The Avoidable Deaths Network is operated by the Presidents, Operations Team, Advisory Board Members and Regional Coordinators.
Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett
Founding President and Convenor
Nibedita leads the development and implementation of strategy for ADN’s growth, public engagement activities, raises grants, produces the Newsletters, Bulletins, line manages the Operation Team, initiates, and leads novel networks.
Nibedita is an Associate Professor in Risk Management based at the University of Leicester’s School of Business. She is the Programme Director for the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management. Nibedita is a social scientist specialising in disaster risk reduction and international development at the interface with public health. She is the author of Caste, Class and Gender in Multiple Disasters (2009, VDM Verlag) and Avoidable Deaths (2017, Springer Nature). Currently, she is working on her third monograph ‘Avoidable Deaths from the Impact of COVID-19 and Economic Lockdown in India’ (working title).
Nibedita’s research is inter-disciplinary and currently focusses on: i) understanding the nuances of ‘vulnerabilities’ and ‘risks’ that exist in societies and the seams of disaster management organisations; ii) developing the capacity of disaster responders including the health workforce at primary health care for the continuity of sexual and reproductive health services during disasters and crises; iii) reducing disaster mortality and morbidity, especially of women and adolescent girls from post-abortion complications during disasters and crises through the use of RHCC intervention; and iv) reducing avoidable deaths from the direct and indirect effect of disasters through novel theories, methods and interventions (e.g. RHCC intervention, Facility Reproductive Health Kit and Crisis Reproductive Health Kit, avoidable deaths framework).
Dr. Hideyuki Shiroshita
As the Founding President of the ADN, Hideyuki works closely with Nibedita for the development of ADN’s strategy and plans and in the delivery of the public engagement activities, manages the poll surveys for knowledge exchange events, IT, conducts research analysis and leads the ADN’s Junior Champion project in Japan.
Hideyuki is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School and Faculty of Societal Safety Sciences, Kansai University in Japan. He is an affiliate member of the Disaster and Development Network (DDN) at Northumbria University, UK. His research interests are in the areas of disaster education, risk communication and Science, Technology and Society (STS). To overcome the conventional disaster education, which involves one-way knowledge transmission from experts on disaster risk reduction (DRR) to non-experts, the definition of disaster education is revisited from both DRR and pedagogical perspectives. He has also served as an advisor of disaster education to several governmental committees. Currently, he is the chairperson of the Osaka Prefectural committee for promoting safety and disaster education.
Dr. Madhulika Sahoo
Dr. Madhulika Sahoo is working closely with Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennet to develop and edit the Handbook on 50 Ways to Reduce Avoidable Disaster Deaths. She also focuses on producing other user-friendly products and publications to raise the visibility of avoidable disaster deaths, nationally and globally. Before taking up this position, Madhulika has been a dedicated Regional Coordinator of ADN India since 2019.
Madhulika Sahoo is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Anthropology, as well as the Director of Student Welfare and a Syndicate Member of Kalahandi University in India. Mahulika has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India; MA in Refugee Studies from the University of East London, UK; and MA in Anthropology from Savithribi Phule Pune University in Pune, India.
Madhulika’s research interests are displacement from disasters and development; migration; reproductive healthcare of indigenous communities; and ethnographic research methods. She is the recipient of the India’s Young Researcher Award 2020 and the Best Researcher Publication 2021, VIT-AP University Award. She recently edited the book ‘Ethnographic Research in Social Sciences’ (2022, Sage).
Ms. Denise Corsel
A Researcher in the School of Business, University of Leicester, UK. As a dedicated and enthusiastic researcher, Denise Corsel is currently studying part-time for a PhD in Management at the University of Leicester’s School of Business, while working on numerous research projects. In the past, she served as an Associate Tutor at Leicester’s Civil Safety and Security Unit. She has previously been awarded a Distinction for a MSc degree in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management and gained a Private Pilot License. Denise’s ambition is to work closely with people to improve communities’ lives all around the world, especially in relation to the hazards that are increasingly imposing themselves onto humanity.
