DRMI Research Assistant

Title of Placement DRMI Research Assistant
Location   Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Duration   Eight Months
Department   Disaster Risk Management Initiative
Instituition   Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)
Project Description  

The Disaster Risk Management Initiative (DRMI) was developed to strengthen the relevant disaster management capabilities of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Tajikistan.  National implementation teams, composed of AKDN agencies and affiliates, are responsible for carrying out DRMI activities in each of these priority countries.  Their activities are guided by the DRMI Coordination Office headquartered in Dushanbe, and governed by the DRMI Steering Committee.

The DRMI currently has the following goals:

  1. To uniformly assess the seismic and non-seismic risk of populations and infrastructure in the region.  
  2. To integrate seismic safety consciousness throughout AKDN programming, and to implement preparedness and mitigation strategies such as earthquake drills and non-structural hazard reduction.
  3. To identify and implement strategies that promote risk mitigation through safer construction, retrofit and relocation programmes. 
  4. To raise emergency response capacity in the region.

​The Research Assistant will assist in promoting structural safety in DRMI region (Goal 3 above). In close coordination with the DRMI regional and national teams, the Research Assistant will support structural safety activities in the DRMI Work Plan as required.  The programme components will involve occasional domestic and regional travel.

General Responsibilities

  1. The Research Assistant will provide technical and administrative support to DRMI Coordination Office in developing and implementing structural safety and engineering programme activities in the region. The position will involve travel throughout the country in relation to project implementation.
  2. S/he will be responsible for coordination with international technical and professional institutions (universities, leading government agencies and professional institutions) for implementing programme activities.
  3. S/he will be support monitoring and evaluation of project activities, and provide progress reports regularly.
  4. S/he will be involved in capacity building activities among the target agencies / community for programme components. This will include assisting AKDN and Jamati agencies to integrate DRMI programming into their activities. 
  5. The assignment is expected to require an initial commitment of four months, and could be extended upon mutual agreement.  


  1. The Research Assistant will provide expertise to reduce the vulnerability of homes, schools, health facilities, community centres, and other built structures in the region.
  2. S/he will work with technical partners, including leading earthquake engineering research institutes, to classify building typologies and then develop vulnerability reduction strategies.
  3. S/he will provide technical and administrative support to nationwide vulnerability assessments of AKDN and Jamati facilities.
  4. S/he will develop programmes that promote knowledge of anti-seismic construction techniques.
  5. S/he will assist in developing an instruction manual for vulnerability assessment.
  6. S/he will provide, directly or indirectly, technical assistance to the DRMI Coordination Office as and when required.
  • ​A graduate degree in civil engineering, ideally with a specialization in structural engineering.
  • At least 3 - 5 years of related education and experience. Strong interest and exposure to earthquake engineering is preferred.
  • An ability to collaborate effectively with regional and international subject-matter experts. 
  • Fluent ability to communicate effectively in English, and ideally one other regional language.
  • Training and experience in the assessment of structural safety of multi-family dwellings and schools, hospitals and similar multi-story buildings.

​The selected intern will be provided with furnished accommodations as well as a living stipend to cover food and transportation expenses. All visa processing costs will also be covered.

* Please note that students are responsible for buying their air ticket and travel and health insurance.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact the Programme Coordinator at aku.iip@aku.edu.


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