18.03.2020 NaDiMa - Socio-Economic, Cultural and Technical Aspects of Natural Disaster Management: A Dialogue between Germany and Iran

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German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) through the funding of Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) has approved to support the project proposal of Economics of the Middle East Research Group/CNMS/FB02 (Prof. Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, farzanegan@uni-marburg.de) on “Socio-Economic, Cultural and Technical Aspects of Natural Disaster Management”. The project is funded for 2020 with 90,000 Euro under the "Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World” program of DAAD.

The cooperating partners in Iran/Tehran are University of Tehran (Faculty of Social Sciences & Faculty of Natural Resources), Islamic Azad University (Civil Engineering Department) as well as Road, Housing & Urban Development Research Center (BHRC)/ Iranian Strong Motion Network. In Germany, we collaborate with University of Freiburg (Faculty of Economics and Behavioral Sciences).

This project engages lecturers, students and experts from Iran and Germany in a dialogue on various technical, social, cultural, and economic aspects of natural disaster management policies and methods. Different issues under natural disaster management will be addressed in teaching events and faculty and student exchanges aimed at building students’ capacities as well as strengthening institutional efforts to foster cross-cultural learning and understanding through a mutual dialogue. It will do so by taking up an important discussion in both countries on the role, relevance, and possible contribution of the social sciences and humanities as well as engineering in addressing pressing socio-economic issues regarding climate change and natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, flooding, drought, etc.). We build on our earlier cooperation with Iran (2016-2018) which was mainly focusing on the political economy of natural resource revenues management (with focus on oil rents). In this proposal, we focus on natural disaster management, understanding disaster literacy in Iran and Germany and factors which could improve public support of disaster management policies of the government.

The innovative aspect of this project is that it does not limit itself to only economic context of climate change and natural disasters; instead it emphasizes and integrates the social and technical dimensions of climate change. Another important component of the project is the explicit emphasis on a dialogue that also includes practitioners in Iran and Germany in addition to our academic partners. By practitioners, we mean those who are directly involved in policy work or intervention, be it in governmental or non-governmental organizations. This innovative interaction with practitioners provides a unique opportunity for students and researchers to examine the practical relevance of social and economic theories and their feasibility for implementation in different cultural and institutional contexts (Germany vs. Iran). The outcome of our exchange program will have positive impacts on curricula, teaching, and professional training of students and early-career researchers at the participating Iranian and German institutions. This will be achieved by increasing the practical relevance and applicability of social sciences and economic research in the fields of natural disaster management. The selection of Iran for our project proposal is justified due to its high-risk profile with respect to natural disasters, its economic size and important geostrategic position in the Middle East and the Islamic world.

 More Information will be available at: