Archived News: 2020

15 December 2020 – Meeting with the Zoological Survey of India to Raise the Visibility of Snakebite Deaths 

Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett introduced the Avoidable Deaths Network and the Consortium for Partners for the project on Snakebite Mortality in India to the Central Zone Regional Centre of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI). The presentation was made to the Director of ZSI, Dr. Kailash Chandra. 

11 December 2020 – Talk on Systems Thinking for Sustainability of the Himalayan Mountain Communities

Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett, ADN’s Founding President will be giving a talk entitled ‘Systems Thinking for Sustainability of the Himalayan Mountain Communities’ as part of the UN’s International Mountain Day on 11 December 2020.  The event is organised by the ADN’s organisational partner, Doers in Himachal Pradesh, India.  

5 December 2020 – ADN’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Regional Coordinators

ADN is organising its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on 5 December, 2020 at 11 AM GMT. At the first AGM, past and present activities of ADN will be discussed and novel activities will be identified for 2021. The AGM will be held on Zoom, with a duration of 2 hours and 45 minutes. The event timetable can be viewed by clicking here.

4 December 2020 – ADN’s Special Session at the G.O.R.I.L.L.A. Conference

ADN is organising a Special Session on Avoidable Deaths titled: Let’s Talk About Avoidable Deaths: Views from Multiple Sectors, in collaboration with Makerere University, Uganda, at the G.O.R.I.L.L.A. Conference. The Session will be held on 4 December 2020 at 11 AM GMT. To know more about the Session, please click here

19 November 2020 – Award for Upscaling RHCC

We are pleased to announce that ADN’s Founding President, Dr Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett has been awarded IPPF’s Designated Regional Funds for the research project ‘Upscaling RHCC by Developing a Protocol for Low-Budget Reproductive Health Kit’. The low-budget Reproductive Health Kit will be designed to save a mother’s life from unsafe abortion and post-abortion complications during disasters and crises. This new project is a follow-on from our previous research project ‘Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities Around Reproductive Health in Disasters in Belkuchi, Bangladesh’ funded by IPPF’s ‘Innovation Programme Fund’ and IPPF’s South Asia Region Office ‘SPRINT Initiative’. The project report, policy briefs and testimonials can be found by clicking here.

Special thanks to IPPF for this Fund. Many congratulations to the amazing team: Dr Fariha Haseen (Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka), Mr Maqbul Bhuiya (Data Management Aid), Mrs Denise Corsel (University of Leicester/Avoidable Deaths Network), and Mrs Nimisha Goswami and Dr. Gopi Reddy Gopireddy (IPPF’s South Asia Region Office).

27 October 2020 – Visiting Researcher Fellowship

We are pleased to announce that ADN’s Founding President, Dr Hideyuki Shiroshita and ADN’s Regional Coordinator – Uganda, Dr Yazidhi Bamutaze have been successful in their Visiting Researcher Fellowship Programme from Kansai University. The aim of this Fellowship is to strengthen the relationship between ADN and ADN Hub-Uganda.

10 October 2020 – Lecture by ADN’s President to UNDP

On the 8th of October 2020, Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett delivered a lecture virtually titled ‘Introducing Systems Thinking and Systems Approach’ to the UNDP’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Team. 

1 October 2020 – Six prestigious Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships awarded to students from around the world

The University of Leicester has announced the names of its 2020 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholars. These students have been awarded Commonwealth Scholarships to allow them to pursue the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management while living in their home countries. The scholarships have been awarded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom.

Navneet Yadav and Nimisha Goswami from India, Arnold Ambundo and Hussein Harrow Halake from Kenya, Victor Ndubuisi Okoro from Nigeria, and Racheal Margaret Nantume from Uganda have all been selected to pursue the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management by distance learning at the School of Business at the University of Leicester. The six Scholars beat off competition from over 500 applicants.

The MSc in RCDM is a specialised course suitable for professionals, practitioners and the like. The course bridges the traditional division between the management of technological, social and natural hazards by combining risk, communication, vulnerability and development theories. The course is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Paris Agreement. 

