Åse Johannessen is an SEI Affiliated Researcher based in Den Haag, The Netherlands. Previously she worked at SEI Headquarters as a Research Fellow.
Åse has been part of research projects at SEI linked to integrated water resources and flood risk management. In these fields, her research focuses on adaptive governance, social learning and collaboration.
Åse has about 15 years’ professional experience with a rich portfolio of empirical research, project and policy work. At SEI she was part of the four-year research project WASH & RESCUE – WAter, Sanitation and Hygiene in RESilient Cities and Urban areas adapting to Extreme waters funded by the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB).
Other projects she was part of includes: the FP7 project RISC KIT investigating integrated planning for coastal risks in Europe, EDUCEN; a Culture Expert Network on European Disasters in Urban centres, and the Analysis of the First Cycle of Local Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) for UNISDR. As an independent consultant, Åse was involved in the SPLASH research project in Maputo, Mozambique on resilient sanitation service chains and local action and learning.
Åse has a successful record of proposal writing and project acquisition, and has acquired funding for these five mentioned projects on SEIs behalf. At SEI she also gave input into the project Baltic COMPASS, looking at synergies between flood management and sustainable agriculture. Åse has also been involved with gender analysis, in relation to disaster risk and climate change.
Åse has been facilitating many diverse working groups. She was the SEI cluster group leader for Water and DRR at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on water and disaster risk reduction facilitating a dialogue among Swedish actors with international outlook for policy recommendations, input into research and networking and knowledge exchange. Åse is also the former lead for the working group 8 on sanitation in emergencies under SuSanA, Sustainable Sanitation Alliance.
Åse has been creating and developing many initiatives and programmes, and given technical and policy advice at local, European and international level. At the International Water Association (IWA) she was developing and coordinating the Disaster Risk and Climate Change Programmes. She spent two years in a local government office in Botswana as an Associate Expert, giving technical support to the IUCN, (The World Conservation Union) especially on integrated ecosystem planning and management and supporting the regional water programme in Southern Africa. She has worked with water policy and the Water Framework Directive in Defra and the Environmental Agency, UK and has good insights into European policy development.
Åse has worked with education initiatives and capacity building. She started her career as a project manager for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Swedish National Competition. This work included developing teacher training to encourage interest in water with young people. She has also authored educational material on water for UN Habitat in East and West Africa.
Åse is a systems ecologist with a PhD from the Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety, Faculty Of Engineering, Lund University. Her PhD thesis investigated the role of social learning for resilience building in urban water services. She has a MSc in Biology from Stockholm University in 1999. Åse is a Beahrs ELP Alumni from the University of California at Berkeley.