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Sustainable Communities 
after Disasters

John W. McCormack Graduate School of
Policy and
Global Studies


CRSCAD Newsletter
January 2012
Adenrele Awotona.2011 photo
Dear Partners, Friends, and Colleagues, 


I wish you a happy, productive and healthy 2012 and would like to thank you for your continuing support of our efforts.


Last year was an exceedingly dynamic one at CRSCAD. In collaboration with University College, we established two unique certificate programs, each approaching the issue of global disaster studies from a slightly different perspective; we organized a very successful international workshop in partnership with the Chair of Multiculturalism at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; and, we continued to deepen our relationships with universities and various organizations worldwide to mention but a few of our accomplishments.  


My December 2011 visit to Iraq was also most fruitful and pleasurable and it provided me with the opportunity of witnessing, first hand, the vibrant growth that is currently taking place in the Kurdistan Region in general and Erbil in particular. Dr. Ahmed Anwar Dezaye, the President of Salahaddin University-Erbil - SUE; Dr. Mohammed Aziz Saeed, SUE; Dr. Ibrahim Hamad, SUE; Dr. Nawzad Badjer, Founder of Cihan University - CU; Dr. Amjad Saber, President of CU; Dr. Mohammad Sadik, CU; and Dr. Hoshiar Nooraddin hosted me most graciously and I express my profound gratitude to all of them. A brief report on the trip appears below.



With my highest regards,


Adenrele Awotona

Founding Director and Professor


Center Director Visits Iraq for Development Conference and Partnership Meetings


CRSCAD Director Professor Adenrele Awotona  presented a paper on aspects of capacity building for sustainable post-disaster reconstruction at the International Scientific Workshop on Sustainable Development held at the Salahaddin University-Erbil (SUE) at Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in December 2011. 


Representing CRSCAD, Professor Awotona was one of five founding members of the Erbil Forum (EF), a new initiative that grew out of the conference focused on research, implementation, and evaluation of policies, strategies, methods, and technologies of sustainable urban and regional growth in the Middle East.


Women Most at Risk from Climate Disasters, says UN Report












-Investment in Green Technologies Can Improve Women's Climate Adaptation Capacity and Livelihood Opportunities


-Increase in Human Trafficking Associated with Climate-related Disasters


Women, particularly those living in mountain regions in developing countries, are facing disproportionately high risks to their livelihoods and health from climate change, as well as associated risks such as human trafficking, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 




Interview with CRSCAD Faculty Jennifer Janisch Clifford


"We have to start acting more like a global community," says natural resource economist Jennifer Janisch Clifford who teaches courses in Climate Change, Food, and Water Resources in CRSCAD's graduate and professional development certificate programs. Here she talks with Muna Killingback about the economic solutions she sees imbedded in our environmental problems.


Haiti: Two Years after the Earthquake

Resource Allocation Shifts to Reconstruction

The Haitian government and people as well as the international community are assessing how far Haiti has come since a devastating earthquake hit the country two years ago. The situation of Haiti has been a longstanding focus of the Center. CRSCAD's 2010 Conference on Haiti brought together many stakeholders to explore plans for rebuilding. The influence of foreign aid money and the role of foreign development agencies and NGOs were critical issues raised in both presentations and discussions. CRSCAD's Director Adenrele Awotona was also a member of a delegation to Haiti in 2009 led by former Dorchester state Rep. Marie St. Fleur following heavy rains during its hurricane season. The delegation also included other state senators and representatives from business and government. The protection of women in the camps set up for earthquake survivors in Haiti was the focus of a presentation at CRSCAD's International Workshop in November 2011.  


This selection of recent articles assesses the situation in Haiti two years after the earthquake:


An article in the Miami Herald examines how aid money has been spent and how effective it has been.


The UN News Centre looks at how the post-earthquake assistance is now focused on reconstruction.


The Root looks at how divisions of race and class have impacted recovery as well as the role of foreign aid.


Award-Winning Hurricane Katrina Novel Focuses on Vulnerable Populations


Winner of the 2011 National Book Award, author Jesmyn Ward's novel "Salvage the Bones," is the story of a young African-American girl, her three brothers and their widowed father set during the landfall of Hurricane Katrina in the fictional Mississippi Gulf Coast community of Bois Sauvage.  


Ward, who was in Mississippi herself when Katrina hit, wanted to write about "poor, black rural Southerners in such a way that the greater culture would see their stories as universal," the Los Angeles Times reported. Ward recounts her own experience of the hurricane as "traumatic ... to say the least."  


Read review



In This Issue
Center Director Visits Iraq for Development Conference and Partnership Meetings
Women Most at Risk from Climate Disasters
Interview with Jennifer Clifford
Haiti: Two Years after the Earthquake
Hurricane Katrina Novel Focuses on Vulnerable Populations

Registration Continues for CRSCAD Spring Courses  

Registration is still open for those interested in taking a course in one of the two CRSCAD online certificate programs:


 -the 18 credit graduate certificate in Global Post-Disaster Studies: Reconstruction with Vulnerable Populations  


 -the professional development certificate, Global Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Management Certificate   


Most courses start January 30, 2012 but some begin later.


Register today! 



Three New
CRSCAD Courses

Three timely and topical CRSCAD graduate certificate courses that have been approved will begin to be offered in 2012 and 2013.   

They are: 



Climate Change: Strategies for Mitigation and Adaptation


CRSCAD 524  

Survival Skills for the 21st Century: Personal, Organizational, and Community Resilience Skills


CRSCAD 543   

The Political Economy of International Migration



This important CRSCAD book examines how Iraqi communities can be rebuilt in a manner that promotes social justice, economic sustainability, and full participation of all stakeholders.  Contributing authors look at rebuilding Iraq from the perspective of many disciplines.  Edited by Professor Adenrele Awotona, the book is available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


Conference on
Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters in China:
Best Practices and
Lessons Learned

November 15-16, 2012

In 2010, China "experienced more major reported disasters" than any other country, noted the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström. The goal of this conference is to share the knowledge of best practices and lessons learned by China with the international community, with a focus on reducing the socio-economic impact of various forms of disasters on vulnerable communities. An entire session will also be devoted to examining case studies of best practices in post-disaster reconstruction from around the world.




The primary purpose of the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters (CRSCAD) is to work in close collaboration with practitioners, academics, researchers, policy makers and grassroots organizations in the United States of America and in all the continents of the world in their search for the most appropriate and sustainable ways to rebuild their communities after disasters.



University of Massachusetts
McCormack Hall 3rd Floor, Room 612
Boston, Massachusetts 02125
Telephone: 617-287-7116

Contributions, suggestions and feedback about the newsletter are welcome.


Muna Killingback  

Chair, Editorial Committee 


Amanda Achin

Design and Distribution




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