Each scholarship covers course fees, two visits to attend the Masterclasses and bespoke research writing workshop at Leicester and a laptop.

Racheal Nantume, Graduate Engineer with Uganda National Roads Authority said: “The knowledge and skills that I will acquire from completing this course will enable me to provide expert input to road network plans and designs for more resilient roads in Uganda. With the increased occurrence of climate change related disasters, integrating crisis and disaster management for more resilient roads is crucial to averting the extreme impacts of disasters and increasing the resilience of vulnerable communities in Uganda. My goal is to contribute to the achievement of Uganda’s Vision 2040, aimed at transforming the Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years.” 

Victor Okoro, the Founder and Executive Director of Disaster Responders said: The MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management will further enhance my confidence and skills as a disaster risk management practitioner and equip me with the knowledge necessary to improve disaster risk management practice in Nigeria. More specifically, the knowledge acquired from the course will adequately prepare me to offer expert advice to the Nigerian Government, Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector in Nigeria on how to effectively and efficiently mitigate the risk and impact of natural and human-induced disasters in Nigeria, through my NGO, the Disaster Responders.”

Nimisha Goswami, Senior Technical Advisor, Humanitarian Assistance, IPPF – South Asia Regional Office (SARO) said: “It is indeed an honor to be selected for this prestigious award. As a humanitarian professional from South Asia, this award would not only help me to deepen my theoretical knowledge base and apply them in my practical area of work. But will also help me to advocate and liaison with various stakeholders including policy makers and parliamentarians for integration of gender and sexual health into the disaster risk management policies and plans across the region. And also support the countries with delivering on the relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a timely manner.” 

Arnold Ambundon, Global Climate Change Project Coordinator, Action by Churches Together Alliance Secretariat said: “I am so excited to start this programme. I develop, implement, and monitor advocacy strategies for the alliance and lead, coordinate and support policy and advocacy engagement with UN processes, particularly Sustainable Development Goals and Disaster Risk Reduction. I believe that this course will provide me with a fresh perspective to interlink the UN processes through the lens of risk, crisis and disaster theories.”

Navneet Yadav, Associate Director at Doers, a humanitarian organization working in the Himalayan region of India, said: “As a development professional who has worked in the domain of disaster risk management for more than a decade, I realize that the targets of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction will not be met unless the developmental interventions become risk-informed and disaster risk governance becomes much more than just empty rhetoric. I believe that this course would help me explore the systemic nature of risk in an analytical way and would also provide me with a fresh perspective on interlinking the research, policy and practice for effective convergence of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Himalayan region of India.”

Hussein H. Halake, a Warden with Kenya Wildlife Service, the national agency charged with protection and conservation of wildlife within the republic of Kenya, said: “Conservation of wildlife has of late faced numerous challenges including poaching of endangered species such as Rhinos and Elephants, organized trophy trafficking, Human Wildlife Conflict, climate change leading to erratic weather patterns and unpredictable floods and drought and loss of revenue generated from wildlife based tourism due to global terrorism threats and pandemic like the current COVID-19 crisis. The University of Leicester MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster management will equip me with necessary skills and capability to handle real life conservation challenges and be able to design practical risk assessment, crisis management and formulate effective disaster preparedness, response and recovery process for Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).” 

Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett, Associate Professor in Risk Management, Founder and President of Avoidable Deaths Network from the University of Leicester’s School of Business who won the scholarships for the University said: “I would like to thank the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK for the scholarships. And I am excited to welcome all the Commonwealth Scholars to the School of Business. I hope that they find the course rewarding and interesting.”

1 September 2020 – Congratulations to our Regional Coordinator, Dr Madhulika Sahoo

Many congratulations to Dr Madhulika Sahoo (ADN’s Regional Coordinator India) on winning the InSc Young Achiever Award/ Research Excellence Award.

