BU students in the Humanities and Law Department, Shahidah Miah (3rd year Law student), Alex Carey (2nd year History student) and Josh Pitt (3rd year Politics student) won the Distinguished Delegation Award at the BISA Model NATO. The event took place at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office on Friday, March 3rd, and was organized by the British International Studies Association in partnership with FCDO.
Over 100 students from 30 UK universities participated at the 2023 edition. It is the first time BU takes part in this simulation and wins a team award, against some powerful teams from universities with long tradition of politics and international studies.
What is BISA Model NATO – This is a simulation type of event. Students are randomly allocated a country and each student is part of a specialised NATO body – the Military Committee and the Civil Emergency Planning Committee. The students then have to agree a detailed set of actions to be endorsed in a final declaration by a simulated North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest authority. BU team successfully represented Canada.
In BISA’s press release summing up the event, Mark Webber (BISA President) said: “The simulation is designed to provide students with experience of crisis decision-making; to get them into the heads of people having to make tough choices in very testing circumstances. The students rose to this challenge very well. The Model concluded with a declaration agreed by all the student delegates on how NATO should respond to a major natural disaster. The students performed just like seasoned diplomats.”
Employability skills demonstrated. Simulation events are a recognised model of learning and allow participants access to insights unobtainable in a traditional classroom setting. Our BU students had very good & concise interventions, demonstrated excellent negotiating skills, proposed great initiatives and worked brilliantly as a team representing Canada, thus contributed to reaching overall consensus at the end of the day. They were true diplomats for a day. And they also networked with fellow students, staff from other universities and diplomats from FCDO. They received glowing praises for their interventions during the day.
Why this is so timely – Students participating in the model are working on the aftermath of a natural disaster – multiple earthquakes across the eastern Mediterranean and South-East Europe resulting in significant loss of life and mass displacement of populations. Given the current context, both geopolitical with the War in Ukraine and the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, but also more broadly the climate change and the likely increase of natural disasters in the near future, working on such scenarios helps prepare students for real life situations. In addition, such events are inspiring students to embark upon careers and projects in diplomacy, government, non-governmental organisations and the military.
BU delegation at BISA Model NATO was advised and supported by Associate Professor Alina Dolea and Senior Lecturer Scott Keefer.
The full press release featuring our students is available here – BISA/FCDO Model NATO 2023 – Over 100 students from 30 universities | BISA
Yesterday the latest issue of the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology carried our paper ‘A survey of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression among Flood Affected Populations in Kerala, India‘ . This paper was co-authored by two Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS) Visiting Faculty, namely Prof. Padam Simkhada (in the School of Human & Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield) and Dr. Brijesh Sathian (in the Geriatrics & Long-term Care Department at Rumailah Hospital, Qatar). This study is longer-term follow-up of the 2018 floods in Kerala. The authors conducted a cross-sectional household survey between November 2019 to January 2020 in one district of Kerala with adults who had been directly exposed to the 2018 flood. The paper concludes that the vast majority of respondents (92% of women & 87% of men) still showed sub-clinical psychiatric symptoms one year after the flood. An earlier paper had argues for further research in India to explore “the long-term sequelae of catastrophic floods on physical and mental trauma on disaster-affected populations” .
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
- Asim, M., Sathian, B., van Teijlingen, E., Mekkodathil, A. A., Babu, M. G. R., Rajesh, E., Kumar, R. N., Simkhada, P., & Banerjee, I. (2022). A survey of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression among Flood Affected Populations in Kerala, India . Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, 12(2), 1203–1214. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v12i2.46334
- Asim, M., Mekkodathil, A., Sathian, B, Elayedath, R., Kumar N.R., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2019) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among the Flood Affected Population in Indian Subcontinent, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology 9(1): 755-758. https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/24003
Today saw the publication of a new paper from an international research team from the UK, Japan and Nepal. Our research article ‘Assessing knowledge and behavioural changes on maternal and newborn health among mothers following post-earthquake health promotion in Nepal’ has been published in the Open Access journal PLoS ONE .
The paper reminds us that natural disasters often disrupt health systems affecting the whole population, but especially vulnerable people such as pregnant women, new mothers and their babies. Despite the global progress in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) programmes over the years, emergency responses after a disaster are often poor. Post-disaster health promotion could play an important role in improving MNCH outcomes. However, evidence remains limited on the effect of post disaster health promotion activities in low-income countries such as Nepal.
The paper reports on an post-disaster intervention study aimed at women in Nepal following the 2015 earthquake. In total, 364 mothers were recruited in the pre-intervention group and 377 in the post-intervention group. The post-intervention group was more likely to have knowledge of at least three danger signs in pregnancy (AOR [Adjusted Odds Ratio] = 2.96, P<0.001), at least three danger signs in childbirth (AOR = 3.8, P<0.001), and at least five danger signs in newborns (AOR = 1.56, P<0.001) compared to the pre-intervention group. The mothers in the post-intervention group were also more likely to ever attend ANC (AOR = 7.18, P<0.001), attend a minimum of four ANC sessions (AOR = 5.09, P<0.001), and have institutional deliveries (AOR = 2.56, P<0.001).
