Dr Nibedita S Ray-Bennett

Associate Professor in Risk Management

nibedita bennett

School/Department: Business, School of



I am a social scientist specialising in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and international development at the interface with neglected areas of public health. 

I am the Founding President of the Avoidable Deaths Network (ADN) and am also the founding Governing Board Member of the Institute for Environmental Futures (IEF). 

At the IEF, I co-lead the Research Challenge: ‘Climate Risk and Disaster Risk Reduction’. 

Since 2018, I have been the Programme Director for the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management. 


My research is inter-disciplinary and transdisciplinary and focuses on:

  1. understanding the nuances of ‘vulnerabilities’ and ‘risks’ that exist in societies and the seams of disaster management organisations;
  2. 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; and
  3. reducing avoidable disaster deaths through evidence-based interventions, kits, networking, advocacy and Global Campaign (International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths (IAD4AD)).

I have applied knowledge and experience in using quantitative and qualitative methods, mixed methods procedures, and case study designs. I have also used participatory rural appraisal tools, reflective practice and soft systems thinking tools and theory of change tools. I have successfully developed and implemented operation research, action research and transdisciplinary research.

Funded by IPPF, I led the development of an evidence-based RHCC intervention package in Bangladesh. RHCC is designed to increase the quality and availability of post-abortion care during disasters and humanitarian crises.

RHCC consists of three components:

  1. prepositioning a Reproductive Health (RH) Kit in primary health facilities prior to a disaster;
  2. developing the Capacity of health service providers to administer the Kit and inter-personal relationships with clients; and
  3. raising Community awareness about RHCC.
  • Funded by ESRC-IAA I am currently prototyping two new Reproductive Health Kits called Facility RH Kit and Crisis RH Kit. The protocol of the Kits can be found through the IPPF website

Both Kits are designed for treating incomplete abortion, including septic and spontaneous abortion and post-abortion care complications (before and after 12 weeks of missed period of menstruation). These Kits are tailored and contain medicines, supplies and equipment that can be procured local; thus, keeping the costs low without compromising the quality and efficiency of care. 

The Facility RH Kits can be positioned easily at flood or cyclone-prone primary/secondary health facilities and where services are lacking to promote disaster readiness. They can also develop the capacity of service providers along with health facilities. The Crisis RH Kit is designed to be lightweight so that service providers can carry it to an emergency set-up (e.g., flood-cum-cyclone shelters, safe homes, refugee camps or any temporary disaster camps).

Funded by the Institute for Environmental Futures, ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Event/Networking Fund, Kansai University, and the University of Leicester’s Participatory Research – Impact Fund, I led the launching of the Global Campaign ‘International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths' (IAD4AD) and the Campaign Slogan ‘Disaster Deaths Are Avoidable’ on 12 March 2023 in Japan. The campaign will be celebrated annually. This is an ambitious awareness-raising public engagement global campaign that aims to reach out to 100 countries over 10 years. The purpose of this global campaign is:

  • To raise the visibility of disaster deaths, especially indirect disaster deaths and missing persons and capture their impact on the lives and livelihoods of the deceased family members;
  • To capture the causes and circumstances that lead to disaster deaths so that context-specific interventions can be put in place to save lives;
  • To promote the slogan ‘Disaster Deaths Are Avoidable’. They are avoidable through preventable, amenable and risk governance measures. 

My research has been featured in the mainstream press and mass media outlets including ATN Bangla, Somoy News, Dhaka Tribune, Daily Sun, Eastern Times, Leicester’s Press, BBC Radio 4, The Sun, IPPF, UNDRR’s PreventionWeb, Down to Earth – among others.

I was a visiting Research Fellow at Kasai University in Japan in 2016. Twice I have been selected by the ESRC-NERC to attend the Newton Fund Networking Workshops in Chengdu (2014) and Jakarta (2017). I have served as a Member of UKaid-NERC-UKRI’s Review Panel for Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) project proposals, and I regularly review research proposals from UKRI-GCRF, NERC, Commonwealth Commission and others. Currently, I serving as a Member of the New Frontiers in Research Fund’s Review Panel for the ‘2023 International Joint Initiative for Research in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation’, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Browse my projects and join our Global Campaign.




  • Ray-Bennett, N.S. 2018. Avoidable Deaths: A Systems Failure Approach to Disaster Risk Management. Springer Nature, Switzerland. Environmental Hazard Series.
  • Ray-Bennett, N.S. 2009. Caste, Class and Gender in Multiple Disasters: The Experiences of Women-Headed Households in an Oriya Village. VDM Verlag: Saarbrucken.  

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Ray-Bennett, N.S., Clarke, K., and Mendez, D. (2022) Sendai Framework’s Global Targets A and B: Opinions from the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Ignite Stage 2019. Intl Jr for Disaster Risk Science, 13(2022): 651-663
  • Alam, E. and Ray-Bennett, N.S. 2021. Disaster Risk Governance of Local Level Administration in Rangamati, Bangladesh. International Journal for Disaster Risk Reduction, 59(2021): 1-13
  • 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, 14(4): 327-347
  • 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
  • Ray-Bennett, N.S., Corsel, D., Goswami, N. and Ghosh, A. 2019. ‘Understanding reproductive health challenges during a flood: Insights from Belkuchi Upazila, Bangladesh’, Gates Open Research 2019(3): 788.
  • Ray-Bennett, N.S. 2017. Disasters, Deaths and the Sendai Goal One: Lessons from Odisha, India. World Development, 103(2018): 27-39. DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.10.003
  • Ray-Bennett, N.S., Collins, A.E., Edgeworth, R., Bhuiya, A., Nahar, P. and Alamgir, F. 2016. Everyday Health Security Practices as Disaster Resilience in Rural Bangladesh. Development in Practice, 26(2): 170-183. DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2016.1132678
  • Ray-Bennett, N.S. 2016. Learning from Deaths in Disasters: The Case of Odisha, India. MEI Middle East-Asia Project (MAP) on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief: Rising to the Challenge? MAP Bulletin.
  • Masys, A.J., Ray-Bennett, N.S., Shiroshita, H. and Jackson, P. 2014. High Impact/Low Frequency Extreme Events: Enabling Reflection and Resilience in a Hyper-Connected World. ScienceDirect, Procedia Economics and Finance, 18 (2014): 772-779. DOI: 10.1016/S2212-5671(14)01001-6
  • Nahar, P., Collins, A., Bhuiya, A., Alamgir, F., Ray-Bennett, N.S. and Edgeworth, R. 2012. Indigenous Indicators of Health Security in Relation to Climatic disasters in Bangladesh. Environmental Hazards: 1-15.


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
  • Disaster deaths, avoidable disaster deaths (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 resilient primary health care systems
  • disaster risk governance for any natural hazard
  • 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 low-and middle-income or high-income countries.


MN7606: Disaster Risk Reduction and Interantional Development (all-year round)
MN0:  Induction Module (all-year round)
MN7609: Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management Project supervision (all-year round)
Masterclasses of the School of Business (Yearly)
MN7050: International Business

Press and media

Disaster risk management, disaster risk governance, early warning systems (EWS), disaster deaths, avoidable deaths, indirect disaster deaths (aka secondary deaths), avoidable disaster deaths, sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in disasters, human and health security, health system resilience to disasters, Sendai Framework and Sustainable Development Goals. 


PhD in Sociology (University of Wawick, 2007) 
MA in Social Work (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 2001) 
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA, 2015))
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS, 2023)
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