Research Themes

HADRI has three main thematic research areas, all of which intersect:

Disaster Preparedness, Response and Management

International guidelines such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) and the SPHERE project's Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response are supporting an increasingly sophisticated response to population preparedness and response to disasters. This HADRI theme examines public policy, international standards and scholarly research within the disaster management sector. The DRM theme has a particular focus on ethics and accountability, specifically the factors that govern their translation into organisational philosophies and implementation as operational outcomes achieved with affected communities. DRM also informs disaster epidemiology work within our team, including population health and mental health effects of disasters and both the research and policy frameworks which support effective linking of relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD) programs.

Theme Leader: Dr Garry Stevens.

For more theme related information contact Dr Garry Stevens at

Migration and Diaspora

During times of natural disaster, human-induced disaster and complex emergencies, diaspora communities have proven to be key partners in the provision of humanitarian aid and development, liaising with governments in affected countries, donor states and international organisations. Their close connections to local communities, make them important humanitarian actors in situations of humanitarian relief, early recovery and development. This theme examines the contributions and transnational connections of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in relief and development settings as well as countries of origin, asylum and resettlement. It explores the social, cultural and economic impacts and contributions of diaspora communities across these contexts. In addition, this theme also works with migrant communities settled in Australia on various issues and debates to inform program and policy.

Theme Leader: Dr Melissa Phillips.

For more theme related information contact Dr Melissa Phillips at

Sustainable Development and Human Security

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 169 associated targets provide an ambitious action agenda for the world’s states, both individually and together, to transition from a fossil fuel economy to a more equal global society. The framework of sustainable development acknowledges inter-generational equity in its pledge not to use resources from future generations. At the same time the SDGs promote wider human security through their focus on the shared challenges of poverty, gender inequality, education, decent employment, food security, environmental protection, justice and the climate change. Research in this HADRI theme articulate strongly with the other two HADRI themes as they extend traditional concerns about state security to include threats to people’s livelihoods and wellbeing that may come from climate change, war, erosion, depleted food systems, and uneven global development.

Theme Leader: Associate Professor Nichole Georgeou.

For more theme related information contact Associate Professor Nichole Georgeou at

HADRI research informs teaching into the Bachelors and Masters degrees in Humanitarian and Development Studies.

HADRI runs research training and monitoring and evaluation workshops for its research partners.