PhD Studentships The impact of political institutions and decentralisation on disaster outcomes

Supervisory team: Vassilis Tselios and Emma Tompkins

The Hyogo Framework 2005 (UNISDR 2005) recognises the significant achievements that have been made in disaster management over the past couple of decades, with significant investments in early warning systems, evacuation strategies, recovery strategies and annual disaster planning processes in many countries. These investments have been shown to have significant impact in terms of saving lives (Foresight 2012). Far less resource has been invested in understanding and addressing some of the underlying causes of vulnerability, that lead people to live in dangerous or hazardous locations (UNISDR 2009).

This project aims to address this gap by evaluating the impact of different macro level drivers of vulnerability (i.e. economic investment strategies and national level policy choices such as decentralisation) on long term human development trajectories in hazard-prone countries. Using global datasets of income, hazard frequency, hazard damages, and governance, this project will identify national pathways of resilience, clarifying the political and economic  choices made that have reduced the long term impact of disasters.  

This will be a desk-based PhD, with a heavy emphasis on advanced quantitative methods. The student will have a background in econometric or statistical analysis and a willingness to work in the analysing vulnerability to natural hazards.

Foresight. 2012. Reducing the risks of Future Disasters for Decision Makers. Final Project Report. In: Foresight and UK Government Office of Science, editor. Foresight reports. London: Government Office of Science. p 132.

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UNISDR. 2005. Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. Geneva: International Strategy for Disaster Reduction p 22.

UNISDR. 2009. Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. Risk and poverty in a changing climate. Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). p 207.

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