1 July 2020 – ADN’s Regional Coordinator from Colombia, Mr. Holmez Paez’s Journal Article has been Published

ADN’s Regional Coordinator from Colombia has had his journal article titled ‘We said, they said: the politics of conceptual frameworks in disasters and climate change in Colombia and Latin America’ published. The article is published in the Disaster Prevention and and Management journal. It can also be found on ADN’s Resources and Relevant Publications under the Disasters section:

1 July 2020 – ADN’s President, Dr Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett live on BBC Radio Leicester

If you are up for light music entertainment and some general talks on COVID-19, you can catch ADN’s President, Dr Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett live on air with Ben Jackson on his Mid Morning show, BBC Radio Leicester tomorrow (2 July 2020) at 11:30 am to 12:00 pm (UK time). The target audience for tomorrow’s talk is school kids (11-17 years of age). This group has felt left out. Thanks to Professor Turi King from the #UniversityofLeicester for coming up with an excellent idea to reach out to all schools in Leicestershire and attend to their questions through this BBC Radio Leicester. Tune in, if you can by clicking here.

19 June 2020 – Footage of ADN’s First Stakeholders Engagement Meeting

We are pleased to share with you footage of the ADN’s first stakeholders engagement meeting, which took place on 8 November 2019 at the University of Leicester. The event was funded by the Leicester’s Tiger Team Funding and GCRF. You can view the footage by clicking here.

The footage also introduces the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management programme, which is led by ADN’s President, Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett. The recruitment for this flexible learning MSc programme is open for the October 2020 intake. Further details of this programme can be found by clicking here.

We would sincerely like to thank all the stakeholders who attended our first workshop.

29 May 2020 – ADN’s Affiliate, Dr Lopa Saxena’s Article on Social Supermarkets has been Published

Dr Lopa Saxena, ADN’s Affiliate and Research Fellow at Coventry University, is an expert on how social supermarkets work and has helped advise on the set-up of the ‘social supermarket’ project. This is a great initiative. Read more about it, by clicking here. Also, if you are wondering what ‘social supermarkets’ are, then we would highly recommend that you read Dr Lopa Saxena’s article, which was published in Conversation. The link to this article can be found here.

28 April 2020 – ADN’s President, Dr Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett was Interviewed about COVID-19

ADN’s President, Dr Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett has been interviewed for a blog about COVID-19. It has been published through The PSW Weblog by Prajnya. It is titled: Reflections on Resilience: COVID-19: An Opportunity to learn effective Disaster Governance. It is very informative and thus, we highly recommend that you read it (by clicking on the link above). Permission to share this link has been given by The PSW Weblog and Prajnya.

28 April 2020 – ADN’s Advisory Board Member, Mr Mihir Bhatt, has Published a Blog in Relation to the Lock Down due to COVID-19

ADN’s Advisory Board Member, Mr Mihir Bhatt, has published a blog in relation to the lock down due to COVID-19. Mr Bhatt is the Director of the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI). He has been leading thinking and action on disaster risk reduction since 1995 in India and South Asia through AIDMI. His Blog on The PSW Weblog is titled: Reflections on Resilience: “How Do You Lock Down a Farm Full of Cumin Seeds?”. It is well written and we recommend you reading it (by clicking on the link above). Permission to share this link has been given by The PSW Weblog and Prajnya.

22 April 2020 – ADN Accepted as One of the COVID-19 Working Groups for Public Health and Social Sciences Research

We are pleased to announce that the application that ADN’s Presidents, Dr Hideyuki Shiroshita and Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett submitted has been accepted. The Avoidable Deaths Network is now one of the 𝘾𝙊𝙑𝙄𝘿-19 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙂𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙥𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙋𝙪𝙗𝙡𝙞𝙘 𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙎𝙤𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙎𝙘𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙨 𝙍𝙚𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙝.

This award is made possible through the National Science Foundation-funded Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) Network and the CONVERGE facility housed at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.

March 2020 – ADN Art Project on ‘Hope’

Looking for an art project 🎨 for the young (or young at heart)? If you or your kids are stuck at home due to the Covid-19 lockdown and you fancy yourself as a bit of an artist, you might be able to help us out.

The ADN is looking for a new image to be featured in our next newsletter and as the cover picture of our Facebook page. We are looking for an image that represents hope against the coronavirus pandemic. In these unprecedented times, it is important to stay hopeful and focus on the positives of life (e.g. your family, keeping people safe, working together, etcetera).