Religious minority groups were less likely to have knowledge of all danger signs compared to the majority Hindu group. Mothers from poorer households were also less likely to attend four ANC sessions. Mothers with higher education were more likely to have knowledge of all the danger signs. Mothers whose husbands had achieved higher education were also more likely to have knowledge of danger signs and have institutional deliveries. The paper concludes that the health promotion intervention helped the disaster-affected mothers in improving the knowledge and behaviours related to MNCH. However, the authors also comment that vulnerable populations need more support to benefit from such intervention.
Dhital R, Silwal RC, Simkhada P, van Teijlingen E, Jimba M (2019) Assessing knowledge and behavioural changes on maternal and newborn health among mothers following post-earthquake health promotion in Nepal. PLoS ONE 14(7): e0220191. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220191
Yesterday the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology published its latest issue which included the paper on ‘Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among the Flood Affected Population in Indian Subcontinent’ . This Short Communication is co-authored by Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen and two members of the Visiting Faculty in our Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, namely: Prof. Padam Simkhada and Dr. Brijesh Sathian. The Nepal Journal of Epidemiology is an Open Access journal hence this paper is freely available for anybody with internet access to read.
- Asim, M., Mekkodathil, A., Sathian, B., Elayedath, R., N, R., Simkhada, P., & van Teijlingen, E. (2019). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among the Flood Affected Population in Indian Subcontinent. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, 9(1), 755-758. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v9i1.24003
Call closes: 16:00 on 26 September 2017
NERC, the Department for International Development, and the Economic & Social Research Council invite proposals to address the topic building resilience to natural disasters using financial instruments. Funding is available to apply existing environmental and social science research to inform the design, development, refinement and validation of financing instruments to help developing countries respond and recover from extreme weather and natural disasters.
The overarching goal of these projects is to have impact on the developing world. To achieve this, projects must work with practitioner project partners who have a role in the design, development and application of innovative financing mechanisms for developing countries (eg non-governmental organisations, policymakers, disaster risk management actors, insurance companies).
NERC funding for this call will form part of the UK’s official development assistance (ODA) commitment, and proposals should demonstrate their primary purpose is to promote the economic development and welfare of countries on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development’s Development Assistance Committee list of ODA recipients.
The programme will support both:
- feasibility studies of up to £100,000 (at 100% full economic cost) and up to six months in duration
- longer projects of up to £350,000 (at 100% full economic cost) and up to 24 months in duration.
Successful projects are expected to start no later than 1 January 2018.
If you are interested in applying to this call then please contact your RKEO Funding Development Officer in the first instance.
Networking and brokerage event
In order to bring together academics and potential project partners, a one-day networking event will be held at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel in London on 28 July 2017. For further information and details of how to register your interest in attending this event, please see the networking event page.
Please note that attendance at this networking event is not a pre-requisite for the submission of proposals to this call.
Further information on this call and details of how to submit a proposal will be available to download shortly.
Programme Manager – Innovation
Posted on behalf of BU students!
Appeal for helping Nepal earthquake survivors
UK Nepal Friendship Society
Nepal was stuck by earthquake of 7.8 RS magnitude at 11:56 am local time on 25th April 2015. There have been more than one hundred aftershocks since. Many people are traumatised and lack proper care in the aftermath of the earthquake. This natural disaster has created havoc on a massive scale. To make conditions worse there was rain pouring down in parts of Nepal and there now is a risk of the spread of epidemic diseases, thefts, and other crime. Until now the death toll has reached almost 8,000 and thousands have been rendered homeless and destitute. According to the Prime Minister of Nepal Sushil Koirala, the death toll could rise as high as 10,000. We are planning to raise fund for the immediate relief and rebuilding process of Nepal.
The UK Nepal Friendship Society and students from BU are organising a fund-raising event for earthquake victims of Nepal on 12th May, Tuesday from 4pm until 7 pm in Bournemouth Square (western side). Please spread this information to all interested! Ask them to visit us on Tuesday and help Nepal at this time of crisis. Your donations will help to rebuild the nation and help to provide necessary amenities to people who have lost their home and family. Any amount will be greatly appreciated, but please give as much as you can. Nepal has been awaiting this disaster for many years now, and according to the cycle of major earthquakes in the country the national catastrophe that has taken place could have happened sooner (the last took place in 1934). Your donation via the UKNFS will be provided to disaster victims through official/reliable Government of Nepal and Embassy of Nepal in London recommendedchannels.
Please support Nepal at this time of national tragedy!
BU has several undergraduate and postgraduate students from Nepal. Moreover, several BU students conduct studies or do their electives in Nepal.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Shortly after the earthquake in Nepal I posted on the BU Research blog as we have a long-standing presence in Nepal. We have been working there for nearly ten years, conducting research largely around community-based interventions. Several Bournemouth University colleagues (and many based elsewhere) have indicated that they have donated (or will do so) to our intervention partner, the UK-based Buddhist charity Green Tara Trust. Thank you everyone for this generous support. It has brought tents and food to rural communities in an area where we have been working for eight years. The support also has had an incredible effect on our Nepalese team, raising their spirit and encouraging them in their relief efforts.
