Host (Munich)

Department of Geography

The Teaching and Research Unit Human-Environment Relations (HER), Department of Geography at LMU Munich conducts innovative research on sustainability transformations in coupled human-environment-systems. A big part of the research concentrates on advancing our knowledge on risk and adaptation related to climate and environmental change, from an empirical and theoretical perspective. In doing so, the unit’s research covers three fields in particular:

Firstly, the unit develops and applies scientific methods to assess past, current and especially future trends in risk as they unfold at the interface of climate change hazards and changing human societies and infrastructures. Drawing on scenario techniques and dynamic assessment tools, HER particularly examines likely future trends in socio-economic exposure, vulnerability and adaptive capacity as societies undergo wider demographic, economic, cultural and political change. Analyzing the interplay between urbanization pathways and shifts in risk profiles is one of the unit’s specific areas of research, for example, drawing on participatory scenario techniques as well as urban growth modelling, Bayesian networks and agent-based modeling. The assessment therein includes extreme events (e.g. floods, cyclones, heat waves, droughts) as well as creeping hazards (e.g. sea level rise or salinization of water bodies). In doing so, the unit has a strong focus also rural-urban linkages.

Secondly, the unit develops, tests and applies methods to evaluate different options for risk reduction and adaptation and how they are negotiated within the wider risk governance in societies. Going beyond standard tools such as cost-benefit-analysis or environmental impact assessment, HER uses innovative and empirically-grounded multi-criteria tools to also capture and consider other important, yet often neglected, factors in decision making, including, for instance, social acceptance, political feasibility, ecological externalities or uncertainty. In doing so, HER is particularly interested in understanding the synergies, but also the rifts, between state and non-state action in adaptation processes and it promotes integrated governance solutions.

Thirdly, HER assesses when and how transformative change for risk reduction becomes necessary and how it can be fostered pro-actively. Key dimensions covered in this research include transformations in urban and spatial planning regulations, crises contingencies, insurance markets or societal responsibilities for risk prevention.

Partner (Jakarta)

Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities

The Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities (ISSH) is one of the twelve research institutes of BRIN – the newly established Indonesioan National Research and Innovation Agency (Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional). The ISSH has the task of: i) producing knowledge that meets ethics and research integrity, and ii) conducting research and scientific activities that make a real contribution to answering Indonesian issues and contemporary dynamics. The TRANSCEND team works closely with researchers from the Research Center for Population (Pusat Riset Kependudukan), as well as other research centers under ISSH.

The main themes of the studies in the Research Center for Population are population mobility, family and health, human resources and employment, and human ecology. It implements multi-disciplinary studies with the support of researchers with diverse academic backgrounds. Researchers in this center have advanced degrees in various background studies such as demography, human geography, anthropology, sociology, economics, statistics, human ecology, regional planning, public health, and other social sciences.

Partner (Mumbai)

IIT Bombay –
Humanities and Social Sciences

The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) houses the disciplines of Economics, English Literature, Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology and CISTS (Sanskrit) with a strength of forty-one faculty members at the present. We hope to expand by incorporating other disciplines concerning Humanities and the Social Sciences in the near future. The Department commands an independent space within the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay by offering a Bachelor of Science in Economics, an M.Phil., in Planning and Development and a Ph.D. Programme in all of disciplines currently constituting it. It would also soon launch a MA-Ph.D. program in Philosophy. At present, 82 students are enrolled in the B.S. Program in Economics and the first batch of students will be graduating in 2021. The Ph.D. Programme of the Department has been running since 1973 and the M.Phil. program was initiated in 1993. At present, about 200 research scholars are working towards their Ph.D. degree and about 240 students have already been awarded their Ph. D. Degrees. In addition to that, more than 350 students have been awarded M.Phil. Degree since 1995 and about 36 students are currently pursuing their M.Phil. Degree.

The Department, apart from the production and dissemination of its disciplinary concerns, also plays a unique and distinctive role within the vision of the Institute, which seeks to promote a holistic science and technology education. The inclusion of the study of the Humanities and other social and behavioural sciences ensures that our quest within the frontiers of the science and technology takes place in an informed manner and attends to humanitarian and social concerns. Towards his end, the Department offers a number of core and elective courses for the B. Tech., M. Tech., and the MBA Programmes of the Institute.

Apart from the facilities made available to all students at the Institute-level, at the department-level, the students have access to the resources available in the Department’s Library, Computer Labs and the newly established Econometrics Lab. The Department also has Psychology Laboratories. For the fulfilment of its teaching and research goals, the Department has competent faculty members in diverse areas, who keep pace with the current developments in their fields of specialization.

Partner (Mumbai)

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was established in 1936 as the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work. In 1944, it was renamed as the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The year 1964 was an important landmark in the history of the Institute, when it was declared Deemed to be a University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act (UGC), 1956. Since its inception, the Vision of the TISS has been to be an institution of excellence in higher education that continually responds to changing social realities through the development and application of knowledge, towards creating a people-centred, ecologically sustainable and just society that promotes and protects dignity, equality, social justice and human rights for all

Our main partner at TISS is the Geoinformatics Laboratory under the Jamsetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management (JTCDM). It was established in 2006, the first of its
kind in a social science institute, with support from the Jamsetji Tata Trust. The multidisciplinary centre also houses the GIS laboratory. It provides support to teaching, training and conducting advanced research in the field of disaster studies and is also used by students and faculty colleagues from School of Development Studies, Habitat Studies and scholars from outside. M.Phil/PhD scholars also use the laboraroty. The laboratory facilities include desktop computers, image processing and GIS software, and GPS devices. The mission of the Geoinformatics Centre is to coordinate, educate, guide and assist the implementation, maintenance and development of Remote Sensing and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technology for addressing the societal needs through capacity building