Publications

Construction laborers place block walls for a new house
Journal

Characterizing Post-Disaster Reconstruction Training Methods and Learning Styles

Large disasters damage or destroy infrastructure that is then reconstructed through programmes that train community members in construction techniques that reduce future risks. Despite the number of post-disaster reconstruction programmes implemented, there is a dearth of research on education and training in post-disaster contexts. To address this gap, we applied a mixed methods approach based upon experiential learning theory (ELT) to three shelter programmes administered in Eastern Samar, Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. First, we characterize post-disaster training programmes based on learning modes and then, compared this to the learning styles of community members. To assess learning modes of training programmes, we analysed qualitative data from interview accounts of community members and aid organizations; and, to delineate community member’s learning style preferences, we analysed quantitative data from survey questionnaires. Findings show that aid organizations administered training largely in lecture format, aligning with the reflective observation mode of ELT, but lacked diversity in formats represented in other poles of ELT. Moreover, analysis revealed that community members tended to grasp new information in accordance with the concrete experimentation mode, then preferred transforming newly acquired knowledge via the reflective observation mode. The lecture-based training predominately administered by aid organizations partially aligned with community learning preferences, but fell short in cultivating other forms of knowledge acquisition known to enhance long-term learning.

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Blog Posts

Women huddle around paper to draw house design
Blog

Opening the Door to Safe and Sustainable Housing Reconstruction

When a disaster occurs, what is the typical response? Sadness, sympathy, compassion? Social media? People tend to use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to raise awareness and express concerns in the wake of a disaster. Yet, with today’s ever-revolving news cycle, people often move on to new stories and neglect consideration

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Timber roof truss under construction
Blog

What’s in a Message? Unpacking Post-Disaster Housing Guidance

Rising population and urbanization continue to be two main drivers of disaster risk. In the last five decades the number of disasters has more than quadrupled and this trend is continuing. While mortality rates continue to decline from disasters, the mounting pressure of disasters on global poverty is more urgent

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Timber framing of house walls and roof
Blog

Reflections as a Summer Research Scholar

My interest in humanitarian engineering, combined with my aspiration to pursue postgraduate research, became my main motivators when first applying for the Summer Research Program. Fortunately, my acceptance into the program paved way to a valuable learning opportunity where I was able to undertake a project that not only provided

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News

Precarious houses along polluted riverbank
News

Commentary on Indonesia’s Capital Move

As Indonesia considers shifting its capital from Jakarta, Dr Aaron Opdyke was asked to provide commentary on the move and implications for disaster risk reduction. The commentary, originally shared through the University of Sydney was picked up by News.com.au: ‘Very risky’: Expert fears over plans to move traffic-choked, overcrowded city

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