Disaster Studies aims to enhance policy discussions and local and international responses to disaster and conflict. Our strong desire to reach out to the field of disaster and conflict response and to the public at large is inspired by our history. Disaster Studies was initiated in 1997 by a private non-profit organisation: Stichting Nationaal Erfgoed Hotel de Wereld. This Wageningen-based foundation aims to encourage present day generations to honour and bring about the Second World War commemorations of peace, freedom, human rights and justice. It has sponsored Disaster Studies until we were handed over to Wageningen University in 2004.
Disaster Studies has a framework agreement with the organisation for capacity-building PSO to enhance capacity in humanitarian aid and reconstruction.
Disaster Studies and the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) have started on 1 January 2012 a joint programme called Conflict, disaster and reconstruction. Click here for more information.
Disaster Studies is a partner in the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (PDF, 254 kb) (SLRC). SLRC is a six year global research programme exploring livelihoods, basic services and social protection in conflict-affected situations. Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), SLRC was established in 2011 with the aim of strengthening the evidence base and informing policy and practice around livelihoods and services in conflict.
Apart from the academic programme, Disaster Studies has an extensive programme of commissioned research and advisory assignments. Among our recurrent partners are the Netherlands Red Cross, Cordaid, Oxfam-Novib, ICCO/ KIA, Pax Christi, MSF-Holland, Care Netherlands, ZOA Refugee Care, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands.
Disaster Studies is one of the facilitators of the Netherlands Humanitarian Panel. This panel regularly meets to discuss policy development and quality concerns in the sector. It also organizes every two months the Café Humanitaire. This Café is a meeting place for everybody working on, or interested in, issues of humanitarian action and fragile states. During the café, which is held in the Hague, practitioners, policy makers and academics meet informally, enriched by a live column on a topic of interest. For more information, see www.pso.nl
Desk officers and practitioners are welcome to attend our courses. We also offer training on request. We have, for instance, provided three-day introductions to humanitarian aid in the Netherlands, training for participatory reconstruction in Rwanda, and training on Disaster Risk Reduction in Afghanistan.
Thea Hilhorst is General Secretary of IHSA (International Humanitarian Studies Association) which forms a platform for the different disciplines that address humanitarian studies, including international relations, international law, development studies, anthropology, conflict studies, public health and forced migration studies.