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Mr. Shahidul Hoque
As an Activity Coordinator of the ADN, Shahid manages ADN’s emails, webpage and social media accounts. He is the point of contact for the Regional Coordinators, Affiliates and ADN India Hub. Shahid also provides all the necessary support required to promote ADN’s events, latest news, welcoming new members – among other things.
Shahidul Hoque was a research manager at icddr,b in Bangladesh. He has a Master of Public Health (MPH) from BRAC University. Shahid has an experience of conducting implementation research. Currently, he is managing programmes related to maternal and child health and creating a network of facilities to reduce avoidable maternal, child and other deaths in southern part of Bangladesh.
Dr. Winifred Ekezie
Evidence Synthesis Coordinator
Winifred has work experience in monitoring and evaluation of healthcare services, health promotion, systematic reviews, and policy evaluation. She has conducted studies on disaster-induced internal displacement healthcare issues and currently carries out research related to community engagement, health communication, and health inequalities amongst marginalized, ethnic minorities and seldom-heard groups.
Winifred has a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health, Masters in Public Health and BSc. in Microbiology.
Dr. Aditya Ghosh
Science Society Interface Researcher
As the Science Society Interface Researcher, Aditya conducts research to understand how science can be applied at the policy level to minimise disaster deaths. He is the in-house academic editor and disseminates ADN’s work with the press and media.
Aditya Ghosh specialises in human geography, political ecology, development studies, environmental justice, postcolonial studies, media and cultural studies. He has won several prestigious global awards including Chevening from the UK-FCO, DAAD (German academic exchange – Federal government of Germany) and Chancellor’s endowment (Sussex University). He has worked and studied at the universities of Heidelberg and Leuphana, Germany; Sussex-IDS and Lincoln, UK; Arizona State University, USA. His monograph titled “Sustainability conflicts in Coastal India: (2018-Springer-Nature https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-63892-8), and an edited volume titled, The Tides of Life: Surviving between the margins (Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, Ministry of Culture, Government of India ISBN: 978-81-942224-1-5) examines various aspects of climate change, disaster risks and sustainability challenges in the Sundarbans. In his previous career spanning 12 years, Aditya was an editor and journalist with globally reputable media organisations. He has worked with Encyclopaedia Britannica, written for The Guardian, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Asia House UK, Scidev.Net apart from working in senior editorial positions at the Hindustan Times and The Times of India, two of India’s largest English language newspapers. Fortunately he left journalism when the media world plunged into the post-truth era.
Mr. Abdullahi O. Umar
Global Campaign Coordinator
Abdullahi is the Global Campaign Coordinator for the Avoidable Deaths Network (ADN). He supports the Operations Team with launching country chapters, the International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths (IAD4AD), and implementing the ADN’s IAD4AD Strategy.
He has volunteered for the ADN project ‘Exploring the Feasibility and Value of a Regional Network for First Responders (RN4FR) to Reduce Avoidable Disaster Deaths in the Caribbean Region’.
He has 20 years of experience in Civil Aviation Management. He is a certified Airport Safety Professional (ACI-ICAO ASP) by the Airport Council International (ACI) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). He is currently a Chief Operations Officer, overseeing aerodrome operations, safety, and emergency management.
He holds a BSc in Physics from Bayero University Kano, a post-Graduate Diploma in Aviation Management, and an MSc in Risk, Crisis, and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester. His research project, supervised by Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett, was titled ‘Preventing disaster deaths from flooding in Lokoja, Nigeria based on people’s perception.’ He is also a Graduate Member (GradIRM) of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM).
He is passionate about helping the ADN Operations Team with his time and skills to protect vulnerable people from disasters and crises using effective Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Management strategies.
Mr. Alex Skinner
As an Administrative Coordinator, Alex manages the ADN’s Eastern Belt Network Project. Alex is working with colleagues to create a network of higher education institutions with courses covering avoidable deaths, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. This includes assisting in development of a research report and subsequent network launch strategy. Additionally, Alex maintains minutes for internal coordination meetings, produces social media content and monitors funding opportunities.