Once you’re done, please post your image in the comments on our Facebook page or email it to us. We will select an image to be featured! You can go to our Facebook page by clicking here or email us at:

Please see our ADN Photo Gallery for the images that have already been submitted. Thank you to those who are participating in this Art Project on ‘Hope’.

27 March 2020 – ADN’s President, Dr Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett is in the coronavirus expertise guide for the University of Leicester

We are proud to announce that ADN’s President, Dr Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett is in the coronavirus expertise guide for the University of Leicester. 
In these unprecedented times, the University of Leicester’s researchers are committed to supporting the national and international effort, providing expert comment and sharing their understanding of the current challenges to support the lives and well being of our communities. The future is ours to change.
Dr Ray-Bennett’s expertise centres on the complex nature of disasters and vulnerability in order to reduce deaths and develop intervention packages. Her work will help households prepare for lockdown and build the capacity of primary health workforce to prevent secondary deaths from other underlying health conditions during this time.
For more information. please click here.

26 March 2020 – Clap for the NHS at 8pm in the UK

“Clap for NHS at 8 pm in the UK” Thanks NHS and the other key front line workers for your amazing work. We are all in this together. Save NHS. Save lives. #ADN #ClapForNHS #AvoidablrDeaths #SaveLives #ClapForOurCarers

17 March 2020 – End-to-End Tsunami Early Warning Systems

The Themed issue of the International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment (IJDRBE), entitled “End-to-end tsunami early warning systems” in collaboration with IOC-UNESCO IOTWMS has been published.

Please see attached the flyer here: TEW themed issue March 2020 and in particular the free access details, which will be for a period of 1 month.

With UNESCO , this will be an annual exercise and details of the 2020 call will be published very soon.

14 February 2020 – Life-Changing Scholarships Available at the University of Leicester

Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett has been successful in raising five prestigious Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships for the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management (RCDM).

Meritorious students from the Commonwealth Nations are eligible to apply for this Scholarship.

According to the Dean of the School of Business, Professor Jim Devlin: “This is an excellent news and thank you [Nibedita] for making this effort.”.

The details on how to apply for the Commonwealth Scholarship will be open on 24 February 2020.

Please keep an eye on our website:…/risk-crisis-and-disaster-management…/2020 and on the website of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK.

Successful Commonwealth Scholars will start the MSc RCDM on 1 October 2020.

14 February 2020 – Literature on Coronavirus

Evidence Aid have been watching the progression of the Coronavirus. Sine this outbreak is leading to a rapidly expanding and evolving literature, Evidence Aid have curated a page of entry points to a rapidly expanding and evolving literature, which you can see here:

31 January 2020 – Welcoming New Team Members

We heartily welcome ADN’ newest team members: Mr. Jos Bal who will take on the role of Knowledge Exchange Officer, Ms. Pangkhi Medhi as Blog Officer, and Mrs Althea Jones as Networking Officer. For more information about them, please see the biographies of our team members:

29 January 2020 – News from ADN’s President

ADN’s President, Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett has some good news: “It took me nearly two years to revise the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management (RCDM), and is now ready to recruit new students from the 1st of October 2020. The Programme Approval Panel at Leicester was like attending an exam for three hours, and I had never experienced anything like this before. Even our external reviewer Professor Richard Haigh was surprised. All worth it in the end. Thanks to our graduates for providing inputs to update the programme. Along with this news, I am super-duper excited to announce that I have won the Commonwealth Scholarship Grant from the Commonwealth Commission in the UK for the MSc RCDM. The result was announced today. Five meritorious students from the Commonwealth Nations can win this grant to read my MSc RCDM + three visits to Leicester =for free. If you think you are the person to get this Scholarship, please keep an eye on our website:

This Scholarship can be a life-changing experience because it has changed my life and many of our MSc RCDM graduates.”

15 January 2020 – Job Opening at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

There is a job opening for a ‘Disaster Risk Reduction Policy Expert’ at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. They are looking for a consultant to support UNDRR and the UN DRR Focal Points’ Group task team for a period of three months. The position in home-based. If interested, please click here for the job advert, which contains more information.