanitarian ecosystems; humanitarian reform agenda at global and regional levels; crisis leadership; asking the risk leadership questions; understanding decision making models; humanitarian/ disaster diplomacy; civil-military coordination; post-disaster need assessment methodology; risk communication; how to do consulting in humanitarian emergency and disaster management; humanitarian technology for effective response.
DEM514: Sociological and anthropological approaches to risk and disasters; system theory; complexity theory and social network application in disaster and emergency studies; advanced livelihoods analysis; end to end global and local disaster early warning systems; cultural response to risk and disasters; participation and DRR; social exclusion and disaster reduction; psychology of disaster risk; behavioural economics and disaster risk;
DEM615: Reflective practice concepts and theories in humanitarian emergency and disaster management; Students’ reflective case studies writing projects could be: a critical reflection of recent disaster interventions; critical reflection on a particular risk communication strategy; evaluation of recent civil protection and emergency responses to terrorism in Europe; How to start an NGO?
Disaster studies allow me to understand how the world operates in both crisis and ‘normal situation’ scenarios and how to fix the world in both situations. For example, before one tries to understand how public administration and bureaucracy work under crises and emergencies, as a student in disaster resilience studies, they must try to establish the ‘baseline’ condition of ‘normal situation’ and how to fix it before the risk become unmanageable and manifests into disaster and crisis. By doing so, disaster management students have the privilege to look at the realities from the two lenses or scenarios. In theory, students studying resilience should be one step ahead of a generic public administration student or traditional social science students’ understanding of reality.
Disaster risks are real-world problems that cannot simply be solved by mono or even multi-disciplinary lenses. What we want to achieve in the end is to save lives and make the earth a better place for everyone. Saving lives can have hundreds of different meanings ranging from rapid response to a catastrophic event to de-escalate humanitarian crises or retrofitting housing informed by a detailed local seismic map to risk awareness, such as asking people to run to higher ground anticipating a tsunami event to the promotion of health in refugee camps. These require civil engineering knowledge, geological knowledge, seismic mapping skills, health promotion skills, humanitarian response skills, personal security skills, etc. It also requires public administration and political science skills to bring seismic risk to public policy and political agendas.
Disaster studies benefit from more than 50 scientific disciplines. Therefore my approach is to use two scenarios in my teaching: The first is to promote the “non-disciplinary approach” (as once advocated by David Alexander at UCL London), which favours ‘tearing down’ the disciplinary walls so people can collaborate more efficiently and effectively. Second, the growing complexity of the field often requires us to work more collaboratively via both interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches. Some have argued that transdisciplinary should be encouraged as a new culture of doing research and teaching. While this might not always be the case, at least two obvious from the disaster studies as the field is still young and has been grounded on or benefiting from more or more minor 50 disciplinary fields.
I am committed to high-quality teaching informed by not only cutting edge research and innovative practices but also by looking at the historical development of the subject matter concepts and ideas throughout history. I recognize the diverse needs of the students. My goal is to make a student find and discover the strength of their original academic discipline when approaching the problem of risk, emergency, crisis and disasters. This approach encourages students to connect their previous academic and professional backgrounds with the present disaster studies that they are taking.
I aspire to be a non-traditional teacher. While acknowledging the wisdom of teaching from the past regarding high-quality content and teaching materials, I am mindful of the need to create a sense of purpose and of direction for what future learners will demand from their teachers. In my view, the best teachers are those that continue to learn from all the directions and situations, including in their classrooms. Every student brings their own unique capability. Every class every week is a new dynamic. Therefore a teacher must always be ready and adaptive to new situations. And learning momentum needs to be created. Teachers should be ready to help students rediscover their joy in their original field and how they can look at disasters and risks from different disciplinary lenses. I believe in adult education pedagogy which treats students as subjects and resources person rather than an object of knowledge disposal.
Past teaching experience
I have spent 10 years partly working as a trainer to civil society activists, academia, students and local government officials in Indonesia. I have provided training to NGOs, academia and government officials using adult education and participatory methods in more than 25 training. Below are some of the training I have provided since 2002:
- Disaster Management Training (module development and deliveries: since 2003)
- Rapid Emergency Need Assessment (module development)
- Community-based disaster management and Community based climate adaptation (module development and deliveries: since 2003).
- Sustainable livelihoods frameworks (since 2003)
- Participatory risk and vulnerability analysis (since 2003)
- Conflict warning systems (since 2003)
- Disaster early warning systems (since 2004)
- Social network analysis
- Strategic planning for NGOs
- Food choice mapping