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Relevant Experience and Expertise




1) Research on “Incorporating Climate Change Induced Sea Level Rise Information into Coastal Cities’ Preparedness toward Coastal Hazards” which is a collaboration between Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC) and University of Pittsburgh through through Partnership Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Cycle 5 funded by USAID and National Academy of Sciences (NAS) .


Oktari, R.S., Louise K. Comfort, Syamsidik, and Putra Dwitama. 2020. Measuring coastal cities’ resilience toward coastal hazards: Instrument development and validation. Progress in Disaster Science 5, 100057, 2590-0617.

Oktari, R.S., Syamsidik, K. Munadi, R. Idroes, and H. Sofyan. 2020. City resilience towards coastal hazards: an integrated bottom-up and top-down assessment. Water 12(10), 2823.

2) Research on “Fostering Resilient Recovery in Displaced Communities Via School-Based Hubs” which is a collaboration between University College London (UCL), the Faculty of Medicine at Universitas Syiah Kuala, Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC) through funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) – ESRC – UKRI.


Pacheco, E. M., Bisaga, I., Oktari, R. S., Parikh, P., & Joffe, H. (2021). Integrating psychosocial and WASH school interventions to build disaster resilience. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 65, 102520.

Garfias Royo, M., Parrott, E., Pacheco, E. M., Ahmed, I., Meilianda, E., Kumala, Oktari, R.S., Joffe, H., Parikh, P. (2022). A structured review of emotional barriers to WASH provision for schoolgirls post-disaster. Sustainability, 14(4), 2471.

Pacheco, E. M., Parrott, E., Oktari, R. S., Joffe, H. (2022). How schools can aid children’s resilience in disaster settings: the contribution of place attachment, sense of place and social representations theories. Frontiers in psychology, 13.

3) Research on “Addressing the Wellbeing and Security Needs of Urban Children and Adolescents in Indonesia in the Digital Era: Adapting the Safe Communities Safe School Model” which is a collaboration between the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Syiah Kuala and DIGNITY, University of Colorado , University of Copenhagen and Universitas Indonesia through Fondation Botnar funding.


Dr. Oktari earned her Doctoral Degree in Disaster Science from the Graduate School of Mathematics and Applied Science, Universitas Syiah Kuala, and was an alumnus of the Pan Asia Risk Reduction (PARR) Fellowship Program at the International Environment and Disaster Management (IEDM) Laboratory, Kyoto University. In 2019, she was recognized as the Young Scientist of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) worldwide. Dr. Oktari had familiarized herself with the Disaster Management field since she worked for Tsunami 2004 Response and Recovery in Aceh. She has more than ten years of working experience in humanitarian and development issues, including Islamic Relief, the United Nations, and the Australian Government’s funded program called Local Governance Innovations for Community in Aceh Phase II (LOGICA2). Her broad research interests include disaster education, disaster health, early warning system, climate change, community preparedness and resilience, knowledge management, and disaster communication. She has published in several reputed international journals, chapter books, and proceedings.

Dr. Oktari holds several important roles in the field of disaster management, including Head of the Graduate Program in Disaster Science – at USK; Coordinator for the Disaster Education and Management Research Cluster at Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC); Associate Editor of the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (IJDRR), Elsevier, Editor of the International Journal of Disaster Management (IJDM); Secretary of the Indonesian Disaster Management Society (MPBI); Country Focal Point (CFP) of the Inter- agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE); and Chairperson of the Sociocultural Working Group of the Indonesian Association of Disaster Experts (IABI).



As the sustainability coordinator of the Task Force on Health Promoting Hospital (HPH) and Environment over the past eight years, I have been the resource person for a wide range of stakeholders and working side-by-side with academics, clinicians and government officers.

Technical Expect, a joint proposal with Health Care Without Harm (Southeast Asia) to WHO’s Request for Proposal (RFP) on the “Development of a Technical Guide with Indicators and Tools to assess Climate and Health Vulnerabilities and Adaptation Actions in South-East Asia Region (SEA)”. Associate Investigator of Workstreams 5 “Preparedness for Exogenous Shocks and Violence Against Women” Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre for Excellence for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (CEVAW) led by Professor Jacqui True (Monash University). Associate Investigator, Queensland Resilience and Risk Reduction Fund 2021-2022, “Fostering Culturally-Inclusive and Future-Prepared Emergency Management” partnering with Australian Red Cross.


Dr Connie Gan’s doctoral thesis, Future-proofing Hospitals Against Disasters in a Changing Climate (conferred in March 2022), I partnered with the members of the Health Promoting Hospital (HPH) network in Taiwan (over 140 hospitals) to 1) reduce disaster risks by examining health aspects of disasters and extreme weather events; and 2) develop climate change adaptation strategies that support hospitals to achieve sustainability and resiliency. Connie examined the national risk assessment tools and their compatibility with international accreditation standards to create innovative, actionable adaptation strategies to support hospitals and health clinics in better managing the complex challenges of current and future health emergencies. She was selected as the HDR candidate spotlight for outstanding research achievement (2021) and was nominated for the Florey Next Generation Award 2020.

While conducting her PhD research, the whole world was affected by the COVID-19 virus. Soon after a pandemic was announced, she led the action research to modify its priorities in response to the emergency need. Her team co-designed eco-friendly measures that could ensure healthcare workers’ protection and safety and reduce medical hazardous waste, given that the pandemic has produced many unintentional environmental burdens in battling the virus (See Griffith news and Asia-Pacific Women thought leadership series). The intervention was published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, cited in the WHO Interim Guidance December 2020 and featured on Health Care Without Harm Sustainability in Action. Connie worked as the research coordinator at Centre for Environment and Population Health (CEPH) Griffith University, the lead institute for the WHO Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM) Knowledge Hub [Area 3: Addressing health needs of vulnerable sub-population]. The project has built a multi-country database on China, Indonesia and Viet Nam, that has provided local knowledge sharing opportunities and networks, identified capacity-building needs and policy actions. Additionally, I have formed strong working relationships with researchers and academics from diverse disciplines, bureaucrats, practitioners, advocates across health, environment, disaster management, climate change sectors through co-authorship on research publications and research engagement activities.

