Centre secures British Council researcher links workshop grant

Friday 10 October 2014

Senior Lecturer within the School of the Built Environment and member of the Centre for Disaster Resilience, Dr. Udayangani Kulatunga, has secured a grant from the British Council, under their Researcher Links programme, to conduct capacity building activity to enhance disaster prevention, preparedness and response in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia.


Capacity building has been identified as a central strategy in the UK and in Malaysia as a mechanism to respond to disasters. The project utilises the principle of capacity building as a way of improving resilience of targeted groups for better disaster prevention, preparedness and response.

Attention has been given to the range of initiatives that the communities can undertake by themselves and how best to develop local capacities so that the affected communities can recover with little or no assistance following a future disaster.

The limitations of international humanitarian organisations to contribute to disaster mitigation, has further emphasised the need for local capacity building. Within the context of Malaysia, the need for local capacity building for disaster risk reduction was felt following the collapse of Highland Towers in 1993.

The lack of local expertise for disaster prevention, preparedness, and response are noted when managing natural and man-made disasters that occurred in Malaysia. Therefore, strengthening the capacities of different stakeholders of disaster management has been emphasised within the project

The project conducts a participatory collaborative multi-stakeholder workshop in Malaysia as a way of capacity building. This workshop provides a unique opportunity for early career researchers from Malaysia and the UK to develop a sustained long-term research network for capacity building for disaster risk reduction (DRR). The workshop will explore the current research needs, gaps, challenges and opportunities with particular reference to the local capacity building for DRR. Key emerging research themes will be identified with an outline action plan for future collaborative work and to sustained actions.

The workshop consists of key-note speeches, group discussions, poster presentations, networking activities, academic and research skills development activities, and a site visit, followed by an online post-doctoral workshop and an online platform for working groups to collaborate to sustain the wide ranging collaborative actions.  

The British Council funded workshop will be taking place in Malaysia from 9 to 12 February 2015. Details on the application process to participate at the workshop will be published soon via the Centre for Disaster Resilience (CDR) website.

For more details please contact Dr Udayangani Kulatunga (U.Kulatunga@salford.ac.uk