Resilience of Vulnerable Citizens to Natural Hazards

The discussion and debate about concepts such as ‘vulnerability’ and ‘resilience’ in the face of natural disasters and emergencies involved more than 30 delegates representing the British Red Cross, disability organisations, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS, Scottish power companies, academics and may others. Issues tackled were questions about whether ‘vulnerability’ is a feature linked to individuals or rather to environments, events and processes. Can ‘resilience’ be an outcome or is it rather a process? Is it possible to engineer or ‘design’ resilience or is it something that only becomes visible when adverse events occur?

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Are individuals’ capacities un- or insufficiently recognised in emergency planning provisions? What are the risks of increasing vulnerability due to inappropriate emergency responses?

What is the role of human rights legislation such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in emergency planning and provision?

Professor Mark Priestley, Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds presented on ‘Disability and Vulnerability: Impact, reconstruction and planning.

The concept of ‘resilience’ was explored by Dr John Twigg, Senior Research Associate in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at the University College London in his presentation, entitled ‘From vulnerability to resilience’.

These any many more issues have been and will continue to be discussed and addressed. Stay tuned for updates on the CECHR event web page and here.

‘Resilience of Vulnerable Citizens to Natural Hazards and Disasters’ Event on 28 September 2011

Follow this knowledge exchange event here on our news blog or via Twitter feed @SDHIresearch. If you have any personal or professional experience with disaster preparedness and emergency management for disabled people or individuals who are considered particularly vulnerable to the impact of natural hazards and disasters, please get in touch. We are interested to maintain a dialogue. Resource material will be posted on the event web site of the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR). Details about the event can be found at CEHR SDHI KEX event

SDHI Seminar ‘Thinking about a good life for people with learning/intellectual disabilities’

SDHI is pleased to announce the next speaker in the SDHI seminar series, Professor Jan Walmsley (Visiting Chair, History of Learning Disabilities, Open University). The seminar will take place on

Thursday 10th November 2011, 3-5pm,

Room 2S17 Dalhousie Building

at the University of Dundee

The title of the seminar presentation is ‘Thinking about a good life for people with learning/intellectual disabilities’. Professor Walmsley will share some the conclusions that she and her co-author Kelley Johnson reached in their book, entitled ‘Towards a Good Life’ (2010). The presentation and discussion will look beyond what has informed progressive policy making over the past 30 years and will stimulate discussion about the issue of what constitutes a meaningful and good life by people with learning disabilities.

All are very welcome to attend. Please contact Rosanne Bell (01382 388670) or by e-mail r.c.bell

The right mix: why workforce planning and rostering has an impact on quality of care

SDHI team colleague, Debbie Baldie and her co-authors discuss in the September issue of HSJ how senior charge nurses can work with their staff in creative ways to maintain consistently safe staffing levels in an Accident & Emergency department. Further, they present findings on how challenging traditional ways of working through more staff involvement in work planning has increased morale and helped nurses to effectively manage fluctuations in A&E activity.  The project was taken forward after the Senior Charge Nurse (SCN) had attended training on how to effectively manage her workforce, a key role component identified within the Scottish national role framework for SCNs – Leading Better Care.

Read the full article here

Social Participation and Environmental Accessibility for People with Disabilities

The purpose of this presentation is to discuss research studies on social participation in relation to environmental accessibility (e.g. doctor’s offices, public spaces, parks, fitness centres) for people with disabilities. Environmental accessibility is key to community participation for people with disabilities, and the importance of the subjective experience of receptivity within the community will also be discussed.

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When and where? 14 September 2011, University of Dundee, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Meeting Room 2, 11 Airlie Place, 12-13.30

‘Critical Geographies of Wellbeing’ Seminar

The Seminar will take place

Wednesday 16th November 2011

University of Dundee, Dalhousie 3G02, 1-4pm (tea/coffee at 2.30)

‘Wellbeing’ is a widely used term in geographies of health and across the social sciences, and in policy discourse. The concept offers a way of moving beyond the often limiting biomedical understandings of health, allowing for a broader sense of being ‘healthy’ and ‘unwell’. Geographers have become interested in the ways in which wellbeing is shaped by interrelations between people and within places (including home, natural environments, and care contexts). However, there is concern about the lack of definition of the concept and, further, the ways in which it has been adopted by neoliberal welfare states (as with the notion of ‘social inclusion’). A more critical engagement with the concept and the usage of ‘wellbeing’ is therefore needed.

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The seminar will discuss and debate the concept of ‘wellbeing’, with contributions from three academics who have written extensively on the subject:


Dr. Tim Schwanen

(School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford)


Dr. Sarah Atkinson

(Department of Geography and Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University)


Dr. Thilo Kroll

(Co-Director, Social Dimensions of Health Institute, University of Dundee)


Discussant: Dr. Ed Hall (Geography, University of Dundee)


For more information, please contract Dr. Ed Hall, or 01382 388073

Communities, wellbeing and science a day of public engagement

The flyer for the SDHI day of public engagement is avaiable here.


SDHI  is planning  a day of public engagement as part of the ESRC festival of science 2011 The aim is to present a range of work to the public, to inform a wider audience about what SDHI and its affiliations do, what we aim to deliver, and how this may impact on the wellbeing and quality of life of individuals in the community.

Participation in the event will provide students and staff the opportunity to present their work to a non-academic audience, engage service users in the work of  SDHI and the broader social-wellbeing-research community. This will also demonstrate why public involvement is important to our research and research planning and may promote service user participation in future research and research related activities.

Finally, this day event aims to underline the interdisciplinary and co-operative approach within the research community which SDHI is committed to facilitating.

The event will take place in Dundee’s Central Library in the Wellgate Shopping Centre on Saturday, 29th October 2011. For more information follow newsupdates on our blog and Twitter or contact Dr Fred Comerford

What matters to you about health care other than health?

Can cardiac rehabilitation help you or someone you know?

Do projects designed to improve health, wellbeing and participation work – How can we tell?

How can new technologies help the elderly and people diagnosed with dementia?

Have you ever been involved in scientific research? – find out just how important your input can be.

……..and more!

Research staff from the Social Dimensions of Health Institute, and some friend of the institute, will be on hand to tell you about their work and show you how we try to answer these questions and more.

Come along and create logic models, play with mind maps, check out how we do our research or just ask us questions

You can even have a go at “who wants to be a millionaire”. (We can’t offer you the money’ but we can promise you the thrill)

We will be by our stands on the Lending library floor of Dundee Central library in the Wellgate shopping Centre from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm so please drop by and chat with us.

Friends of SDHI who are taking part

PAMIS –  University of Dundee. Working with vulnerable adults

SHARE – University of Dundee. Developing a database of people in Scotland, willing to take part in health related research.

SCDRN – NHS. Scottish Dementia Clinical research Network.

This event forms part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science

The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council which runs from 29 October to 5 November 2011. Events from some of the country’s leading social scientists, the festival celebrates the very best of British Social Science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives – both now and in the future. This year’s Festival of Social Science has over 130 creative and exciting events aimed at encouraging businesses, charities, government agencies; and schools or college students to discuss, discover and debate topical social science issues. Press releases detailing some of the varied events are available at the Festival website. You can now follow updates from the Festival on twitter using #esrcfestival.