Rodrigo Mena (Chile) is a socio-environmental researcher, currently researching on humanitarian aid response to disasters occurring in high-intensity conflict-affected scenarios. For more than a decade he has worked in academia, public and private sector, government, local and international NGOs and the UN. Next to doing fieldwork in hostile, complex, and remote areas, he has also led humanitarian aid groups and conducted research after the occurrence of several disasters. As the author of articles and book chapters, his research focuses on resilience and vulnerability to socio-environmental disasters and conflicts, as well as on applied fieldwork research.
Humanitarian aid studies if a broad and growing field were multiple actors come together to reflect and think about how we deal (or not) with conflict, disasters, and complex scenarios. I see IHSA as a platform where multiple efforts can join and be strengthened by (i) promoting knowledge exchange, (ii) encouraging humanitarian research, (iii) facilitating collaboration among the members, and (iv) linking multiple actors or facilitating networking among humanitarian and - non-humanitarian relevant for this field.