Post-Doctoral Research Fellow;Urban Fire Risk Modelling

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow;Urban Fire Risk Modelling

African Centre For Technology Studies (Acts)

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow;Urban Fire Risk Modelling

Details of the offer

This position is aimed at supporting the risk analysis and mapping, as well as DRR policy development for the Nairobi City, based on the work articulated under the Nairobi Hub work programme and the Theory of Change. The candidate will focus on fire risks within informal settlements of Nairobi, specifically the Mukuru Special Planning Area (SPA). Using state of the art research techniques, the candidate will develop robust fire risk and hazard mapping techniques on Mukuru and assess the potential interventions being proposed as part of the SPA. Additionally, these techniques and maps need to be compatible with other hazard mapping techniques such as flood and earthquake hazard/risk mapping.
The candidate is also expected to have an appreciation of the fact that an integrated and informed risk management approach requires a clear understanding and presentation of the physical risks which forms part of the holistic narrative of risk that also involves the socio-cultural, political and economic contexts and drivers of risks.

Ideally, the candidate is expected to play a fundamental role in facilitating appropriate decision making for the Mukuru SPA to reduce their multi-hazard risk-scape. Additionally, the individual will be expected to support the establishment of a community of practice around disaster risk reduction within Nairobi, and thus will require to be able to make the research outputs accessible through policy briefs and alike.


Develop a quantifiable fire risk map of Mukuru through Geographic Information Systems (GIS), spatial metrics, and fire science. This will require an approximately 1-month research trip to the University of Edinburgh within the first few months of the research.

Map historic fire events in Mukuru and other Nairobi slums as appropriate GIS/Google Earth/Satellite Imagery and other appropriate datasets as necessary, in support of the point above.

Collect secondary fire data and impact for modelling and mapping across the city from organizations including Kenyan Red Cross, SDI/CURI/KDI, and Newspaper articles, and any other sources.

Carry out field visits for data collection, verification of facts and ground truthing.

Link fire risk maps with socio-economic and demographic profiles (WP 1) and vulnerability profiles (WP 2) to assess risk and map risk profiles.

To provide better quality descriptions of the typologies and construction materials of the homes within the Mukuru and other Nairobi slums.

Carry out calibration, validation and sensitivity analyses of the model(s) created and report on the relative merits of these analyses.

Analyze fire statistics provided from Nairobi City County contacts and other sources to provide initial analysis of frequentist fire data, and working with other Hub researchers, support the analysis of gender/intersectionality risk issues at the settlement (Mukuru) and city level.

Present data and meta-data for internal and external dissemination, working closely with other physical hazards modelers within the Hub to ensure data compatibility, for both inventory purposes, and for multi-hazard risk and resilience identification/assessment purposes.

Perform a high-level desktop assessment of fire regulations and design guidance used in Nairobi in cooperation with other stakeholders across the city Hub, and an assessment of the dichotomy between policy and practice.

Policy and outreach

Work with other researchers within the Hub specifically looking at community engagement and planning to facilitate their discussions through developing fire risk maps in easily understandable forms, potentially participating in pertinent discussions.

Support the production of policy briefs for, and with local, national and international stakeholders (i.e. NCC, UN-Habitat) on the mapping of fire risks in informal urban settlements.

Support the establishment of DRR Community of Practice (CoP). The CoP will include a wide array of stakeholders drawn from local, county, national and international levels to support a more integrated review and inputs into the research outputs and outcomes.

Support the development and delivery of a multi-hazard DRR Management Plan for the City

Support and contribute to the capacity building plans designed towards the desired culture change through contributing to capacity needs assessments, skill development through targeted programmes such as capacity building programmes, customized trainings, Exchange visits (annually), and Executive courses (Yr 2) to deliver an open process for career development
Job Requirements
Required education
: Post-graduate education

Required relevant work experience
: 2 years

Required languages:
English (Spoken: fluent | Written: fluent)
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