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Health and wellbeing in the face of crises associated with climate or conflict: how can knowledge from the humanities and social sciences help us respond to disasters?

Curtis, Sarah; Leach, Melissa; Ardern, Kate; Beckerman, Carly; Hunter, Paul R.; Ruszczyk, Hanna; Pelling, Mark

Health and wellbeing in the face of crises associated with climate or conflict: how can knowledge from the humanities and social sciences help us respond to disasters? Thumbnail


Authors

Melissa Leach

Kate Ardern

Paul R. Hunter

Mark Pelling



Abstract

This commentary considers how SHAPE (Social-Sciences Humanities & the Arts for People and the Economy) disciplines contribute to interdisciplinarity, inclusiveness and international cooperation in work to address the challenges to health and wellbeing arising from crises and to inform strategies for crisis preparation, response and recovery. It reviews examples of strategies to address growing international concerns about the global challenges we face, given the increasing scale and frequency of crises arising due to geopolitical conflicts and climate change. In spring 2023, the British Academy, aided by funding from the Wellcome Trust, held three virtual workshops to discuss how we can protect and sustain good health during and after crises precipitated by extreme events associated with climate change or conflicts in various settings around the world. The discussion highlighted the need for Interdisciplinary perspectives, and how knowledge and experience from SHAPE disciplines can complement STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) perspectives, helping to inform disaster response strategies and to develop more ‘systemic’ preparedness to protect health during crises. The significant roles of governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations, and the importance of international cooperation were acknowledged. The discussion also emphasised the need to acknowledge the importance of using effective means to engage with stakeholders in communities at the local scale, whose lived experience and knowledge, often embedded in cultures and traditions, can usefully inform ‘joined-up’ policy and practice. A case was also made for more inclusive strategies: for example, acknowledging the vital roles of women during and after disasters.

Journal Article Type Commentary
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2024
Online Publication Date May 22, 2024
Publication Date May 22, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 20, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 20, 2024
Journal Journal of the British Academy
Publisher British Academy
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1&2
Article Number a13
DOI https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/012.a13
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2487261

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