Dr. Isabelle Desportes
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Disaster Research Unit (DRU)
BMBF-Project: ‘Tsunami Risk : Multi-Risk Assessment and Cascade Effect Analysis in Cooperation between Indonesia and Germany – Collaborative Research on Vulcano- and Landslide-Induced Tsunamis’
Academic and Non-Academic Positions
- Since April 2021: Research Associate in the BMBF-funded research project ‘Tsunami Risk’ with a focus on disaster risk knowledge cultures and practices in Indonesia, at the Disaster Research Unit
- 2016-2020: Doctoral Researcher then Research Associate in the ‘When Disaster meets Conflict’ research project funded by the Dutch Research Council, at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
- 2015-2016: Project Manager (COP21), International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent, Geneva
- 2015: Project Coordinator, Coalition Climat 21 and Alternatiba Strasbourg
- 2014-2015: Consultant, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Addis Ababa
- 2014-2015: Researcher in Ethiopia for the NGO-alliance ‚Partners for Resilence’, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
- 2012-2014: Student Assistant, Universiteit van Amsterdam
- 2013: Intern, Department of Environmental Resource Management, City of Cape Town
- 2011: Intern, UNDP Regional Centre for Europe and Central Asia, Bratislava
- 2010: Intern, Max Havelaar France, Paris
- 2016-2020: PhD, ISS, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
- 2012-2014: M. Sc. Research Master International Development Studies (cum laude), Universiteit van Amsterdam
- 2013: Study and research stay in South Africa, University of Cape Town
- 2008-2011: B.Sc. Geography, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
- Civic Innovation Research Group at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam
- IHSA – International Humanitarian Studies Association
- EADI – European Association of Development Institutes
- Development and Change
- Disaster Prevention and Management
- International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
- Journal of Disaster Risk Studies: Jamba
- Journal of International Humanitarian Action
- South African Geographical Journal
- 2018/2019 ‘The Humanitarian Theatre in Ethiopia – Analysing Discourses of the Disaster-Conflict Nexus’. Guest lectures in the course ‘Violent Conflict and the Politics of Media Representation’, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
- 2017/2018 Research Master supervision, Universiteit van Amsterdam
- Disaster research from a social science perspective: Disaster risk creation, disaster cultures and disaster risk reduction
- Humanitarian aid and its de·politicization
- Resilience and climate change adaptation
- Conflict studies and civil society mobilization
Academic papers (peer-reviewed)
- Desportes, I. and Hilhorst, D. (2020). Disaster governance in conflict-affected authoritarian contexts: The cases of Ethiopia, Myanmar and Zimbabwe. Politics and Governance, 8(4), 343-354.
- Desportes, I. (2019). Getting relief to marginalised minorities: The response to cyclone Komen in 2015 in Myanmar. International Journal of Humanitarian Action, 4(7), 1-16.
- Desportes, I., Mandefro, H., and Hilhorst, D. (2019). The humanitarian theatre: Drought response during Ethiopia's low-intensity conflict of 2016. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 57(1), 31-59.
- Kuipers, E.H.C., Desportes, I., and Hordijk, M.A. (2019). Of locals and insiders: A ‘localized’ humanitarian response to the 2017 Mocoa mudslide in Colombia? Disaster Prevention and Management, 29(3), 352-364.
- Hilhorst, D., Desportes, I. and de Miliano, C. (2019). Humanitarian governance and resilience building: Ethiopia in comparative perspective. Disasters, 43, S109-S131
- Desportes, I., and Colenbrander, D. (2016). Navigating interests, navigating knowledge: Towards an inclusive set-back delineation along Cape Town’s coastline. Habitat International, 54(2), 124-135.
- Desportes, I., Waddell, J., and Hordijk, M. (2015). Improving flood risk governance through multi -stakeholder collaboration: A case study of Sweet Home informal settlement, Cape Town. South African Geographical Journal, 98(1), 61-83.
Part of book – chapter (peer-reviewed)
- Hilhorst, D, Mena Fluhmann, R., van Voorst, R., Desportes, I. and Melis, S. (2019). Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Response in Different Conflict Scenarios.Opens external In Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) 2019. Geneva: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
Blogs and op-ed
- Desportes, I. (2020). Disaster response: Why democracy matters. (blog). European Association of Development Institutes Blog – Debating Development Research. (available: 14 July 2020).
- Desportes, I. (2020). Another top priority in times of crisis: Keep democratic life up and running. (blog). blISS - The ISS Blog on Global Development and Social Justice. (available: 26 Mar 2020).
- Hilhorst, D. and Desportes, I. (2019). Counter-terrorism laws are undermining humanitarian relief, and are set to get worse today. (blog).Oxfam Blogs. (available: 12 November 2019).
- Hilhorst, D. and Desportes, I. (2019). De anti-terrorisme wet heeft een lelijk neveneffect. (newspaper opinion piece). Trouw. (available: 12 November 2019).
- van Voorst R. and Desportes, I. (2018). (How) should scholars say what humanitarians can't? (blog). blISS - The ISS Blog on Global Development and Social Justice. (available 16 May 2018).
Working papers and research briefs
- Hilhorst, D., Vervest, M.J., Desportes, I., Melis, S., Mena, R. and van Voorst, R. (2021). Strengthening community resilience in conflict. The Hague: Partners for Resilience.
- Desportes, I. (2020). Politics of disaster response in authoritarian low-intensity conflict settings. ISS Research brief. The Hague: International Insitute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
- Hilhorst, D., Desportes, I., Melis, S., Mena, R., and van Voorst, R. (2020). When Disaster Meets Conflict: A scenario-based approach to the politics of disaster governance in conflict settings. ISS Research brief. The Hague: International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
- Hilhorst, D., Vervest, M. J., Desportes, I., Melis, S., Mena, R. and van Voorst, R. (2020). Strengthening community resilience in conflict: learnings from the Partners for Resilience programme.Opens external. ISS Working Papers - General Series, no 666. The Hague: International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
- Desportes, I. (2019). Myanmar: The controversial issue of minorities in responding to cyclone Komen in 2015. ISS Research brief. The Hague: International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
- Desportes, I. (2019). Ethiopia: Responding to the 2016 drought amid political protest and a state of emergency. ISS Research brief. The Hague: International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
- Desportes, I. (2015). Partners for Resilience in Ethiopia, Country Case for the Qualitative Process and Impact Study. Groningen: University of Groningen.
- Desportes, I. (2020, November 5). Repression Without Resistance: Disaster Responses in Authoritarian Low-Intensity Conflict Settings. EUR (153 pag.) (The Hague). Prom./coprom.: prof.dr.ir. D.J.M. Hilhorst & R. Van Voorst.
- Desportes, I. (2014, February 7). We’ve got to address the underlying causes. A case-study of stakeholders ́ initiatives to increase resilience to flood riskinSweet Home informal settlement, Cape Town. University of Amsterdam (114 pag.). Amsterdam. Supervision : dr. M. Hordijk.