I am an academic and researcher with more than fifteen years of international experience working on and studying humanitarian aid and disaster governance, particularly in conflict-affected settings. I lecture in humanitarian action, disaster risk reduction, methodology, and safety and security aspects of (fieldwork) research. At the moment, I have a particular interest in researching current changes that the humanitarian aid and disaster sectors are undergoing, particularly considering the compound effects and challenges of climate change, protracted crises, and displacement. Also, in the ethical, safety, and security aspect of research.
I serve as a Board Member of the International Humanitarian Studies Association (IHSA) and convener of the Peace and Ecology in the Anthropocene commission at the International Peace Research Association (IPRA). Also, as a reviewer in leading journals like the Journal of International Humanitarian Action, Disaster Prevention and Management, Disasters Journal, Journal of Political Ecology, or Revista Perfiles Latinoamericanos. Besides, I often take research, monitoring and evaluation, and advisory consultancy work, which allows me to develop action research on a regular base and stay close to the experiences and processes taking place in my fields of study.
Before my current position at ISS, I have worked as a researcher, project and programme manager, and consultant with local and international NGOs, the United Nations, private and governmental sectors. The previous with CINDA, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Deutsche Welthungerhilfe, Save the Children, Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), NGO-Ambientarte, ARC (Afghanistan Resilience Consortium), Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), and the Oversee Development Institute (ODI), among others. With them, I have led humanitarian aid groups and researched the occurrence of several conflicts, crises, and disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, floods, and droughts. In terms of academic experience, I have been a professor, lecturer, and visiting professor at various universities in the UK, Brazil, Chile, Afghanistan, Argentina, and the Netherlands.
As a researcher and practitioner, my work has taken me to Latin America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia, particularly to complex and disaster-prone places, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chile, Jordan, Peru, South Sudan, Uganda, and Yemen.
I hold a PhD in Humanitarian Aid 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 BA in Political Science from the UAH. Also 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, being certified by the United Nations, Red Cross, Centre for Safety and Development, GCORE, and RedR.
R. Mena (2015). Agricultura Urbana, reducción de la pobreza y seguridad alimentaria: Una relación compleja. In Tierra: Paisajes, suelos y biodiversidad: Desafíos para un buen vivir. Santiago, Chile: IPTCentral
R. Mena (2012). From Rural to Ruralities: A transformation to a Territorial and Sustainable Development. In M.F. Meyer & J. Lüder (Eds.), Políticas Públicas y Economía Social de Mercado (pp. 52-65). Chile: Ed. Fundación Konrad Adenauer
M.J. Lemaitre & R. Mena (2012). Aseguramiento de la calidad en América Latina: tendencias y desafíos. In Educación Superior en Iberoamérica: Informe 2012 (pp. 21-72). Chile: CINDA; Universia
R. Mena (2018). Manual on Conflict Analysis Tools: Preventing, mitigating and reducing the risk of social conflict in Civil DRR Projects. (Extern rapport). Kabul, Afghanistan: Afghanistan Resilience Consortium (ARC)
R. Mena (2018). Understanding and Preventing Social Conflict while Implementing Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction in Afghanistan. (Extern rapport). Kabul, Afghanistan: Afghanistan Resilience Consortium (ARC)
R. Mena (2014). Heritage, Youth and sustainability. (Preprints). : ONG Ambientarte
R. Mena (2013). Urban Agriculture and Australian Food Supply Scenarios (Working Paper). (Preprints). : Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL)
R. Mena & J. Carbonell (2013). Estudio de Satiafaccion Usuaria. (Preprints). Santiago de Chile: Corporacion de Asistencia Judicial; Ministerio de Justicia
R. Mena (2011). Estudio Perfil Postulantes y Sistema Judicial. (Preprints). Chile: Corporacion de Asistencia Judicial; Ministerio de Justicia
R. Mena (2018, november 27). Disaster Risk Reduction under high levels of conflict: The case of Afghanistan. Ahmedabad, India, International Peace Research Association (IPRA) Conference.
R. Mena (2018, april 7). Disaster response and emergency aid in high-intensity conflict scenarios. The cases of South Sudan and Afghanistan. San Francisco, United States, ISA 59th Annual Convention.
R. Mena (2018, april 3). Disaster response and emergency aid in high-intensity conflict scenarios. The cases of South Sudan and Afghanistan. San Francisco, United States, ISA 59th Annual Convention.
R. Mena (2016, november 29). Disaster response in high-intensity conflict scenarios: Aid-Society relations, challenges and legitimacy. Freetown, Sierra Leone, IPRA 2016 General Conference on Agenda for Peace and Development.
R. Mena (2017, augustus 22). The Triage of Aid: Prioritizing who to help in High-Intensity Conflict Scenarios. The case of South Sudan. Bergen, Norway, EADI Nordic Conference.