THE CENTRE FOR NON-TRADITIONAL SECURITY STUDIES AT
THE S. RAJARATNAM SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY, SINGAPORE
Academic institutions form a strong and relevant partnership for the AHA Centre, particularly as it expands its work and increases capacity throughout the ASEAN region. The AHA Centre has had an ongoing working knowledge partnership with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore for many years, with the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre) forming a key partner for both the AHA Centre and the ASEAN region on academic and policy research on disaster management. The NTS Centre was established in 2008, and has developed three core research themes: Climate Security, Migration and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR). This month, the AHA Centre gathered some insight from Professor Mely Caballero-Anthony, NTS Centre Head at RSIS.
Professor Caballero-Anthony explains the link between the work of the NTS Centre and disaster management, alongside the RSIS’s engagement with the AHA Centre in its early years.
“The NTS Centre has tracked the development of regional governance on non-traditional security issues like disasters since its founding in 2008. We have engaged with the AHA Centre since it was established in November 2011 and have developed a strong knowledge partnership. This partnership continues to flourish with the development of our own humanitarian assistance and disaster relief programme in 2015 and the engagement of NTS Centre in disaster and humanitarian affairs and policy development in the Asia-Pacific.”
She also highlights ongoing work and partnerships with other key ASEAN stakeholders such as the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), the Singapore Civil Defense Force, and the ASEAN Secretariat with an array of programmatic areas.
When asked about the all-important relationship between disaster management organisations and the academic world, the Professor highlights the importance of a networked approach to solving problems, that is based on the premise that sustainable answers can be found through working together across different sectors.
“Disaster governance is the most developed in this respect and the seeds have been planted to grow the relationship between academia and disaster management practitioners in ASEAN. However, it remains a growth area where there is a need to engage the social sciences more to find answers to the societal challenges we face. Within universities there are different disciplines which bring a range of skillsets to the table from law to business and the natural to social sciences and humanities. It is through a carefully calibrated combination working together that we are well placed to find sustainable solutions to the disaster governance challenges we face in the region and beyond.”
Professor Caballero-Anthony holds high hopes for partnerships between academic institutions and disaster management bodies – such as the great example on display between the AHA Centre and the NTS Centre of RSIS – and hopes that more such partnerships can expand from this strong base.
“A strong symbiotic relationship between scholars and practitioners gives us the opportunity to bridge the gap between real-world challenges on the ground with the development of longer-term strategic vision and policy frameworks from the interaction between our two communities.”
Written by : William Shea | Photo : AHA Centre