Australian Partners

Paula Maria Hanasz

I am a sole trader with a PhD in transboundary water conflicts and cooperation. My region of focus is South Asia, specifically India. I have authored many articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as online articles on water governance issues. In addition to my academic research experience, I have designed and conducted numerous research projects as a freelance consultant. In addition to water governance, my areas of expertise are in peace and conflict studies, international development, sustainable development, environmental security. I also have experience of management consulting. My skills include project management and stakeholder engagement. I am able to develop strategic planning documents, policy documents, stakeholder maps, social impact assessments, scoping studies, multi-agency coordination mechanisms, etc. My background is in strategic communications, and I am experienced in media relations, and public communication. Specifically, I can design communication plans, draft publicity materials, and translate technical reports for a generalist audience. I am familiar with the Australian public sector, having worked in Canberra for several years for a management consulting firm with primarily government clients. I am also familiar with South Asia, having lived, worked, and travelled extensively throughout the region. I conducted my PhD fieldwork in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh in 2014, and attended India Water Week in 2013 and 2015. I have also worked for several years in Afghanistan.

• Transboundary water conflict and cooperation
• International water law
• Hydro-diplomacy
• Water governance
• Track II dialogue
• Benefit sharing
• Water justice
• Hydro-hegemony
• Ganges and Brahmaputra basins

  • PhD in transboundary water conflict and cooperation in the GangesBrahmaputra-Meghna basin
    My PhD is a lengthy project which I have designed and managed. Designing the research question required a strategic approach (i.e., combining my career goals with my skills, interests, and the specialisations of my supervisor), while the conduct of the research itself has necessitated focussing on details and problem solving. I am self-driven in applying my ideas about transboundary water interactions in well planned activities based on thorough research. My PhD fieldwork in South Asia in 2014 is just one example of this. This illustrates my ability to create a research agenda and apply it in practice in the field.
  • Debate on international water law at World Water Week 2016
    I have attended World Water Week in Stockholm annually since 2012, as well as other international water-related conferences, to present my research to new audiences, and create opportunities for collaborative projects. In October 2015 I attended the 8th Hydro Hegemony Workshop in London. There I met with the Centre on International Water Law and Security and proposed to them a collaborative project – a debate on international water law to be held at World Water Week 2016. We are now collaborating on this project, and have secured eight senior scholars and early career researchers to be part of this debate
  • Report on hydropower revenue in Bhutan
    In 2014 I researched and wrote a report for the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) into the redistribution of revenues from large dams in Bhutan. This involved processing many technical documents and synthesising relevant information.
  • Survey on Responsibility to Protect for Oxfam Australia
    I have the ability to facilitate interdisciplinary projects independently and as a team member. For example, in 2013 I undertook a consulting project for Oxfam Australia. I worked closely with the client to understand the requirements. I then independently developed a research methodology, including a sophisticated qualitative and quantitative questionnaire, to test how military personnel, humanitarian workers, and development aid practitioners understand of the concept of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in conflict and postconflict environments. Throughout the process I liaised with the client to refine the questionnaire based on results from two rounds of testing.
  • Baseline for longitudinal study into violent extremism in Australia
    In 2012 I led a baseline study into Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) for the Attorney General’s Department. I worked closely with subject matter experts from this and other Australian government agencies to design a set of indicators for measuring home-grown violent extremism. It was important to develop a close working relationship with the client as these indicators, and the baseline report, are to be the basis of a longitudinal study. I collaborated with the client into how the initial findings of the research could also be used to develop community engagement programs in vulnerable urban communities in Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Implementation plan for the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security
    I developed in 2012 an implementation mechanism for all the Australian government departments with obligations under the National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security. I liaised with senior stakeholders within the Department of Defence, Australian Federal Police, AusAID, the Office for Women, the Australian CivilMilitary Centre, as well as representatives from the Australian Council for International Development. I had to identify all the obligations and targets for each agency under the NAP, as well as the indicators for measuring the progress towards each. I developed a matrix for each agency, and a plan for inter-agency coordination meetings.
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