Dr Nibedita S Ray Bennett

Associate Professor in Risk Management

Profile

Dr Ray-Bennett’s expertise centres on the complexities around disasters and vulnerability in order to reduce deaths, and develop intervention packages to improve the quality and availability of post-abortion care during a major disaster informed by evidence-based research.

Her work will help households and policy makers to respond to lockdown, and build the capacity of frontline workers to prevent secondary deaths from other underlying health conditions, gender based violence, extreme poverty and hunger during this time. Her work will also help policymakers to incorporate voices of women on the frontlines, and ensure attention is given to sexual and reproductive health rights.

With research locations in India, Bangladesh, and Uganda, Dr Ray-Bennett’s expertise will guide authorities tackling COVID-19 on the impact of lockdown on vulnerable populations, and the challenges of social distancing in low-and middle-income countries where health systems are weak.

Building on Dr Ray-Bennett’s world-changing research, she is part of a campaign on ‘positive response’ for COVID-19 alongside academics from other leading UK universities, with a focus on stories from the Global South.

This project is part of the University of Leicester’s portfolio of Global Challenges Research Fund projects, carrying out cutting-edge research in partnership with local universities, policymakers and communities that addresses the challenges faced by countries experiencing chronic disadvantage. 

 

Research

My research is inter-disciplinary and currently focusses on:

  • understanding the nuances of ‘vulnerabilities’ and ‘risks’ that exist in societies and the seams of disaster management organisations
  • developing the capacity of disaster responders including the health workforce at primary health care for the continuity of sexual and reproductive health services during disasters and crises
  • reducing disaster mortality and morbidity, especially of women and adolescent girls from post-abortion complications during disasters and crises through the use of RHCC intervention
  • reducing avoidable deaths from the direct and indirect effect of disasters through novel theories, methods and interventions (e.g. RHCC intervention, Facility Reproductive Health Kit and Crisis Reproductive Health Kit, avoidable deaths framework).

Previously my research has focused on caste, class, and gender in multiple disasters, health security and securitization of disasters, micro-finance, rural livelihoods, and a critical analysis of disaster and development policies by taking sociological and anthropological approaches.

Publications

Alam, E. and Ray-Bennett, N.S. 2021. Disaster Risk Governance of Local Level Administration in Rangamati, Bangladesh. International Journal for Disaster Risk Reduction. In press.

Ray-Bennett, N.S., Corsel, D.M., Khan, S.T., Haseen, F., Bhuiyan, M. and Goswami, N. 2021. Policy Brief: Introducing Reproductive Kits for Facility and Crisis Set-Ups. IPPF-South Asia Region Office: New Delhi.

Ray-Bennett, N.S., Corsel, D., Goswami, N. and Bhuiyan, M. 2021. ‘RHCC Intervention: Strengthening the delivery and coverage of sexual and reproductive health care during floods in Bangladesh’. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare. In press.

Ray-Bennett, N.S., Corsel, D.M., Khan, S.T., Haseen, F., Bhuiyan, M. and Goswami, N. 2021. Frequently Asked Questions on Emergency and Reproductive Health Kits. IPPF-South Asia Region Office: New Delhi.

Ray‑Bennett, N.S., Corsel, D. and Goswami, N. 2019. Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities Around Reproductive Health in Disasters in Belkuchi Upazila, Bangladesh. London: IPPF.

Ray-Bennett, N.S., Corsel, D. and Goswami N. (2019) Policy Brief RHCCC: Improving the quality of post-abortion care during floods in Belkuchi, Bangladesh, Innovation Programme, IPPF, IPPF- SARO and University of Leicester.

Ray-Bennett, N.S., Corsel, D. and Goswami N. (2019) Policy Brief RHCC: Facilitating Opportunities for Reproductive Health Care during a flood in Bangladesh, Innovation Programme, IPPF, IPPF-SARO and University of Leicester.

