Savitri Bisnath: Crisis Prevention and Recovery
International Studies in Planning Spring 2013
Savitri Bisnath, associate director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from Cornell University and a B.A. in economics from University of California–Los Angeles. Bisnath has 15 years of experience working with nongovernmental and philanthropic organizations, inter-governmental institutions, including the United Nations Development Programs (UNDP), on issues related to development, conflict, natural disasters, women’s rights, and trade in services. She is coeditor of Global Tensions: Challenges and Opportunities in the World Economy (Routledge 2004) and The Gender and Development Reader Vols. I & II (Edward Elgar 2001) with Lourdes Beneria. Bisnath is also the author of several practical tools, including the “Guide to Gender Aware Post Disaster Needs Assessment” (UNDP 2010).
Bisnath’s talk will discuss humanitarian response, using examples from Haiti, Pakistan, and the disputed Palestinian territories, to highlight methodological, institutional, and political challenges and tensions. “Humanitarian action in the aftermath of crisis, be it a complex emergency, natural disaster, or conflict situation, focuses on the provision of basic needs with little or no attention to gendered dimensions or human rights implications therein. Key issues related to linkages between humanitarian, recovery, and development planning will also be explored.”