About me

I am lecturer and coordinator of the Major Disaster Risk Management at VHL. As post-doctoral researcher I facilitate interactive research on reaching resilient societies (NWA route Towards Resilient Societies, NWO) in Asia and the Netherlands with local communities, local and provincial governments, civil society organisations, private sector, and knowledge institutes. My aim is to develop an approach to monitor and attune multi-actor and multi-level interventions by using all 17 SDGs as a compass to co-create knowledge and innovative measures to foster resilient communities, while recognizing different views on ‘sustainability’ and ‘development’ and the underlying power relations.

For my PhD, I facilitated an interactive research and programme implementation with Oxfam-Novib, ICCO and their partners in Afghanistan, Indonesia and the Philippines who piloted community-based disaster risk reduction in areas affected by both disasters and conflict to enhance community resilience.

I have research and consultancy experience in facilitating greater government – civil society collaboration and partnerships in the field of disaster risk reduction and conflict prevention, looking beyond the binary of top-down and bottom-up approaches.

I have 25 years of experience working as consultant/researcher in the field of humanitarian assistance in disaster and conflict affected areas in Asia (Philippines, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Nepal, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, and Thailand).


Haar, G. van der, A. Heijmans and D. Hilhorst, 2013, Interactive research and the construction of knowledge in conflict settings, in: Disasters, Vol 37, Supplement 1, S20-S35

Heijmans, A. 2013, The everyday  politics of disaster risk reduction in Central Java, Indonesia, in: Hilhorst, D (ed) Disaster, Conflict and Society in Crises, Everyday Politics of Crisis Response, Routledge, pp 221-240

Heijmans, A. 2013, Reaching Resilience: Handbook for Aid Practitioners and Policy-makers, with CARE Nederland, Groupe URD and Wageningen University,

Heijmans, A. 2012, Risky Encounters: Institutions and interventions in response to recurrent disasters and conflict, PhD Thesis, Wageningen University,

Hilhorst, D and A. Heijmans, 2011, Role of University Research in Disaster Risk Reduction, in: B. Wisner, J.C. Gaillard, I. Kelman (eds), Handbook of Hazards, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, London, New York, Routledge

Heijmans, A, I. Okechukwu,, A. Schuller tot Pearsum, R. Skarubowiz, 2009, A grassroots perspective on risks stemming from disasters and conflict, in: HPN Exchange Magazine 44, pp 34-35

Heijmans, A, 2009, The social life of community-based disaster risk management: origins, politics and framing approaches, Working Paper 20,

Heijmans, A. et al, 2004, Searching for Peace in Asia Pacific: an overview of conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities, Lynne Rienner, Boulder, Colorado, 848 pp

Heijmans, A, 2004, From Vulnerability to Empowerment in: G. Bankoff (ed), Mapping Vulnerability, Earthscan, London, pp115-127

Heijmans, A and L. Victoria, 2001, Citizenry-Based and Development-Oriented Disaster Response:  Experiences and practices in Disaster Management of the Citizen’s Disaster Response Network in the Philippines, pp 118,

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