Ray-Bennett, N.S. and Shiroshita, H. Disasters, Deaths and the Sendai Framework’s Target One: A Case of Systems Failure in Hiroshima Landslide 2014, Japan. Contributing Paper to: UNDRR’s Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2019.

Ray-Bennett, N.S., Corsel, D., Goswami, N. and Jackson, P. Challenges and Opportunities around Reproductive Health during Floods in Bangladesh. Contributing Paper to: UNDRR’s Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2019.

Ray-Bennett, N.S. and Shiroshita, H. 2019. Disasters, Deaths and the Sendai Framework’s Target One: A Case for Systems Failure in Hiroshima Landslide 2014, Japan. Disaster Prevention and Management, 28 (6): 764-785 DOI:10.1108/DPM-09-2019-0302

Ray-Bennett, N.S., Corsel, D. and Goswami, N. 2019. ‘Understanding reproductive health challenges during a flood: insights from Belkuchi Upazila, Bangladesh’, [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]. Gates Open Research 2019(3): 788. DOI:10.12688/gatesopenres.12920.1

Supervision

I am interested in hearing from potential PhD students intending to pursue research in the following areas:

  • soft systems and reflective thinking in disaster risk management
  • reducing human deaths in disasters (Sendai Goal One)
  • any stage of the disaster risk management cycle
  • governance of early warning systems for droughts/floods/cyclones/landslides/multi-hazards
  • health security and reproductive health to promote resilience in health systems (Sendai’s Target D)
  • governance and accountability in disaster risk reduction
  • human rights agenda and theory of justice in disaster risk management
  • gender mainstreaming in disaster management organisations
  • critical analysis of disaster management policies and programmes
  • caste, class and gender in disasters

Region: particularly from South Asia, South East Asia, Pacific Islands, or other developing and middle-income countries.

Teaching

MN7638 Disaster Risk Reduction and International Development

MN7640 Managing Risk, Crisis and Disasters

MN7642 Research Methods and Project (Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management)

MN3145 Crisis Management

Press and media

2021: Interview with Heart Radio station on 'Tohuku Earthquake in Japan', Swindon, Wiltshire, 11 March

2021 Interview with the Manchester Alliance Business School’s initiative on ‘COVID-19 Briefing’ on the recovery plans from COVID-19 pandemic.

2020: Live interview with Ben Jackson's Mid-Morning Show, BBC Radio Leicester. I answered COVID-19 related questions from school children (11-17 years of age) in Leicestershire, 2 July 2020.

2020 Interview with Vanessa Chalmers, Digital Health Reporter, The Sun. ‘XMAS WISH: Should I see my family at Christmas? Experts reveal what’s safe and what’s not’. The Sun, 24 November.

2020 Interview with the Manchester Alliance Business School’s initiative on ‘COVID-19 Briefing’ on the leadership required during COVID-19 pandemic in India.

2020 Interview with feminist NGO in India called Prajna on COVID-19.  The interview has been published through The PSW Weblog by Prajnya: Reflections on Resilience: COVID-19: An Opportunity to learn effective Disaster Governance.

2019: TV appearance on Samoy News, 26 April, Dhaka

2019: TV appearance on ATN Bangla, Chayar Chumukay, 3 May Dhaka

2019 Interview with Mahima A Jain, Business Standard. ‘Landless Dalits, hit hardest by disasters, are last to get relief: Study’ Business Standard, 17 August.

2018: ‘Orientation Programme held for health workers in Belkuchi Upazila’, Dhaka Tribune, 28 June. 

 

Activities

Administrative responsibilities

Programme Director for the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management (2018 - current)

Module Leader for MN7633, MN7634 (2012 - current)

Module Leader for MN7638, MN7640, MN7642 (2021 - current)

Module Lecturer for MN3145 (2021 - current)

Member of the School of Business Distance Learning Operation Team (2018 - current)

ULSB SED Committee for Athena Swan (2021 - current)

Media enquiries

Get in touch for media enquiries, expert opinion, interviews, images or video.

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