Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences Experts

Dewald Van Niekerk

Disaster Studies
North-West University
South Africa


Dewald van Niekerk is currently working as Professor (Disaster Studies)in North-West University, South Africa.

Research Interest

He has authored and co-authored over 100 publications which includes peer reviewed articles, books and chapters in books and international and national research reports. Dewald has been project leader for local, national as well as international disaster risk reduction projects, and has undertaken disaster risk reduction research and consultancy in countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, United Arab Emirates, Sweden, UK, and India. He has been successful in attracting and obtaining multi-year research and project grants from national as well as international donors such as USAID, Save the Children, Help the Aged UK, the World Bank, the German Government through GIZ, the Fiscal and Financial Commission of South Africa and the National Disaster Management Centre of South Africa. Dewald is the programme manager for the M.Sc and Ph.D in Geography and Environmental Sciences focussing on Disaster Risk Studies, as well the Research Theme leader on “Socio-ecological Resilience". Dewald is the founder and Editor in Chief of Jà mbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies. In 2012 he played a significant role in the establishment of the Southern Africa Society for Disaster Reduction. His research are motivated by a desire to reduce the possible impacts of natural hazards and unknowns like climate change on communities most at-risk. His interests includes community based disaster risk management, disaster risk assessment, disaster risk governance, building institutional capacities for disaster risk reduction, and transdisciplinary disaster risk reduction.


  • Chipangura, P., Van Niekerk, D., and Van der Waldt, G. 2016. An exploration of Objectivism and Social Constructivism within the context of disaster risk. Disaster Prevention and Management. 25:3. (Emerald EarlyCite).

  • Coetzee, C., Van Niekerk, D. and Raju, E. 2016. Disaster resilience and Complex Adaptive Systems Theory: Finding common grounds for risk reduction. Disaster Prevention and Management 25:2. (Emerald EarlyCite).

  • Coetzee, C., Van Niekerk, D. and Raju, E. 2016. Emergent system behaviour as a tool for understanding disaster resilience: The case of Southern African subsistence agriculture. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 16. p.115-122. doi:10.1016/j.ijdrr. 2016.02.001.

Global Experts from South Africa

Global Experts in Subject