dr. (Rodrigo) R Mena Fluhmann


I am Assistant Professor of Disasters and Humanitarian Studies. I have studied and worked in humanitarian assistance/aid, disaster governance, and environmental sociology for almost twenty years, especially in conflict-affected and vulnerable settings. I lecture on humanitarian action, disaster risk reduction, methodology, and safety and security for in-situ/fieldwork research.

At the moment, I have a particular interest in researching the compound effects and challenges of climate change, protracted crises, and displacement for humanitarian aid and disaster response and disaster risk reduction (DRR). I am also interested in the ethical, safety, and security aspects of (fieldwork/in-situ) research.

In ISS I also co-coordinate the Humanitarian Governance (HUM-GOV) project, financed by a European Research Council (ERC) advanced grant. This project explores the changing dynamics of humanitarian governance with a focus on civil society actors and crisis-affected people.

I serve as a Board Member of the International Humanitarian Studies Association (IHSA) and the Expertise Centre Humanitarian Communication (HumCom). Also as convener of the Peace and Ecology in the Anthropocene commission at the International Peace Research Association (IPRA). I also serve as a reviewer in leading journals and often take research, monitoring and evaluation, and advisory consultancy work. This allows me to develop action research and stay close to the experiences and processes taking place in my fields of study.

Before my current position at ISS, I worked as a researcher, project manager, and consultant with local and international NGOs, the United Nations, Governmental organisations, and in the private sector. I have also been an academic, lecturer, and visiting professor at various universities; led humanitarian aid groups; and researched in-situ the occurrence of several conflicts, crises, and natural hazard-related disasters. As a researcher and practitioner, my work has taken me to multiple complex and disaster-prone places, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chile, Jordan, Peru, South Sudan, Uganda, and Yemen.

I hold a PhD in Humanitarian Action and Disaster Governance from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, an MA in Environmental Studies from the University of Melbourne, and a BA in Sociology and a BA in Political Science from the A. Hurtado University. I also hold diplomas in Quantitative Multivariable Analysis, Environmental Impact Assessment, Public Policy, and Sustainable Development. Regarding applied research, I have experience and training in the development of fieldwork in hostile, complex and remote areas, with certifications by the United Nations, Red Cross, Centre for Safety and Development, GCORE, and RedR.

International Institute of Social Studies

Assistant professor | Academic staff unit
Kortenaerkade 12, 's - Gravenhage


  • Rodrigo Mena & Kristen Cheney (13 January 2022) - Research ethics: what it is and why it matters
  • Z (Zeynep) Kasli, M (Marieke) van Houte, R (Rodrigo) Mena Fluhmann, DJM (Thea) Hilhorst & HM (Helen) Hintjens (5 September 2021) - Don't let our university researchers and students suffocate in Afghanistan
  • Rodrigo Mena (11 April 2021) - Trenches & Tragedy – Reducing Disaster Risk In Conflict Zones

  • Rodrigo Mena Fluhmann (2022) - From addressing to ending needs: the promises and perils of linking humanitarian action and development agendas
  • Rodrigo Mena (2022) - Armed Conflict as Disaster Risk Creator: Challenges and opportunities
  • Liesa Sauerhammer & Rodrigo Mena (2022) - German Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022
  • Rodrigo Mena (2022) - 18th Development Dialogue Conference
  • Rodrigo Mena (2022) - Unnaturalising disasters with care: #NoNaturalDisasters in places affected by (violent) conflict
  • Rodrigo Mena Fluhmann (2022) - Taking Stock of Ukrain: Digital Humanitarianism in a Kinetic War
  • Rodrigo Mena Fluhmann (2022) - “Building resilience to disasters in light of the SDG agenda: the role of cities and communities”.
  • Rodrigo Mena & Annika Schmeding (2022) - Bargaining Access and Security during In Situ Research
  • Rodrigo Mena Fluhmann & Fredric Ramel (2021) - Round table: Lost in Quantification? Armed Conflict Databases and Humanitarian Practices
  • Dorothea Hilhorst, Rodrigo Mena Fluhmann, Samantha Melis & Roanne van Voorst (2021) - Accountability in Humanitarian Action

  • Rodrigo Mena Fluhmann (2022) - Best EGSH Teacher 2021
  • Rodrigo Mena (2022) - Best Overall Project, Erasmus Impact Journey
  • Rodrigo Mena (2022) - Best Pitch, Erasmus Impact Journey
  • Rodrigo Mena Fluhmann (2013) - Environmental Graduate Award, University of Melbourne
  • Rodrigo Mena Fluhmann (2011) - Becas Chile Scholarship for Master Studies
  • Rodrigo Mena Fluhmann (2006) - Academic Research Scholarship for Excellence

Major GDP

Course Code

4227 Humanitarian Action

Course Code

4152 Development Policies and Practice

Course Code

News regarding dr. (Rodrigo) R Mena Fluhmann

Prize for Train the Trainers course bringing safety and security to researchers

Dr Rodrigo Mena was awarded two prizes for his proposed research developing a Train the Trainers course in researcher safety and security in the field.
Research Impact Journey prize - Rod Mena - November 2022

Humanitarian implications of sanctions to end the war in Ukraine

Thea Hilhorst and Rod Mena investigate the implications of sanctions and how we can protect civilians, including people in Russia, from their impact.

Investigating the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The acclaimed Disasters journal has published two papers written by ISS staff members in a special issue on the global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disasters journal - special issue COVID-19

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