Italian humanitarian expert to study international aid work
Italian humanitarian expert and PhD student to study international aid work at UC
August 3, 2013
An Italian humanitarian worker and PhD student is coming to the University of Canterbury (UC) to study the personality traits and psychological characteristics of international humanitarian workers.
A Bologna university student Francesca Paola Crabu has more than seven years’ experience as an emergency humanitarian worker. She will be doing her PhD at UC under the supervision of psychology associate professor Martin Dorahy.
``I want to better understand the psychological processes behind the choice of being a humanitarian worker.
``I chose Christchurch because it is one of the most welcoming and exciting places in the world to be right now and I have previously worked with my supervisor, UC’s Associate Professor Martin Dorahy.
``Despite the fact that we have yearly statistics about natural and human-related disasters, there are much fewer studies related to humanitarian workers. The data mainly show the toll of security incidents.
``In 2012, 308 humanitarian workers were killed, kidnapped or wounded – the highest number yet recorded.
``Humanitarian workers are directly involved in relief operations and they are the key people dealing with a great number of life threats and stressful situations.
``Due the importance of the humanitarian intervention I would like to better understand what qualities and characteristics drive relief workers. Knowing their main characteristics could be useful for a more effective humanitarian response and for training purposes toward those willing to undertake this vocation.
``I believe that my research at UC could be beneficial for all humanitarian workers around the world including New Zealand, given the 2010 and 2011 events in Christchurch.
``In order to better understand the
humanitarian situation in New Zealand, I am keen to
volunteer within the Red Cross as soon as I reach