Applications open for UR Balkans side event:

Applications open for UR Balkans side event:

Disaster Resilient Balkans: empowering young professionals



This side-event aims to bring together a community of young professionals, researchers and students (under 35) working on disaster risk management (DRM) from all parts of the Balkans, give them the space to share knowledge on DRM across disciplines and geographic borders, and build their capacity to think creatively and innovatively when addressing challenging DRM issues.The event will do this in four stages, firstly by providing an outline of current youth initiatives in the DRM sphere, secondly a creative networking exercise to identify the current challenges for youth engagement in DRM in the Balkans, thirdly, an interactive role playing game on DRM in the Sava River Basin, and finally, a selection of young researchers will have the opportunity to pitch their DRM research and get interactive feedback.


Date: Monday 17th September

Location:  Yugoslav Film Archive Museum, Belgrade, Serbia

Time: 9am to 1pm

More information on UR Balkans here.


Expected participants:

  • Researchers, students, early career professionals (under 35) currently working on or interested in disaster risk reduction in the Balkans
  • Experienced professionals interested in supporting/ promoting the role of young professionals and researchers
  • Priority will be given to youth from or working in the Balkan region
  • Approx. 30 participants


Event Outline


WYN Introduction (20mins)

We know your going to leave the Understanding Risk event feeling motivated, challenged and excited to get working on DRR in your own context. To help you along the way WYN will introduce what they are doing to enable a strong community of young DRR professionals. You will get a chance hear more about the Sendai Framework and other DRR related youth initiatives which you can contribute to after the UR event to stay engaged. .


Creative Networking and Interactive quiz (1 hour)

Get to know your fellow participants by creating creative. You will be tasked to create items that represent what Disaster Risk Reduction means to you in the Balkans. You will be grouped into different disciplines to highlight the emerging creations from different disciplines.

This will be followed by a table quiz where we will interactively discuss the opportunities and barriers for young researchers and professionals to actively contribute to DRR in the Balkans. This activity will set the scene for the day and help you think about how you as a young researcher or professional can tackle these challenges and maximise the opportunities.


Example questions:

  • List all the universities running master programmes
  • List DRR projects
  • List organisations that support young professionals + researchers on DRR capacity building
  • What do you see is missing in DRR Balkan practices?
  • What is needed to support capacity building on DRR in the Balkans?
  • How can you contribute to resilience in the Balkans


Interactive active game on FRM in Sava River (2 hours)

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be in the shoes of a civil protection agency or local authority managing flood risk? Well this game will have you doing exactly that. You will be placed in a multi-stakeholder team and assigned different roles. You will be tasked to agree on an integrated flood risk management plan to protect the Sava river. Get ready for some tough negotiations! See an example here of the exercise conducted for the Yucatan coast in Mexico.


Knowledge sharing pitches and lunch (40 mins)

We know how much innovative work young researchers and professionals are doing in the Balkans and we want to make sure that anyone who would like to has the opportunity to share their work and get feedback from other young professionals. Those interested to take part can indicate this in their registration form. The pitches will take place during a working lunch.


Application process


Please apply for the event here:

The World Bank and GFDRR have kindly offered to sponsor two young professionals or researchers to attend the event and cover their hotel and transportation (Economy class).  Those selected for funding will need to present their Balkan based DRR project or research as part of the event. The organising team can provide support letters to help applicants obtain external sponsorship.

Please submit your application before July 31st if you wish to apply for sponsorship. Successful candidates for sponsorship will be notified before August 13th.

The application to attend the event will remain open until the event reaches maximum capacity. Candidates will be informed on a rolling basis if they are accepted.

Please contact the Organising Team via Imra Hodzic ( if you have any specific questions.

Water Youth Network Organising Team

  • Imra Hodzic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Consultant with specialization in Flood Risk Management and WYN member
  • Lydia Cumiskey (Ireland), DRR team coordinator and PhD researcher at Flood Hazard Research Centre London
  • Eleftheria Vavadaki (Greece), PhD candidate at DBUS and IHRR, Durham and WYN member
  • Martina Egedusevic (Serbia), PhD Researcher and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
  • Robert Sakic Trogrlic (Bosnia and Herzegovina/ Croatia), DRR Team Co-Coordinator and PhD Researcher at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

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