Impact of COVID-19 on higher education institutions, and gender perspective in disaster response in Japan

About this video

Prof Izumi examines the impact of COVID-19 on higher education institutions in Japan: how well were they prepared for managing this emergency, given that most efforts have been directed at coping with natural disasters. A survey of HEI revealed little readiness for biological hazards in disaster simulation exercises, which present a challenge at organisational level. Whilst there was general understanding of pandemic effects missing were resources and technical capacity to enable implementation. Different sectors and experts must work together not just for coping with natural disasters but all hazards. An all-hazard approach is needed in which national and local governments share responsibilities with non-governmental organisations.


About the presenter

Takako Izumi

Associate professor at Tohoku University’s International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS)


Takako Izumi is an associate professor at Tohoku University’s International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), working on global frameworks and strategies for disaster risk reduction (DRR). Her research focuses on international humanitarian assistance and DRR initiatives at the local and community levels.

Izumi is concurrently serving as director of the Multi-hazards Program, started in 2013 by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), a consortium of 55 leading research institutions. The Multi-hazards Program runs public workshops and a summer school for members aimed at addressing the threat of frequent natural disasters in the infamous Ring of Fire - the seismically active belt of volcanoes and tectonic plate boundaries that fringes the Pacific basin.

Before joining Tohoku University, Izumi spent 15 years working with NGOs and various agencies within the United Nations, including UN Habitat, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), Office of the Recovery Coordinator for Ache and Nias (UNORC) and Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

In May 2015, she was appointed to the UNISDR Asian Academia, Scientific and Research Advisory Group (ASTAAG) to support the efforts of governments and stakeholders in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR.


She holds Ph.D. in Global Environmental Study from Kyoto University, Japan. 


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