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Centre for Humanitarian Action

Lárionad um Ghníomh Daonnúil

Aaron Clark-Ginsberg

Thesis title:

How risk regulatory regimes influence the implementation of non-governmental organisation disaster risk reduction policy 

Doctoral Studies Panel:

Dr. Andy Storey (School of Politics and International Relations), Dr. Pat Gibbons (Centre for Humantiarian Action, School of Agriculture and Food Science)

Biographical note:

My study is a piece of applied action research focused on the factors influencing the implementation of disaster risk reduction (DRR) policy by international non-governmental organizations (INGOs).  In partnership with Concern Worldwide, I compare how the organisation has deployed the concept of DRR in ten different countries, spending 2-4 weeks in each country, and examine what factors influence these various deployments.  These influencing factors, conceptualized in aggregate as ‘regimes’, can be compared to help understand the variation found in disaster risk reduction and can provide a better picture of how DRR is being used in practice.  This in turn can be used to align DRR policy to better reflect and support practice.

This research is a continuation of my undergraduate and masters studies, which is itself linked to work outside academia.  I have a BA in American Studies and Environmental Studies from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, and wrote my thesis on the socio-environmental factors shaping local food economies.  My interests shifted towards environmental issues and disasters after spending four seasons working across the western US as a wildland firefighter.  I subsequently completed NOHA master’s in humanitarian action at UCD and wrote my thesis on organizational approaches to integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. 

I am also responsible for developing the centre’s humanitarian studies undergraduate programming.  This includes researching the discipline of humanitarian studies, developing and coordinating specific modules (such as the introductory humanitarian action module), and lecturing on DRR, risk, and humanitarian studies.

When I’m not working at UCD or Concern or out in the field collecting data, I’m often outside cycling or rock climbing—that is, when the Irish weather cooperates!

Scholarship & Funding Received:

Doctoral Scholarship, Concern Worldwide, 2013- 2015

Doctoral Scholarship, Centre for Humanitarian Action, School of Agriculture and Food Science UCD, 2012- 2015

Franklin Miller Award, Kenyon College, 2006

Aaron photo