Lund University

Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety, Faculty of Engineering, Box 118, 221 00 Lund, Sweden

The Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety was established 1 January 2014 prior to when it was part of the Department of Fire Safety Engineering and System Safety. The Division plays an important role for several educational programmes at Lund University, on bachelor, master and PhD level, by being responsible for several key courses in the programmes. More specifically, the division manages three programmes on master level, i.e. the MSc in Risk Management and Systems Engineering, the MSc in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation, and the MSc in Human Factors and Systems Safety. In addition, the division also offers learning laboratories and short courses for practitioners.

Research at the Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety is focused on how people, organisations and societies deal with events that might threaten something of value. We study both how such events themselves are managed (during an emergency/crisis) and how risk is managed (before the events). Even though the contexts in which the research is conducted are diverse, and the problems studied might vary considerably, a key aspect that characterises them all is the presence, and importance, of uncertainty. Uncertainty, in the present context, stems from the fact that we cannot fully know what will happen in the future. However, a key assumption in risk management is that our actions today may influence future outcomes in a positive way. Thus, despite considerable uncertainty we may do actions today that result in a better outcome tomorrow. 

Studying how various stakeholders deal with aspects relevant for risk management and societal safety provides important knowledge on how systems (including social systems) work. However, the ultimate goal for the research conducted at the division is for it to contribute to solving practical problems. Therefore, a considerable part of the research conducted can also be classified as normative, or design research. The main difference compared to more traditional descriptive research is that it explicitly includes suggestions on how one should deal with various practical problems in the area of risk management and societal safety. International co-operation with other universities and organisations is central to the work at the division.

 


Lund University Team Member

 

Marcus Abrahamsson

Head of Risk Management and Societal Safety Division
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Contact address: Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety, 
Lund University, Box 118, 221 00 Lund, Sweden

Marcus Abrahamsson is Associate Professor and Head of the division of Risk Management and Societal Safety at Lund University. He is also affiliated to Lund University Centre for Risk Assessment and Management (LUCRAM). His research interests include the design of methods for risk, vulnerability and capacity assessments for enhanced resilience in various contexts, and of capacity development as a means of creating and maintaining such resilience. Marcus is frequently engaged in the peer review process of several leading scientific journals within the field and was part of the editorial board of the World Disasters Report (2015) “Focus on local actors: the key to humanitarian effectiveness”. Furthermore, he is highly involved in educational activities both within and outside of Lund University. Some examples include Marcus initiating and leading the development of the MSc in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation currently offered by Lund University, and supporting the development of similar programmes in Mozambique and Denmark.

He has combined his academic and educational career with work in international development cooperation focused on disaster risk management. He has a long engagement in capacity development efforts within the field of disaster risk management ranging from education of students at Bachelors, Masters and PhD level (currently supervising 5 PhD students) to providing technical assistance to public authorities at local, regional and national levels in Sweden and abroad. Both through his position at Lund University and through the MSB (a Swedish governmental humanitarian and development aid organization) field staff roster he has been engaged in capacity development projects related to disaster risk management in different parts of the world. Some examples are scoping studies including assessment of disaster risk management capacities in in the SADC region, capacity development efforts related to risk assessment and contingency planning in collaboration with IFRC in the Sahel region, and simulation exercises in collaboration with WFP and Unicef in the East Africa region.


 

Mo Hamza

Professor of Risk Management and Societal Safety
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Contact address: Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety, 
Lund University, Box 118, 221 00 Lund, Sweden

Mo Hamza is Professor of Risk Management and Societal Safety at Lund University, Sweden. With a PhD from Oxford Brookes University in international development, his primary areas of professional expertise and research work are: Disaster risk and vulnerability reduction, post-disaster recovery, climate change impact and adaptation, fragile and failed states, and training, capacity building. Previously he was professor of Disaster Risk Management and Vulnerability Studies at The University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Over his career he has held a number of academic and professional positions, including: Director at the Global Climate Adaptation Partnership (GCAP); Advisor to the Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB); and the Munich-Re Foundation Chair of Social Vulnerability at the United Nations University (UNU).

In his nearly 30 years of experience working in the field of disaster risk management he has led numerous projects, and has considerable experience with international development organisations including: the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UNDP, UNISDR, USAID, DfID, IFRC, IUCN, Sida, ActionAid, Swedish Red Cross, and MSB. He currently leads, on behalf of Lund University, a major Sida funded programme on Environmental Governance in Natural Resource Management working in partnership with UNDP and the Swedish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). He advised UNISDR on the MADRiD initiative – Mainstreaming Adaptation and Disaster Reduction in Development; advised IUCN on coastal resilience in South Asia and worked with MSB on developing the capacity of the National Red Cross Societies in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the National Disaster Management Office in Botswana, and the 12 member states of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative (DPPI) in South East Europe, to mention a few. He was the lead author and editor of the World Disasters Report (2015) “Focus on local actors: the key to humanitarian effectiveness”.

Mo Hamza undertook research and consultancy work in: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Botswana, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, UK, South Eastern Europe and the Balkan States.


 

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