Dr Katharine Haynes is a Senior Research Fellow at Risk Frontiers, specialising in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. She has considerable experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research with members of the public, emergency management practitioners, professionals and policy makers. Katharine has a special interest in participatory processes and action research as a means for community-based adaptation and risk reduction. Her research interests include: risk communication; the implementation and adaptation of policy and organisational procedure; the science-policy interface; and community and youth-based disaster risk reduction.
Katharine has experience working on a range of hazards and risks within: Montserrat, WI; Philippines; Indonesia; Australia and the United Kingdom. She has worked on a number of projects for the Australian emergency management sector, private organisations and international NGO’S. Recently Katharine has undertaken research for NCCARF, NSW State Emergency Services, NSW Fire and Rescue, Plan International, Sydney Water, Australian Building Code Board, the Bushfire CRC, the Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC, CSIRO and the Attorney General’s Department.
Katharine appeared as an expert witness for the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission and is the moderator of the UNISDR Prevention Web online forum “Children, Youth and Disasters Network”.
A paper analysing the historical impacts of extreme heatwaves in Australia has been one of the first outputs of a project to measure and understand the impacts of natural hazards in terms of human health and building damage.
There remains an assumption that children and young people are passive victims with no role to play in communicating risks or participating in risk reduction strategies.
To measure and understand the impacts of natural hazards in terms of the toll on human life and injuries, and building losses and damage, in order to provide an evidence base for emergency management policy and practise
Children represent the most vulnerable demographic group in disasters. The world health organisation estimates that 30-50% of disaster fatalities are children. They are also most vulnerable to psychosocial impacts. However, preliminary research and the new Sendai Framework also identifies them as community “drivers” of change for reducing current and future disaster risks and increasing community resilience.
Nearly one third of the world's population are children. However, much disaster management programming sees children as passive participants, leaving them out of the planning and decision making process.
Floods are the second highest cause of death from natural hazard events in Australia following extreme heat. Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC research has so far uncovered 1874 flood fatalities between 1900-2015. This data shows a growing number of fatalities associated with vehicles entering floodwaters, particularly 4WDs.
Disaster education for children has been identified as a key stragety for increasing disaster resilience. In Australia, comprehensive, evidence-based guidance for the development and implementation of quality education programmes is lacking. This framework, underpinned by current research in the field, aims to provide emergency service agencies and other stakeholders with a good practice approach to developing education programmes that foster children's capacities for building resilience.
This project is measuring and gaining a greater understanding of the impacts of natural hazards in terms of the toll of human life, injuries and building damage in order to provide an evidence base for emergency management policy and practice.
Can children be agents of change through school-based education?