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Andrew Collins


Andrew -Collins

Andrew Collins is Professor in Disaster and Development with the Department of Geography which he joined in 1997. Beyond regular research, teaching and management responsibilities, he represents disaster, development and health related initiatives internationally.

He led the establishment of the world’s first disaster management and sustainable development postgraduate programme launched in 2000, and the Disaster and Development Network (DDN) (formerly the DDC) launched in 2004. Related projects and international links are implemented with a community of PhD, postdoctoral and expert affiliates.

Prior to his academic appointments, Andrew worked for extended periods in Africa and the Middle-East including voluntary service in wartime Mozambique. He regularly services his subject area through high level policy and advisory roles, reviewing and commissioning boards for national and international organisations, conferences, multiple journals and 13 research funding bodies.

Andrew joined the university from Sussex University where he was Lecturer in Human Geography. He gained his PhD from King’s College London in Human Geography in 1996 and first class BSc (Hons) from Kingston University in 1992.

0191 227 4215


BSc (Hons), PgC, PhD

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

The theoretical, methodological and policy aspects of disaster reduction, health ecology, sustainable development, adaptive capacity and human security in contexts of complex change. This engages interlinked issues of environment and society, population displacement, risk, governance, education, environmental and disaster management. He has applied this more focally to health, disease and community based strategies. His work responds to demands for a future of societal and scientific rebalancing towards sustainable human wellbeing. This has progressed interlinked disaster reduction and sustainable development approaches in research, teaching and learning. It advocates hazard, risk, disaster, complex emergency and humanitarianism as interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral emphasising public rights and participation. These aspirations have become more widely accepted and mainstreamed in international discourse and policy since embarking on this work. However, fundamental challenges remain in building the evidence base and strategies for humanity to move beyond resilience and survivability to sustainable health and wellbeing through multiple levels of disaster or development related adaptations and applications.

Indicative research projects include:

2010-2013: DFID and British Council Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE) Project, ‘Disaster Education for Community Resilience in Zimbabwe and Bangladesh’ (Delphe 734 £89,700), with Department of Geography, Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE), Zimbabwe and BRAC University, Bangladesh.

2010-2011: Co-Investigator, British Academy / Leverhulm Small Grants Study SG091024 £5,400 on ‘Disaster Livelihoods and Food Security in the South-West region of Cameroon Following Volcanic Eruptions’.

2008-2011: Series Chair, ESRC Seminar Series RES-451-26-0618 £14,000 ‘Disaster Education in the UK’, a collaboration of the Universities of Northumbria, Kyoto, Glamorgan and UCL.

2007-2010: Co-Principle Investigator, DFID Civil Society Challenge Fund Grant CSF0415 £407,308 ‘Zambezi Valley Advocacy Project’ (ZVAP), Zimbabwe.

2007-2010: UK Leader of DFID and British Council Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE 2.77 £90,000) Project, ‘Infectious Disease Risk Reduction (IDRR) in Mozambique and Bangladesh’, with Catholic University of Mozambique and ICDDR, Bangladesh.

2007-2009: Principal Investigator, ESRC Research Grant RES-167-25-0241 £238,000 ‘The Meaning of Health Security for Disaster Resilience in Bangladesh: a health security framework for disaster risk reduction’.

2006-2009: DFID and British Council Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE  £86,000) programme, ‘People Centred Hazard and Vulnerability Mitigation in Disaster Risk Management’, with Kathmandu University, Nepal and BRAC University, Bangladesh.

2006-Present: Japan-UK Disaster Risk Reduction Study Programme, a multi-institution collaborative development led by Northumbria and Kyoto Universities variously supported by grants from The Japan Foundation, Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Daiwa Foundation.

1998-Present: Contract research consultant for international development or disaster reduction projects with International Organisations (IOs), Governments (GOs), and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) including DFID, UK Government Office for Science, Trocaire, World Bank, USAID, FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, UNDP, Governments of Mozambique, East Timor, Ghana and Angola, Stockholm Environment Institute, Care, World Vision, Save the Children, Agema, Agha Khan, Water Aid, GTZ, Mediae Trust, IFRC, Practical Action, Wageningen International, Family Health International, ChildFund International, EuropeAid, EU funding bodies amongst others.

