Local knowledge as the basis of Disaster Management in Asia

This JI special seminar will be presented by the members of the international collaborative project “Locally led Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance in Asia,” led by Professor Miwa Hirono, supported by the Asia-Japan Research Institute at Ritsumeikan University, Japan.

The international policy community working on disaster management and humanitarian assistance (DMHA) emphasizes the importance of “localization” and “local knowledge”. While no uniform definition of the term “localization” exists, the policymakers assume that localization addresses disasters more effectively and efficiently in terms of safeguarding lives than does internationalization/centralization.

However, is there any academic evidence to support this assumption? In discussing localization, literature pays attention to “local knowledge”, but what does local knowledge mean, and what difference does it make when we localize knowledge in DMHA? Does that save more lives? How can localisation of knowledge be conceptualized as a more dynamic paradigm, which captures ever-changing construction of knowledge over time, going beyond a static conception?

In this joint seminar, the panelists will discuss these questions by drawing on locally-led disaster management in Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia.


  • Miwa Hirono, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean (Student), College of Global Liberal Arts, Ritsumeikan University


  • Takeyuki Okubo, Professor, College of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University & Director, Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University (R-DMUCH)
  • Maria Tanyag, Research Fellow, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, The Australian National University.
  • Muhammad Riza Nurdin, Asia-Japan Research Institute, Ritsumeikan University


A recording of this seminar is available here.

This seminar is a jointly presented by the ANU Japan Institute and the College of Global Liberal Arts at Ritsumeikan University.


The ANU Japan Institute Seminar Series is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 


Updated:  27 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  JI Management Group/Page Contact:  Japan Institute