You know about academics and practitioners, but have you heard of the word “pracademics”? This was the catch word of participants and guests at the two-day “2018 Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Governance Academic Seminar” held at the Tha Pra Chan Campus of Thammasat University in Bangkok.

The proceedings of the seminar can now be accessed online at the IFRC Resilience Library. The publication features 16 peer reviewed articles on climate-smart and inclusive disaster risk governance policies and practices in the Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand, and is the official outcome document of the academic seminar jointly organized by the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Thammasat University and other Southeast Asia-based academic and research institutions last 24-26 September 2018.

This is the first IFRC initiated academic seminar and publication on disaster law in the region, and the second activity under the ASEAN-IFRC Disaster Law Peer Learning Platform, a platform launched in 2017 for the exchange of knowledge and dialogue on disaster law and policy frameworks between ASEAN Member states, SEA Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and other stakeholders based in the region.

In line with the global call to leave no one behind, the publication highlights good practices and gaps on inclusive disaster laws and policies at the local and national level. Content includes  research on community participation towards resilience, policy gaps in addressing the vulnerability of agricultural sector and fisherfolk towards climate change and disaster risk, gender and diversity considerations in humanitarian psychosocial support programs, and  crowd-sourcing as a bottom-up approach to early warning information.

This first attempt on partnering with academia demonstrates the potential of a formal dialogue between researchers, humanitarian actors and policymakers. Independent academic research can shine a light on humanitarian issues and marginalized groups that may not be receiving the level of attention they deserve. It is also an avenue to openly share data. Governments and humanitarian actors have a big role to play in ensuring that these research findings are brought into the light and translated into action.

More details on the seminar are found in the official page.