Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Humanitarian Innovation Initiative (HI2)

Aslam Saja

Aslam Saja

PhD candidate in Community Resilience at QUT, Australia and University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Aslam Saja, an engineer by training, has been working in the humanitarian/disaster management profession for the past 10 years. He completed his Master’s degree in Disaster Management and is currently pursuing a PhD in Community Resilience at QUT, Australia and the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He has worked for the Humanitarian aid department of European Commission (ECHO) - Sri Lanka & Maldives in Colombo (2010-13), where he monitored the implementation of projects in the humanitarian and disaster preparedness sector in Sri Lanka, mainly in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

Before joining ECHO, Saja worked as Resource Development Manager and then as Project Manager of Learning Support & Capacity Building Program of RedR UK in Sri Lanka, which was set up to respond to the learning needs post tsunami as well as post-conflict recovery programs (2005-10). In addition to managing the RedR Program, Saja has been delivering several training courses that focus on areas including Emergency Preparedness and Management, Risk Management, Community Participatory Approaches and Project Management. His involvement in community development as a volunteer/social worker with several community based organizations and National NGOs motivated him to lead the 2004 Tsunami relief operation in Ampara district and work on multi-donor relief projects of INGOs, Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies and other bilateral agencies.

In 2015, Saja has undertaken research projects in community resilience – a case in Sri Lanka in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia and attended BIARI 2015 Academy at Brown University. He continues to conduct research on post-conflict issues in Sri Lanka including disaster risk management, gender, community participation, capacity building of community based organizations, WASH, early warning and humanitarian standards.

More details of his recent activities can be found on his website.