She also worked on a Canadian Institutes of Health research project entitled Understanding and Mitigating Real-time Differential Gendered Effects of Covid-19 Outbreak as a research assistant since June 2020. This project aims to document the different health, social and economic effects of the Covid-19 outbreak on women and girls in China, Hong Kong, Canada and the UK.


Gan CCR, Feng S, Feng H, Fu KW, Davies SE, Karen AG, Rosemary M, Julia S, Clare W (2022). #WuhanDiary and #WuhanLockdown: gendered posting patterns and behaviours on Weibo during the COVID-19 pandemic. BMJ Global Health, 7:e008149.


I. Project Collaboration funded by the Centre for Health Development—World Health Organization (WHO), Kobe

Between 2019 and 2021, academics from Griffith University’s Centre for Environment and Population Health (CEPH) in Australia, Universitas Kuala Syiah in Indonesia, and research institutions in Vietnam and China collaborated on a project to synthesize evidence on health adaptation to address the needs of subpopulations in the context of health emergencies and disasters. Their innovative and first of its kind research was funded by the World Health Organization (WHO) Centre for Health Development Kobe, which established the Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM) knowledge hub.

The partnership between these esteemed institutions was forged with the goal of exploring innovative and practical ways to address the health needs of subpopulations in times of crisis. Their research focused on the impact of climate-related disasters on vulnerable subpopulations, and sought to identify strategies to mitigate health risks and improve resilience. The synthesis of diverse forms of evidence, which drew on data from multiple countries, languages and stakeholders, was a crucial step in developing comprehensive and effective health emergency and disaster risk management strategies.

By working together, the researchers were able to bring diverse perspectives and expertise to the project. The team from Griffith University’s CEPH, for instance, is renowned for its research on environmental health risks and the health impacts of climate change, while the researchers from Universitas Kuala Syiah brought valuable insights on disaster risk reduction and community resilience. The collaboration with research institutions in Vietnam and China provided important perspectives on the unique challenges faced by subpopulations in those regions.

Overall, the project represented a significant contribution to the field of health emergency and disaster risk management. The Health-EDRM knowledge hub established by the WHO Centre for Health Development Kobe will serve as an important platform for sharing knowledge and best practices in this critical area.

II. Project Collaboration funded by the 2021 World Class Professors (WCP) Program held by the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture

The WCP program was held by the Directorate General of Higher Education, Research and Technology, Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology. The WCP program aims to facilitate researchers from Indonesian universities to engage with world-class professors. This program is a highly competitive grant in Indonesia. The WCP Program proposed by USK and invited WCP from Griffith University entitled “Increasing the Capacity of Publication and Formulation of Policy Based on Scientific Evidence Related to Adaptation of the Health Sector to the Impact of Climate Disasters”. This is a continuation of the previous WHO-funded research collaboration. The WCP program further strengthens the collaboration between USK’s Faculty of Medicine and CEPH Griffith University. It also contributes to improving the performance of Higher Education’s Tri Dharma and the competitiveness of Human Resources (HR) at USK and increasing the QS World University Ranking of USK.

III. Joint Publication

Gan, C. C. R., Oktari, R. S., Nguyen, H. X., Yuan, L., Yu, X., Kc, A., Hanh, T. T. T., Phung, D. T., Dwirahmadi, F., Liu, T., Musumari, P. M., Kayano, R., & Chu, C. (2021). A scoping review of climate-related disasters in China, Indonesia and Vietnam: Disasters, health impacts, vulnerable populations and adaptation measures. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 66, 102608.

Oktari, R. S., Dwirahmadi, F., Gan, C. C. R., Darundiyah, K., Nugroho, P. C., Wibowo, A., & Chu, C. (2022). Indonesia’s Climate-Related Disasters and Health Adaptation Policy in the Build-Up to COP26 and Beyond. Sustainability, 14(2), Article 2.

IV. Joint Events

National Webinar CEPH-Griffith University and Universitas Syiah Kuala had organized a webinar titled “Climate-Related Disaster and Health Adaptation Policy in Indonesia: Progress and Challenges” on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, using the Zoom platform. The primary objectives of the webinar were to present a preliminary summary of the state of evidence related to the impacts of climate-related disasters on health adaptation in Indonesia and to facilitate knowledge exchange among participants to establish a common consensus for implementing health adaptation plans for the vulnerable population in Indonesia. (in Bahasa).

Special Session We also organized one special session in the 13th Aceh International Workshop and Expo on Sustainable Tsunami-Disaster Recovery 2021 (13th AIWEST-DR 2021) held in Banda Aceh on 26-27 October 2021. The special sessions were dedicated to discussing Health Adaptation Policies and Strategies Towards Climate-related Disasters and the COVID-19 Pandemic in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. This session aimed to follow up on the research project on the Impacts of Climate-related Disasters and Health Adaptation on Vulnerable Population in these three countries. The research project was led by the Centre for Environment and Population Health (CEPH) at Griffith University, Australia, in collaboration with Universitas Syiah Kuala (Indonesia), Guangdong CDC Institute of Public Health (China), and Hanoi School of Public Health, Danang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy (Vietnam). WHO funded this multinational project.