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Durham University

Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience

Action on Natural Disasters


Action on Natural Disasters (AND) is a Doctoral Training Centre that focuses on interdisciplinary research into the causes, consequences, and mitigation of natural disasters. It is born from an understanding that reducing the impact of future natural disasters depends on understanding not only the physical nature of the events that cause disasters, but also the social, economic, cultural, historical, and political factors that shape their impact on communities that are exposed to them.

Natural disasters are complex products of triggering events, social context, and community vulnerability. Effective research into natural disasters and their mitigation, therefore, depends upon working across conventional disciplinary boundaries.

The core goal of the Action on Natural Disasters initiative is to enable a cohort of PhD students to undertake interdisciplinary research that has social impact – mitigating the risks posed by natural hazards by reducing their capacity to become disasters. Research in this DTI will cover the entire disaster cycle from the triggering event of the disaster, through to impacts and response, including evaluation, preparedness, recovery, reconstruction and building resilience in people and communities.

Action on Natural Disasters is funded through benevolent donations. You can learn more about benevolent giving to Durham University here.