A Flash from Associate Professor Iftekhar Ahmed's Visit to DPMM, AIT

As October comes to an end, the visiting period of Associate Professor Iftekhar Ahmed to DPMM has also ended. Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar Ahmad was part of the AIT community from mid-July to mid-October on a sabbatical supported by the University of Newcastle’s Special Studies Program (SSP). From his involvement in conducting research, teaching, and engaging in activities, these are a few of his many productive activities during his stay in Thailand.

Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar started off his visit to AIT by attending the launch of CIFAL-Bangkok. CIFAL-Bangkok is a partnership between AIT and UNITAR which aimed to strengthen the capacities of individual, institutions, serving public officials and leaders of Asia Pacific countries by offering a range of learning opportunities on sustainable development-related areas and facilitate knowledge sharing between government officials and leaders across the Asia Pacific. The University of Newcastle also hosts the sister body, CIFAL-Newcastle, and the launch event at AIT has opened up possibilities for collaboration between the two universities in line with an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Together with the Executive Director of AIT Extension, Mr. Voravate Chonlasin (L) and participants of the CIFAL launch event (Source: AIT website).

In-between his activity inside DPMM or AIT campus, Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar was also actively involved in capacity building programs organized by one of the DPMM partners, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) in Bangkok, Thailand. He was invited as a Resource Person to serve at three regional training courses on “Financing for Climate and Disaster Resilience”, “Integrated Flood Risk Management” and “Gender, Equality and Social Inclusion for Disaster Risk Reduction”. The courses were attended by participants from different countries coming from various areas of expertise.

Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar with the participants of “Financing for Climate and Disaster Resilience” training course of ADPC

While in Thailand, Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar wouldn’t miss the opportunity to pay a visit to UNESCAP Headquarter in Phra Nakhon, Bangkok. Warmly welcomed by the Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction at UNESCAP, Dr. Sanjay Srivastava, Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar was gifted the “Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2023” for which he served as a peer reviewer.

Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar was presented the copy of “Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2023” by Dr. Sanjay Srivastava.

Together with AIT Extension, Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar made an observation visit to Tha Khlong Municipality on the northern part of Bangkok. The purpose of this visit was to explore Tha Khlong Municipality’s post-flood recovery and flood management

Discussion session in the Tha Khlong Municipality Office.

To complete his visit in AIT, Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar had a courtesy meeting with AIT President, Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto. Together, they discussed about the potential collaborations built upon previous successful partnerships and an existing MoU between AIT and the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto and Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar in AIT President Office. (Photo courtesy of Office of President, AIT).

Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar was also presented the newly published book “Multi-hazard Resilience of Higher Educational Institutions in Asia Pacific” from the lead editor himself, Assoc. Prof. Indrajit Pal. The book covers a series of five case studies conducted on Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Asia-Pacific which underlines the important role of documentation in developing crisis management plans, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quoting from the book, the University of Newcastle case study which was led by Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar, emphasizes the importance of adaptability, proactive measures, and holistic support networks in minimizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education institutions.

Posing with the newly published book in front of the Department of Development and Sustainability, School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD) Building at AIT.

As one of the main objectives in his visit, Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar was also involved in teaching activity in DPMM. Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar was a guest lecturer in the DPMM course entitled “Asia Pacific Initiative on Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance”, a hybrid online disaster training course. Participating institutions from around the globe collaborate and share resources in delivering sessions covering a broad range of topics related to disaster management and humanitarian assistance. There, Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar delivered a session on the theme of “Information Systems and Risk Communications”.

In addition to the mentioned activities, Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar is also taking part in the 3rd International Symposium on Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development (DRSD 2023) as a Committee Member. DRSD is a biennial international symposium organized by DPMM, AIT which will be held on 7-8 December 2013 at the AIT Conference Center, Pathum Thani. Currently, Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar is also conducting collaborative research with DPMM students with the topic of informal settlements in the Bangkok area.

Lastly, a sendoff by DPMM Chair, Dr. Indrajit Pal along with DPMM Staffs before Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar’s departure to Bangladesh. Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar will continue his research, teaching, and engagement activities with BRAC University and UNDP under the University of Newcastle’s Special Studies Program. We wish the best for Assoc. Prof. Iftekhar’s endeavors and look forward to meeting again!

Categories: DPMM News


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