Alex is a British diplomat currently posted to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he focuses on communications and climate change, including UK-Denmark collaboration on COP26. He has an MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester, and wrote his dissertation on intergovernmental coordination in international crisis response. Alex has led international crisis response teams in information management, planning, and consular assistance at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and at Global Affairs Canada. This included on Caribbean hurricanes, terrorist attacks in Europe, major aviation incidents and COVID-19. When not responding to crises, he delivered crisis training and exercises at Embassies in the Middle East and North Africa, represented government in military exercises, and developed emergency management policy. Alex is fluent in French and Spanish.
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Mr. Lasith Dissanayake
Lasith Dissanayake is a PhD research student in Health at the University of South Wales, UK with research interests in youth mental health, health of vulnerable populations and community engagement and involvement in research. Since 2013, Lasith has been involved in public health research projects conducted in Sri Lanka funded by Medical Research Council & Welcome Trust, UK. He has conducted both literature and systematic reviews for various projects and academic programs in Sri Lanka and the UK.
Mr. Julian Coetzee
Deputy Operations Coordinator
As the Deputy Operational Coordinator for the ADN; Julian assists the Operation Team with website updates, and social media posts. His adaptability allows him to switch roles quickly and succinctly. Julian loves writing and when opportunity arises, he publishes for the ADN Newsletter and for organisational partners.
With over twenty-five years full time work experience in various career paths including law enforcement, distribution, information technology security and financial services, Julian has built up a wealth of expertise in managing large corporate and SME organisations alike. His current role within the insurance industry enables him to help clients to adopt appropriate risk management strategies as well as transfer their financial risks to contracts of insurance when needed.
Julian completed his MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management through the University of Leicester under the guidance of Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett. His research project was entitled ‘Complexity Leadership Theory as a systems-thinking approach to Disaster Risk Management’. He also holds the Certified Risk Professional (CMIRM) title from the Institute of Risk Management (IRM).
His academic and professional areas of interest include Leadership, Complexity, Social Systems and High Reliability Organisational Theory. Julian volunteers his time and skills to the Avoidable Deaths Network in the hopes of helping to save the lives of vulnerable individuals by utilising Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Risk Management, Sustainable Development and Emergency Response Planning initiatives.
Ms. Lauren MacLeod
Activity Coordinator/ Research Administrator
As the Research Administrator, Lauren supports Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett on projects related to snakebites, drowning, first responders, COVID-19 and sexual and reproductive health. As an Activity Coordinator, she coordinates activities related to the Global Campaign: International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths and the Country Chapters and Hubs. Additionally Lauren contributes to writing publications and resources with the ADN team. Currently, she in based at the ADN India Hub in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Lauren has a Master of Science in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester.
Ms. Marina Yagi
ADN Japan Manager
Marina manages the ADN in Japan, assisting Dr. Hideyuki Shiroshita with fieldwork and administration. She has experience in teaching methods and qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Marina is currently studying Second Language Education in the Faculty of Foreign Languages at Kansai University, Japan.
Ms. Nimisha Goswami
Knowledge Exchange Public Engagement Coordinator
Nimisha has co-managed the Special Session webinar Series on Women’s Stories of Survival, Innovation, Resilience and Development. She is responsible for partnership building and exploring grant-making opportunities. She supports the Operation Team with the communication and dissemination of information on various events, projects, and publications.
With over 12 years of experience in public health, primarily in HIV, gender and sexual health, and humanitarian response, Nimisha Goswami brings extensive experience in managing and advising programs in development and humanitarian settings (natural and conflict). Her core areas of work are program and grant management, advocacy, gender mainstreaming, policy analysis, community development, advocacy, and research; working with the government and civil society at the national, state, and district levels.
She holds MA in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, specializing in Disaster Management and Community Health. Additionally, Nimisha has a MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester which was funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. There her research focused on reducing avoidable snakebite deaths.
Dr. Nimra Choudhary
Knowledge Exchange Public Engagement Coordinator
Nimra has co-managed and chaired the Special Session webinar Series on Women’s Stories of Survival, Innovation, Resilience and Development and has led hybrid Special Sessions and capacity-building workshops in Pakistan. Additionally, she has engaged with the project ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Remote and Hard to Reach (H2R) Areas of Bangladesh’.
