2023 JFIPP Research Fellow - Junko Otani

Photo of Junko Otani

Junko Otani

Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University

[Project Title]
Women’s and children’s health and wellbeing following disaster

Project Summary

This fellowship proposal builds on the Osaka-Melbourne Joint Research Workshop, Women’s and Children’s Health and Wellbeing following Disaster: Toward a human-right-based recovering framework, held at Osaka University in March 2023, funded by successful application for the Osaka - Melbourne Joint Research Workshops Fund in 2022. This fellowship proposal reflects the emerging collaborative focus. I plan to attend in-person meetings and seminars at University of Melbourne, both directly on our on-going collaborative efforts, and other seminar and conference events on relevant topics in Australia for the main part of the fellowship and USA for the last part of the fellowship. During my fellowshp, I also plan to take advantage of this opportunity to make the younger researchers in Japan to benefit from my fellowship opportunity. That is, I plan to organize a continuing joint workshop for my graduate students and post-doc early career researchers at Osaka University to come visit the University of Melbourne to evolve several research topics that came up in the previous workshop.

I will be mainly based at the Child and Community Wellbeing Unit in Melbourne School of Population and Global Health and at the Community Resilience and Public Health in the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety.

Our partnership is to enable an exchange of research methods and findings in relation to the impacts on women’s and children’s health and well-being following disasters and the pandemic in Japan and Australia. This reflects the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 which drew international attention to the diverging ways in which women and children experience disasters, and their increased vulnerability in certain disaster situations.

While my main visit will be to Australia, I will also visit USA to explore collaborations in the research theme, as they are also important actor on this topic in the global partnership. I plan to visit professors in Colorado, who were Chair for the Research Committee on Disaster at International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress of Sociology, Melbourne, 2023, and where we organized a session, the disaster response group at the World Bank, USAID and NGOs, in Washington DC, Harvard Humanitarian Initiatives, Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and University of Berkeley, Office of Emergency Management / Berkeley disaster team in San Francisco. They are where I used to work a few decades ago but people and institutions went through reorganization and people has changed or retired. This fellowship visit will allow me to update my knowledge and network with the institution.

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