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Research interests

Kaira Zoe Alburo-Cañete is a Filipino feminist scholar with training in Anthropology and Critical Development Studies. She is currently Senior Researcher at the Humanitarian Studies Centre at the International Institute of Social Studies. Her research interests include rethinking notions of resilience and sustainability by centering perspectives of marginalised groups (the 'vulnerable') and advancing feminist ethics of care in crisis response and governance. She completed her PhD in Development Studies at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) in 2021, where her research won the Dean’s Award for Outstanding thesis. She also won the John Legge Prize for Best Thesis in Asian Studies awarded by the Asian Studies Association of Australia.

Her research, ethical, and political orientations have been greatly shaped by her experiences as a women’s rights advocate and community organizer, university lecturer, researcher, and development practitioner in the Philippines at different points of her career, spanning more than 10 years. She was Assistant Professor of Critical Development Studies at the University of the Philippines Cebu (2009-2021). In 2010, she co-founded and served as Executive Director (2010-2014) a non-government organization, A2D Project – Research Group for Alternatives to Development (www.a2dproject.org), a research-to-practice organization that specializes in disaster risk reduction, inclusive development, and community resilience.

Her PhD research - grounded in feminist epistemology, political ecology, and ethics of care– critically examined ‘build back better’ disaster reconstruction of Tacloban City, Philippines following typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda from the standpoint of displaced urban poor women.  Specifically, she investigated competing views of resilience and disaster recovery and highlighted the political/ethical and affective dimensions of housing reconstruction and relocation of disaster-affected low-income communities in a highly urbanized city.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Social Sciences (Development Studies), University of New South Wales

Award Date: 22 Jul 2021

Master, Development Studies, International Institute of Social Studies

Award Date: 12 Dec 2008


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