Nimra is currently studying her Masters in Public Health from Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and her areas of interest is Disaster Risk Management and maternal and newborn deaths. A doctor by profession and having a clinical experience of several years, Nimra has decided to explore the field of public health to better understand the determinants of health and its impacts on the wider community, especially the vulnerable population like women, children, disabled, etc.
Mr. Tom Caley
Tom is responsible for contributing to the Avoidable Deaths Network blog.
Tom has spent many years working abroad as a trainer and manager within the education sector. From 2016 he has resided in Asia and speaks Chinese as well as Spanish. He has experience writing and editing for professional services as well as self-built websites, and enjoys working with international teams and sharing world perspectives.
Tom graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2002 with an MA in American Studies, before going on to study Peace and Conflict studies at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. More recently, Tom is in his final year of the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management with the University of Leicester. His dissertation research focuses on stadia safety and crowd disasters.
Click here to connect with Tom on LinkedIn.
Ms. Isha Biswas
Isha is the Research Assistant for the project entitled ‘Exploring the Feasibility and Value of Pioneering Partnerships to Reduce Avoidable Snakebite Deaths in India’ and coordinated the systematic review component of the systematic review component of the ‘Sexual and reproductive health services in remote and hard to reach areas of Bangladesh’.
Isha graduated from the University of Nottingham, England in 2020 with a merit in Master in Public Health degree. Her research focused on conducting a systematic review to synthesise the risk factors for falls among older adults in India which was recently published in the journal Health Science Reports. She has also worked as a research assistant where her primary role was to conduct systematic reviews (qualitative and quantitative) on yoga and chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and obesity. She was also involved in translating and proofreading yoga booklets (English to Odia and Bengali language). She completed her undergraduate (Bachelor in Technology) in Biotechnology from Vellore Institute of Technology, India in 2019. Her final semester thesis involved research on developmental biology of zebrafish.
She is currently pursuing a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health. Her research is on content, structure and delivery characteristics of yoga interventions for managing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (systematic reviews) along with a qualitative interview study with yoga providers in the UK. Isha’s primary interests include systematic reviews, meta analysis, public health, chronic diseases and neglected tropical diseases.
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Ms. Racheal Nantume
Racheal volunteers on ADN projects, conducting data collection and report writing. In addition to assisting with the Symposium on Integrating Disaster Risk Management with Emergency Services and Defence to Reduce Avoidable Disaster Deaths, Racheal has supported ADN’s Special Sessions knowledge-exchange events.
Funded by Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, Racheal holds a MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester. Her research focused on avoidable drowning deaths in Uganda.
A trained civil engineer with experience in contract and project management, design, construction supervision and maintenance of buildings, roads, bridges and structures. Rachael has BA from Makerere University, Uganda.
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Mr. David Cowie
As a Project Volunteer, David has contributed to the systematic literature reviews of two projects: 1. ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Remote and Hard to Reach (H2R) Areas of Bangladesh’ and 2. Exploring the Feasibility and Value of Pioneering Partnerships to Reduce Avoidable Snakebite Deaths in India’.
With over eighteen years full time work experience in a policing role, David has built up a wealth of insight in the partnership, civil contingences, emergency response and preparedness fields. Currently, David is the Emergency Management and Business Resilience Lead at INEOS FPS. Previously, he was a Sergeant within the Energy Industry Liaison Unit (EILU) and took great pride chairing the Emergency Preparedness Offshore Liaison (EPOL) Group meetings on behalf of the energy industry.
David recently completed a paper with the Scottish Institute of Policing Research (SIPR) which focuses on the potential effects on emergency preparedness and police response to offshore energy incidents on the UK continental shelf as a consequence of the transition from oil and gas to alternative energy sources. David is now studying to obtain an MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management through the University of Leicester under the guidance of Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett.
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Ms. Anusha Manahil
Since joining ADN, Anusha has been involved with the Regional Network for First Responders (RN4FR) in the Caribbean project through data collection and in graphic design, creating posters and leaflets. Additionally, Anusha managed Junior Champion, Arkoneil Ghosh with projects related to Drowning Risk.