Sponsors and Collaborators

Andrew works with scholars, practitioners and senior policy making people in the disasters and development field. He has been active within multiple academic links around the world. Beyond the university sector this has involved International Organisations (IOs), Governments (GOs), and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) including DFID, UK Government Office for Science, Trocaire, World Bank, USAID, FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, UNDP, Governments of Mozambique, East Timor, Ghana and Angola, Stockholm Environment Institute, Care, World Vision, Save the Children, Agema, Agha Khan, Water Aid, GTZ, Mediae Trust, IFRC, Practical Action, Wageningen International, Family Health International, ChildFund International, EuropeAid, ELRHA and EU funding bodies amongst others.

Current/Recent Projects

Elected Chair of Enhanced Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA) Steering Committee (£16 million); supported by Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Department for International Development (DFID), Government of Sweden and Welcome Trust. Steering Group Appointee since 2010.

Board Director: International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM); hosted by Kyoto University, Japan.

Chair of Advisory Board: ‘The Position and Experiences of ‘New Migrants’ in the North East of England’, Consortia of Civil Societal and Refugee Support Organisations and Northumbria University, British Academy and Leverhulme.

x 2 Term Member of Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Peer Review College, since 2010. Grants Commissioning Panel Member 2014.

UK Govt. (DECC) and United Nations Nominee to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) 2012. Expert Reviewer, Working Group II - Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.

External Examiner, MSc Risk, Disaster and Resilience, Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, School of Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences, University College London (UCL) since 2012.

External Examiner, BSc Disaster Management and Engineering, School of Science and Technology, University of Teesside since 2008.

Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) Expert. Since 2011.

2010-2014: Accreditation to Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK) Global Uncertainties Programme.

2012-Present: Editor-in-Chief. Journal of Geography and Natural Disasters – Open Access.

Editorial Board Memberships:

(2005-Present) Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition – ICDDR,B

(2008-Present) Journal of Infectious Diseases: Research and Treatment – Libertas Academica

(2010-Present) Journal of Integrated Disaster Risk Management

(2011-Present) International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction – Elsevier.

2010-2011: Lead; UK Government Office for Science (GOS) Review of ‘Mechanisms for Reacting to Environmental Shocks’, commissioned by Chief Scientific Adviser, HM Govt. for Foresight Global Environmental Migration Project.

2011-Present: Member of Scientific and Technical Advisory Board and institutional partner lead for Global Risk Forum (GRF) One Health Summit 19-23 Feb 2012, 17-20 Nov 2013, 5-8 Oct 2014 and International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC) 26-30 Aug 2012, 24-28 Aug 2014, Davos, Switzerland.

2010-2012: Senior Research Fellow. ZiF-Research Group, ‘Communicating Disaster’, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld University, Germany.

2009-2012: Programme Leader, MSc Community Wellbeing in Disaster and Development, Northumbria University.

2008-present: Joint-Coordinator, with School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, of Environment, Health and Development Network (EHD), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and ESRC Enhanced Networking Programme ‘Seasonal Environmental Hazards: a multidisciplinary approach to the analysis of health risks in lower-income countries’.

2006-Present: Founding Board Member of Dealing with Disasters (DwD) International Conference Series. Conference Co-Chairing and organisational lead annually to date.

Key Publications

Collins, A.E., Jones, S., Manyena, B. and Jayawickrama, J. (2014 forthcoming) ‘Hazards, Risks and Disasters in Society’, Elsevier.

Collins, A.E. (2014) ‘Beyond experiential learning in disaster and development communication’ in: Egner, H., Schorch, M. and Voss, M. (Eds.) Learning and Calamities: Practices, Interpretations, Patterns, Routledge.

Collins, A.E. (2013) ‘Applications of disaster risk reduction to migration influenced by environmental change’, Journal of Environmental Science and Policy, 27:S1, pp. S112-S125.

Collins, A.E. (2013) ‘Editorial - Linking disaster and development: further challenges and opportunities’ Special Edition, Environmental Hazards, 12:1, pp.1-4.

Collins, A.E. (2011) ‘What Mechanisms are there for reacting to environmental shocks?’ UK Government Foresight Project: Global Environmental Migration: Review SR5. (will be launched by the HM Government at the RGS London 20th October, 2011)

Collins, A.E. (2009) ‘The people centred approach to early warning systems and the ‘Last Mile’, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), World Disaster Report, Chapter 2, pp. 39-68.

Collins, A.E. (2009) Disaster and Development, Routledge Perspectives in Development Series, London. (Book contains 29 plates, 24 figures, 17 tables and 18 boxes)

Ray-Bennett, N., Collins, A.E., Bhuiya, A., Edgeworth, R., Nahar, P and Alamgir, F. (2010) ‘Exploring the meaning of health security for disaster resilience through people's perspectives in Bangladesh’, Health and Place, 16: pp.581-9.

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