Jonatan Lassa

Senior Lecturer in Humanitarian, Emergency and Disaster Management, Dr. Ing. / PhD - Disaster risk governance

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am an interdisciplinary social scientist with civil engineering background! My research focuses on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. I currently teach and supervise students on interdisciplinary dimension of humanitarian emergency and disaster management at Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia. Prior to the present roles, I served as a Research Fellow in a S$ 1.5 million project on climate change impacts on key commodities in main food exporting nations at the Center for Non-traditional Security Studies, RSIS, NTU Singapore during 2014-2016. These two posts mark the beginning of serious academic career after 15 years of real world professional experience with third world NGOs, INGOs, United Nations organisations, private sector, think tanks and consulting industry as well as academic organisations.

I completed his PhD at the University of Bonn while based at United Nations University in Bonn, Germany. I also completed one winter-semester post-doctoral fellowship at Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA in 2011 and later received Willis Re Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at the Institute of Catastrophic and Risk Management (ICRM), Nanyang Technological University in 2011/2012. My postdoctoral research at ICRM recently received an award as Best Paper 2017 in Maritime Policy and Management (entitled Risk Assessment Framework for Exposure of Cargo and Ports to Natural Hazards and Climate Extremes. Maritime Policy & Management, 44:1-15).

My contributions to the global disaster studies include macro and micro level disaster governance,  complex network theory application in disaster management, institutions and institutionalisation framework in disaster reduction. I am promoting new concept namely networked ecosystems approach to humanitarian studies and disaster risk reduction through both academic paper  and consultancy work. My doctoral research has been one of the first systematic studies on disaster governance, looking at institutions and governance practice in disaster reduction in the countries around the world. In addition, I recently work on global assessment of political will on disaster risk reduction using quantitative approach; Understanding the evolution of disaster risk management policy from selected counties using longitudinal observation; How post-disaster need assessment framework informing long term recovery policy; Seismic mitigation culture and practices from the grassroots; the use of complex network theory application in disaster studies, institutions and institutionalisation of disaster risk reduction, disaster recovery and food system under changing climate. See my current research projects!

At the moment, I have been working on critical realist approach to disaster policy making, disasters and utopia, systematic analysis of disaster code/laws (Indonesia and Australia), global mapping on political will for disaster reduction, governing climate and disaster loss, social network analysis and network theory application in climate adaptation and disaster management, multi-hazard + conflict early warning system, humanitarian reform, humanitarian technology, institutional vulnerability assessment, local disaster management policy reform, global and regional humanitarian ecosystems, NGOs/CSOs network structure, urban climate governance, disaster education, food system under climate change and critical realist approach to disaster policy making.

Prospective HDR Students

I Welcome PhD students for the following topics

  • Disaster policy and utopia
  • Climate change, environmental migration and human trafficking
  • Disasters impact on migration and human trafficking
  • Social exclusion, risk and disaster vulnerabilities
  • Understanding long-term recovery trends in Southeast Asia [at >30 years timescale]
  • Long term observation of community-based and/or community-led disaster risk management practices in ASEAN.
  • Disaster risk governance and decentralization in Southeast Asia including Myanmar and Indonesia
  • Using network theory to understand disaster governance in Asia - Pacific
  • Social network analysis and crisis leadership
  • Governing climate change adaptation in urban / rural settings as well as agriculture and livestock sectors
  • Seismic culture in Indonesia
  • Global thinkers and theorists on disaster studies
  • Object-oriented ontology and critical disaster / risk studies
  • Disaster policy making and reform in developing countries
  • Governing big-data and complexity methods for disaster risk reduction
  • Disaster and religion
  • Politics of crisis and disaster communication 
  • Cultural institutionalism and disasters


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelm Universität Bonn

Jul 2007Mar 2011

Master, University of East Anglia

Aug 2004Sep 2005

External positions

Adjunct Research Fellow, NTS, RSIS, Nanyang Technological University

Jun 2016 → …

Senior Advisor, Institute of resource governance and social change

2014 → …

Senior Research Fellow, Resilience Development Initiative

2013 → …

Research Fellow, Earth System Governance Project

2010 → …

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jonatan Lassa is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 3 Similar Profiles
disaster Earth & Environmental Sciences
Indonesia Social Sciences
climate change Earth & Environmental Sciences
climate Earth & Environmental Sciences
vulnerability Earth & Environmental Sciences
food security Earth & Environmental Sciences
early warning system Earth & Environmental Sciences
policy making Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2008 2019

Connecting the actors, discovering the ties: Exploring disaster risk governance network in Asia and the Pacific

Trias, A. P. L., Lassa, J. & Surjan, A., Feb 2019, In : International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 33, p. 217-228 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Farmers’ interest and willingness-to-pay for index-based crop insurance in the lowlands of Nepal

Budhathoki, N. K., Lassa, J. A., Pun, S. & Zander, K. K., Jun 2019, In : Land Use Policy. 85, p. 1-10 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

crop insurance
willingness to pay

Livelihoods transformation and climate change adaptation: the case of smallholder water buffalo farmers in the Philippines

Escarcha, J. F., Lassa, J., Eric, P. & Zander, K., 27 Nov 2019, In : Environmental Development. p. 1-13 13 p., 100468.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

climate change
12 Downloads (Pure)

Measuring political will: An index of commitment to disaster risk reduction

Lassa, J. A., Surjan, A., Caballero-Anthony, M. & Fisher, R., Mar 2019, In : International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 34, p. 64-74 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

political activity
3 Downloads (Pure)

Negotiating institutional pathways for sustaining climate change resilience and risk governance in Indonesia

Lassa, J., 1 Aug 2019, In : Climate. 7, 8, p. 1-21 21 p., 95.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
climate change
global climate