On May 26, Prof. Zhang Qiang, a distinguished alumnus of SPPM, presented his thoughts on China’s transition from disaster crisis management to disaster governance for MIDialogue, a new informal brown bag lecture series on life in the international development sector. At the event, Prof. Zhang shared his recent research findings, reflected on current events and emerging trends and exchanged views with MID students on the complexities of effectively managing disasters.
Prof. Zhang opened the event by congratulating SPPM on the creation of the MID program. He then introduced the role of the Wenchuan Earthquake tragedy as a window of opportunity, and went on to use the case of the disaster to show the complexity of disaster management and to grasp recent innovations, such as the emphasis on disaster management as an adaptive and interactional process, and the expansion of rebuilding strategies beyond the physical to the social as well. Key components of these innovations highlighted by Prof. Zhang included the use of indicators of autonomous disaster resilience, emphasizing education and participation, and monitoring and evaluation. He then provided some additional information on the cases of the One Foundation and the role of social media in disaster management and also discussed the work of IDS to create pathways to engage actors, explore framings, reveal political actions and characterize dynamics.
MIDialogue is a new monthly lecture series that aims to provide an informal setting in which MID alumni, development practitioners and academia can share their experience and advice with the future practitioners in the MID program.
By Claire HSU