Madagascar is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to cyclones; for example, cyclone Enawo (2017) caused 81 deaths and destroyed over 300,000 buildings, including 38,000 homes. Non-engineered traditional structures make up 86.5% of houses, and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) are working to train local people to improve the wind resistance of their homes. Apart from Conservation International, the project will collaborate with local NGOs to create impact in Madagascar. Catholic Relief Service, Red Cross Madagascar and Care International were directly involved in response operations after cyclone Enawo in 2017, including building shelters and settlements, and have been training and employing local people to build traditional houses to resist natural disasters. The guidance developed has improved resilience to cyclones, however NGOs lack a detailed understanding of how these construction materials and systems behave, and therefore how effective their guidance is. This project will assess the resilience of traditional structures across Madagascar. It is an innovative application of a holistic vulnerability model, taking into account the true structural capacity of local building systems, the current and future climate and the capacity of society to respond and adapt to cyclones. The project is a collaboration between Conservation International, the University of Edinburgh, Liverpool John Moores University, École Supériere U-Magis within Order of Engineers and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology.
The objectives of the project are to:
- Develop a tool to assess the structural capacity of traditional houses to resist cyclone wind loads;
- Characterize the exposure of Madagascar to cyclones in the current climate and project exposure under future climate change scenarios;
- Assess the current and future capacity for Malagasy society to respond and adapt to natural disasters related to cyclone;
- Combine structural, climatic and social models to develop a probabilistic model to predict current and future resilience; and
- Engage with NGOs and local stakeholders to transfer identified adaptive measures to local practice.
- As Postdoctoral Research Associate on Adaptive Capacity, you will be employed and supervised by Conservation International and technically supported by project partners at MMUST1. Your role will be to gather quantitative and qualitative primary survey data from highland and coastal Malagasy
- communities regarding their capacity to adapt their homes and built environment in anticipation of and following a cyclone. You will develop community surveys questionnaires, or other appropriate tools to gather this data. You will process that data using appropriate techniques, working closely with climatologists and civil engineers in the project team to incorporate the information they produce, to draw conclusions regarding the vulnerability of these communities and their built environment. You will review historical documented data on adaptation to cyclones in Madagascar which will be sourced from government, companies, NGOs and UN agencies (UN-Habitat).
- Our partners in NGOs and the Malagasy government will use the outcomes of this research to critically assess and update their guidance and to refine their priorities for investment.
- As the Postdoctoral Research Associate, you will offer support to the Capacity Building, Dissemination and impact workshops organized by Conservation International and the NGO representative project participants with government agencies. Where appropriate, you will attend international meetings and conferences to present your findings to academics and humanitarian professionals engaged in building resilience and climate change adaptation.
- This position is located in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
- A PhD in either disaster risk management, social aspects of natural or man-made disaster or environmental change, or a similar field
- Skills in social science research through surveys or other appropriate methodologies
- Willingness to work in an interdisciplinary team and communicate with engineers, climatologists, conservationists and risk management specialists
- Proficiency in English language.
- An appreciation of climate change and vulnerability analysis
- Some engineering knowledge to match the overall project direction
- Proficiency in Malagasy and French language
- The project offers a multidisciplinary, collegial research environment and believes that diversity of its researchers contributes to excellence. The duration is for 2 years. We encourage women professionals to apply.
To apply, please send your curriculum vitae with a cover letter of no more than 2 pages clearly stating why you feel you are the right candidate for this position, providing examples that specifically address the essential duties, required qualifications and the project’s special requirements above.
Conservation International Values
We expect that all employees will embrace the values of our organization.
Passion: We are inspired by nature and cherish the diversity of life in all of its forms.
Respect: We respect and trust each other, and we embrace our diversity of cultures, talents, and experiences.
Integrity: We act with integrity and are accountable for our actions.
Optimism: We are optimistic about the future of life on Earth and are confident that, with our partners, we will achieve unprecedented conservation results.
Courage: We tirelessly pursue our vision, taking bold action and persevering through challenges.
Teamwork: We work together, recognizing that openness, collaboration and cooperation are fundamental to achieving a healthy and prosperous world for all.
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