David Sanderson's Picture

David Sanderson

Professor, Judith Neilson Chair in Architecture - Architecture, Research Centre Staff

PhD (poverty, vulnerability and urban livelihoods), Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education, Master of Science Degree (MSc), Development Practice, Graduate Diploma (Architecture), Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours (Architecture)


Phone +61 2 9385 0402


Email david.sanderson@unsw.edu.au


Room 3001

Building Red Centre West Wing

Campus Kensington


David has 25 years experience working across the world in development and emergencies. David worked for eight years for the NGO CARE International UK, as head of policy and subsequently Regional Manager for southern and west Africa. From 2006-2013 David was Director of CENDEP, a centre at Oxford Brookes University focusing on development and emergencies. Between 2013-14 he was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, and from 2014-2015 was a Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
David has published a number of articles and papers concerning urban livelihoods, shelter and disaster risk reduction. He has carried out a number of assignments for NGOs and donors across the world, and in recent years has led post-disaster reviews in Haiti, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines and Nepal. He was trained in architecture and holds a PhD in urban livelihoods and vulnerability.
David has undertaken assignments for the Qatar Foundation, IFRC, Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance (ALNAP), Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), European Commission, Humanitarian Coalition (HC), Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), DFID, USAID, World Bank (EDI Section), UNDP/UNDESA, UN-Habitat, British Council, Christian Aid, Habitat For Humanity, CARE Bangladesh, Tear Fund, Save the Children, Oxfam GB, Islamic Relief, Register of Engineers for Disaster Response (REDR) Canada, World Vision International, LSE Public Policy Group, Mott Foundation, Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Action (ELRHA) and the ACT Alliance.
David was appointed the Inaugural Judith Neilson chair of architecture at UNSW in February 2016. He is a member of several NGO boards and committees, including the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), where he chairs the Funding Committee. David is editor of the 2016 IFRC World Disasters Report. He is currently also:
International Advisory Group member, Project for the study of the 21st century (PS21), since 2015
Steering Committee member, ELRHA, since 2014
Member, Humanitarian Innovations Project Advisory Board, Oxford University since 2012
Visiting professor, Université Paris-Est Créteil, France, since 2011
Co-Editor, PLoS: Disasters Journal since 2011.