Meet Andres Winston Oreta, PhD, Newton Fund Researcher Links Grant awardee.

Research topic: Localising Strategies for Making Cities Resilient to Disasters

Host institution / UK university: University of Huddersfield

Home institution: De La Salle University

What is your proposed research topic/title of your collaboration?

The Newton-Agham Researcher Links Workshop on “Localising Strategies for Making Cities Resilient to Disasters” is a five-day workshop for early career researchers from the UK and the Philippines. The workshop adopted the UNISDR’s “Ten Essentials (10E’s) for Making Cities Resilient” as the discussion framework. The workshop provided a unique opportunity for sharing research expertise related to the theme of making cities resilient and networking among the participants.

What is the relevance of your research to the Philippines’ economic development and/or social welfare?

The workshop consists of keynote lectures, participants’ individual presentations, group interaction sessions (GIS), panel discussions, skills development and briefing sessions and a site visit – all of which centred on the issues of making cities resilient to disasters. Specifically, a briefing session about local issues in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) in Makati and Albay and a panel discussion about the current landscape and future opportunities for advancing research on DRRM in urban cities in the Philippines were conducted with invited LGU and DRRM resource persons. The workshop was able to increase participant awareness on the 10 E’s, developed their skills in teamwork and group interaction through the GIS where they developed a road map and action plans on the 10 E’s, learned tips on how to develop their careers as researchers and where to get funds locally and internationally to support future research projects.

How will your UK collaboration contribute to your home institution’s research goals?

The collaboration with the University of Huddersfield (HUD) and the networking opportunities with participants UK universities have broadened the network of De La Salle University and the individual Philippine participants. By knowing the expertise and research interests of the UK participants and their respective institutions, Philippine participants could easily identify the possible partner or co-proponent in future research proposals. The communication among UK and PH participants is a continuing process. There have been ongoing exchanges of information and ideas among the participants. HUD has been organizing an annual International Conference on Building Resilience (ICBR) and the collaboration between DLSU and HUD will be sustained through continued support to the conference. Moreover, DLSU will also invite HUD and other UK universities in future conferences related to DRRM and Resilience. Research visits to UK universities and UK visiting professors at DLSU will also be explored.

What about the UK influenced your decision to collaborate with your partner institution?

Prof. Dilanthi Amaratunga of University of Huddersfield is a recognized expert and champion by UNISDR on Making Cities Resilient the Sendai Framework on DRR, She has extensive experience in organizing workshops and conferences related to DRRM and she is also the editor of the international journal, ‘Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment’. Moreover, she was highly recommended by a colleague from UNISDR. DLSU had a long experience on collaboration with various UK universities. This collaboration has advanced the research capabilities and know-how of the researchers from DLSU also benefitted the UK partners. Hence collaborating with UK institutions like HUD will continuously be pursued.