Donations to Green Tara Trust from individuals have just reached £35,000. As there is always the question how best to support victims in such disasters, I would like to show how supporting a small existing local organisations has direct benefits. Green Tara staff in Nepal supplied medicines, blankets and basic food supplies such as rice, lentils and cooking oil for a period of one month to 130 of the poorest families in in the hills in and around Pharping within days after the earthquake when the after-shocks were still going on. Please, note the guys carrying huge sacks of rice up the mountain at the left hand side of the lorry bringing the Green Tara relief. Loads of places in the affected rural areas can only be reached by foot making the relief effort more difficult.
As we have been working with women’s groups in the community for years Green Tara staff know who the poorest people and where to find them. In addition, they provided tents to 200 families who have lost their homes. One very local solution (rather than flying in tents from the UK) was purchasing the tents elsewhere in Nepal. As we have a second field site in a part that is hardly affected by the earthquake near the Indian border, staff there bought hundreds of tents covers, put them on a bus to Kathmandu where local Green Tara staff picked them up and took them rural areas in the hills near Pharping.
Government-controlled health posts in rural Nepal often run out of medical supplies even before the earthquake. Therefore, Green Tara Nepal donated several boxes of essential medicines to two health posts in the area in case of outbreaks of infections, such as diarrhea or respiratory tract infections. Most of the time I would complain about the fact that you can buy just about any kind of medicine under sun over the counter in pharmacies shops in Nepal, but on this occasion is was very helpful.
Thank you again for keeping those affected by the earthquake in your thoughts. You can donate to Green Tara!
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Congratulations to Dr Maharaj Vijay Reddy from the School of Tourism who has received a small grant from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (GBSF) London for his pilot research on the impact of the Tohoku Pacific Tsunami.
The Tohoku Pacific earthquake (8.9 magnitude) and the tsunami that followed have had catastrophic impacts on Japan creating economic, nuclear and humanitarian crises in 2011. It has made detrimental impacts on the infrastructure, economy, environment, society and culture of North Eastern Japan. The forthcoming pilot project by Dr Reddy aims to explore the nature of the impact on the tourism industry of the North East Japan, identify local collaboration and the priorities for future in-depth research to benefit the socio-economic revival of the tourism dependent communities and local businesses in North East Japan.
Dr Reddy commented ‘the small grant from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation will hugely help me to investigate the Japanese tsunami impacts on tourism and develop local collaboration with researchers in Japan for in-depth research’. Dr Reddy is a member of BU’s Grants Academy and is an expert working on natural disasters. He has successfully conducted larger projects for international agencies including UNESCO HQ Paris on the 2004 Asian tsunami, the worst natural disaster in the recent history.
Professor John Fletcher from the School of Tourism highlights the role of the tourism industry in emergency planning.
Tourism throughout much of the 20th Century following World War II was characterised by strong growth and an ever-reaching spread of countries. However, since the mid-1990s and throughout this first part of the 21st century tourism has been beset by an ever-increasing number of obstacles ranging from health issues, such as SARS, Avian and Swine Flu, natural disasters such as the 2004 Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and human-induced crises such as the events of 9/11 in the USA, 7/7 in London and the Bali bombings, not to mention the myriad of events related to the Middle East and pressures created by the current global financial crisis.
It is against this backcloth that the world’s largest export industry is being re-moulded and, to some extent finding its strong growth pattern to be faltering, like many other industries. In an attempt to mitigate the damage that crises bring to the tourism industry it is vital that emergency planning agencies and the tourism industry are closely integrated in their approaches to planning for, responding to and recovering from disasters, this way they can implement technologies such as a community notification system that helps send push notifications about safety alerts, weather updates, and emergency information.
This is perhaps more true for the tourism industry than any other, because the tourists, the consumers, have to travel out of their normal environment in order to enjoy the output of the industry. The Disaster Management wing of the International Centre for Tourism & Hospitality Research is currently helping the UN WTO develop a framework which will facilitate this integration. In addition to reviewing the literature on emergency planning and tourism crises, the team are currently engaging more than 120 Ministries, Airlines, Tourist Authorities, Tour Operators, Hotel Chains and academics in a Delphi Panel Exercise to establish which functions should be undertaken from a integrated platform. The results of the study will be presented to the UN WTO early next year.
International research funding for the societal impact of natural hazards should be more focused on developing countries and under-funded themes such as droughts, landslides and flash floods, finds a review funded by the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences, the DfID and RCUK. Societal Impacts of Natural Hazards: A review of international research funding argues that if research attention is to “match relative risk” it should be directed towards developing countries most at risk from natural hazards, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa. Support for research in developing countries, it says, could come through partnerships between local research institutions and those from elsewhere in the world. The report also recommends the development of “urgency funding” so that research can be carried out quickly after a disaster has struck—in “real time”.