Recently, Anusha was the Head Of Policy Research at Tahafuzpak. Anusha has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Management and Technology (UMT) in Lahore, Pakistan. There she was President of the student-run Governance Innovation Initiative. Prior to this, Anusha studied at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, USA. She has also worked with the NEIU newspaper to bring awareness through her blogs, personal stories and experiences about mental health, individual rights and climate action. Anusha finds contentment in learning, researching and writing to bring about change in her local and global community.
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Ms. Rwittambhara Kashyap
As Project Coordinator for the Eastern Belt Network Project, Rwittambhara managed and coordinated a team of four Interns to develop a network of higher education institutions across ten eastern states of India. Rwittambhara manages the Reproductive Health in Disasters Facebook page, and supports the new projects.
Rwittambhara has a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She has field experience in diverse social projects under the livelihood sector. Previously, she worked as an intern at the International Planned Parenthood Federation South Asia Region. She wrote a research report probing into the status of women within Neo-Vaishnavism in Assam, India, which is sub-themed under Gender and Religion. Her research interest is to explore beyond the univocal interpretations of gender, development, and human rights theories.
Ms. Srashta Chowdhury
Srashta worked on the Eastern Belt Network Project team to develop a network of higher education institutions across ten eastern states of India. Additionally, she contributed to the systematic literature review for the project entitled ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Remote and Hard to Reach (H2R) Areas of Bangladesh’.
She graduated from University of Calcutta, India with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Geography. She is currently a doctoral fellow in the Department of Geography and Applied Geography, University of North Bengal, India. Her research is focused on gender geography, population geography and higher education and academia.
Mr. Biswajit Paul
Biswajit worked on the Eastern Belt Network Project team to develop a network of higher education institutions across ten eastern states of India. Additionally, he contributed to the systematic literature review for the project entitled ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Remote and Hard to Reach (H2R) Areas of Bangladesh’.
A Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Geography and Applied Geography, University of North Bengal, India. He has completed his Post Graduation from the same department with specialization in Population Geography. He is currently pursuing his doctoral research on Transport Geography. His area of expertise is Geo spatial science and Mapping Technique.
Ms. Kelly Litsoung
Future Leader Intern
Under the guidance of Dr. Nimra Choudhary and Ms. Nimisha Goswami, Kelly has interned on the Special Session Webinar Series on Women’s Stories of Survival, Innovation, Resilience and Development. Additionally, Kelly has worked on editing a proofreading documents for the project entitled ‘Exploring the Feasibility and Value of a Regional Network for First Responders (RN4FR) to Reduce Avoidable Disaster Deaths in the Caribbean’.
Kelly is currently an MSc student in Risk, Crisis, and Disaster Management at the University of Leicester. Passionate about natural hazards, she graduated from the University of the Western Cape in 2018 in Applied Geology, then she started an MSc program in Geophysics at the Karlsruhe Institute to further her knowledge of the topics. After an insightful Volcanological Risk field trip in Stromboli in Italy, she chose to specialize in Disaster Management to prevent catastrophes and decrease the number of casualties. She completed a Global Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Pathway online course through the Humanitarian Leadership Academy which increased her interest in raising awareness and building resilience followed by effective disaster recovery response programs.
Master Arkoneil Ghosh
Arkoneil Ghosh, a 13-year-old student from Mumbai, India, attends Jamnabai Narsee International School. He has been a Junior Champion with ADN since 2020 and has been regularly contributing articles to raise awareness in society about sanitation, education, and pollution. He has been working as an intern, raising awareness about drowning deaths since June 2022. During this time, he researched the topic and conducted interviews with people from various countries around the world to better understand the risk of drowning deaths. He is a polyglot and an avid coder. He can think and communicate in English, Hindi, Bengali, Mandarin, Spanish, Marathi, and Japanese, though only at a basic level. When he is not studying, Arkoneil enjoys reading detective and crime novels. He firmly believes that in order to change the world, one must first change one’s attitude.
Miss Prarthona Datta
Prarthona Datta (15 years old) is a second-generation racialized youth studying in grade 10 at Central Memorial High School in Calgary, Canada. Her areas of interest include youth actions to build climate change resilience, children’s land-based learning activities, youth-led cross-cultural community gardens, and land-based arts activities (dance, music, and art).