Kim Spurway

Lecturer
Adjunct Lecturer

Kim Spurway is a Lecturer in Public Policy and Governance and Development Studies at the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW.

Her research interests are the role of knowledge and rationality in decision-making and policymaking, disaster and emergency risk management and post-conflict reconstruction in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Kim's PhD examined the role of knowledge and rationality in disaster decision-making practice. The PhD used a systematic review of the literature to explore and map the body of research on the topic. The key argument of the thesis was that despite the apparent dominance of rational choice accounts of social action, in fact, the research demonstrates that other voices have an equally powerful role in modern liberal societies. This is demonstrated through a systematic review of the literature in disaster research, which shows a dynamic and socially interactive process that involves social actors using situated forms of rationality in response and contextualised decision-making processes.

Kim also completed a systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of community based disaster risk management programs for the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). She is currently research the resilience paradigm in disaster risk management, the lived experiences of Indigenous people with disabities in remote areas and the role of systematic reviews in evidence based policy.

Kim has researched, written and published three nationwide reports commissioned by the United Nations on the socio-economic impact of landmines and unexploded ordinance on post-conflict countries. She has also co-authored reports and articles with leading scholars in the field of post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Research Areas
Disaster risk reduction and risk management; humanitarian emergencies; public policy and governance; rationality, knowledge and decision-making; post-conflict reconstruction; community based disaster risk management; critical disability studies.

Current Research

  • Situated rationality and contextualised decision-making practice in disaster risk management: a systematic review of the literature
  • Reviewing the evidence: challenges and constraints in using systematic review methods in the social sciences
  • Resilience and vulnerability paradigms in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian emergencies
  • Food insecurity and food sovereignty for Indigenous people with disabilities in Kimberley region of West Australia
  • Experiences of Indigenous people with disabilities in Kimberley region of West Australia

Teaching

Teaching areas
Social Research and Policy, Development Studies, Social Development

Current teaching

  • SRAP1000 Policy & Society
  • SRAP2002 Policy Case Studies
  • SRAP5101 Research Methods
  • SRAP5092 Policy Project

Affiliation and Memberships

  • The Australian Sociological Association
  • The International Sociological Association
  • Disaster Research Committee of the International Sociological Association

 

Subject areas

Publications

Book Chapters
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Spurway KS; Griffiths T, 2016, 'Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction: Vulnerability and Resilience Discourses, Policies and Practices', in Soldatic K; Grech S (ed.), Disability in the Global South The Critical Handbook, Springer, pp. 469 - 482,
2016
Conference Papers
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Spurway KS, 2010, 'Critical interventions: knowledge, decision and disasters', in Nagai T (ed.), XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology Sociology on the Move Gothenburg, Sweden 11 - 17 July, 2010: Conference Abstracts, International Sociological Association, San Diego, CA, presented at XVII International Sociological Association World Congress: Sociology on the move, Sweden, 11 July 2010 - 17 July 2010,
2010
Journal articles
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2018, 'Critical reflections on Indigenous peoples’ ecological knowledge and disaster risk management in Australia: A rapid evidence review', Global Media Journal : Australian Edition, vol. 12, pp. 1 - 16
2018
Reports
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Dansie A; Schmeidl S; Spurway K; Chin M; Leslie G, 2018, Australia-Vietnam Water Utilities Twinning Program Monitoring Report, University of New South Wales Global Water Institute, Sydney
2018
Soldatic KM; Spurway K, 2014, Hard Yakka: LIving with a disability in the West Kimberley, UNSW Australia, Sydney
2014
Zwi A; Spurway K; Ranmuthugala G; Marincowitz R; Thompson L; Hobday K, 2013, Do community based disaster risk management (CBDRM) initiatives reduce the social and economic costs of disasters? Protocol., Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre, University of London (EPPI-Centre), London,
2013
Spurway KS; Benini A; Shdeed R, 2003, Landmine Impact Survey: Republic of Lebanon, Survey Action Center, Washington, D.C., Landmine Impact Survey National Reports,
2003
Spurway KS; Lucet M; Benini A; Moulton L, 2001, Landmine Impact Survey: Republic of Chad, Survey Action Center, Washington, D.C., Landmine Impact Survey National Reports,
2001
Theses / Dissertations
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Spurway KS, 2012, Decision-making in disaster management: mapping the thematic complexities and understanding the contested rationalities of social practice, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
2012