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Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

Nicola Jones

Thesis title

'The silent consequences of disasters: exploring the management of chronic health conditions in disaster zones' (working title)


Health has been recognised as a key element of risk and vulnerability reduction within disaster-affected communities. However, very little is known about the impacts of disasters on pre-existing health conditions, especially in low-income countries. Therefore, during response efforts, resources are often concentrated on the more immediate and direct health outcomes, potentially further exacerbating the vulnerability of those with longer-term and/or complex healthcare requirements.

My PhD seeks to address this gap in practice and research by exploring the everyday experiences of people living with chronic health conditions in disaster zones. Through primary research in Malawi, I aim to identify the barriers and challenges in accessing essential care and medication, and the subsequent outcomes for patients. The research will consider the perspective and roles of patients, healthcare providers, NGOs and government.

My research aims to bring together disaster, vulnerability and public health literature, enabling the development of more comprehensive policy, and therefore carrying potential for practical applications in improving the health outcomes of disasters.


  • Professor Anthony Redmond - (Humanitarian and Conflict Response Insitute - Professor of International Emergency Medicine)
  • Dr Gemma Sou - (Humanitarian and Conflict Response Insitute - Lecturer in Disaster Management)

Research interests

  • Disaster response
  • vulnerability assessments
  • chronic health

Previous education

  • MA International Disaster Management, The University of Manchester
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Lancaster

Why I’m doing a PhD at HCRI

I have found HCRI to be a unique and exciting academic environment throughout my Masters and the first year of my PhD. The interdisciplinary nature of the institute provides great opportunities to learn from the diverse experiences of leading academics and practitioners in the humanitarian field.

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