Does the data on climate and disaster displacement add up?

20 October 2021, 5.30-6.30pm AEDT

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What do we know, how do we know it, and what more do we need to know to inform policies on climate change, disasters and mobility? When the issues are as contested as climate and migration, a key challenge is simply agreeing on transparent, credible, actionable data.


Andrea Milan

Data Manager, Migration Governance Indicators project, Global Migration Data Analysis Center, IOM


Andrea Milan is the Data Manager for the Migration Governance Indicators project at IOM´s Global Migration Data Analysis Center. Prior to joining GMDAC, Andrea has worked in the field of international migration for a number of UN entities: the UN University (UNU-EHS), UN Women, the Office of the UN Special Representative (SRSG) for International Migration, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Andrea's areas of expertise include migration governance, migration data, migration and development, gender and migration as well as migration, environment and climate change. He has published extensively on migration-related issues.

Andrea Milan holds a PhD in Governance and Policy Analysis from UNU-Merit and the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (the Netherlands) as well as an MS in Economics from the University of Ferrara (Italy). During his studies, he was a scholarship-awarded exchange student at the University of Birmingham (UK) and Middlebury College (US), and a visiting scientist at Sussex University (UK).

Vicente Anzellini

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre


Vicente Anzellini leads the Global Monitoring and Reporting team at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and coordinates the production of the Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID), regional reports and country profiles. He previously worked for the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) as a researcher and policy analyst at the Risk Knowledge Section, based in Geneva. He also supported UNDRR’s Regional Office for Africa, based in Nairobi, where he conducted capacity building activities on disaster risk knowledge in over fifteen countries. He also worked in a number of countries across Central and Southern Asia, and the Pacific. Vicente holds a BA in History and Geography from the University of Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) and a MA in Human Geography and Migration Studies from the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland).

Tautala Mauala

Secretary General, Samoa Red Cros

Tautala Mauala has been the Secretary General of Samoan Red Cross since 2001. She started working in the Red Cross movement in 1980 as a volunteer and Blood Convener, having trained as a medical laboratory technologist. From 1994 to 2000, she was National Secretary of the Samoa Red Cross Society Board. Her role encompasses advising on disaster and climate risk management, community health services and the response to COVID-19.

Kira Vinke

Head of the Center for Climate and Foreign Policy at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)


Dr. Kira Vinke is Head of the Center for Climate and Foreign Policy at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). Vinke is also affiliated as a scientist with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. She is the co-chair of the Advisory Board to the Federal German Government on Civilian Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding. Previous, she was affiliated with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi in collaboration with the Environmental Policy Research Center (FFU) of Berlin. In New Delhi, she conducted field research on governance in the energy sector and cross-border river administration. She received her Master's degree in International Relations with highest distinctions from the Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Universität Potsdam. She completed her undergraduate studies at Hawai'i Pacific University in Honolulu, Hawai'i (summa cum laude) where she received a scholarship as a member of the International Vocal Ensemble.

Chair: Sanjula Weerasinghe

Affiliate, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law


Sanjula Weerasinghe is an Australian lawyer based in Geneva, presently consulting with the UN Network on Migration. Previously, she worked in the Secretariat of the State-led Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative. Sanjula has undertaken senior and specialist roles with UNHCR and IOM focused on the intersection of international law, migration and displacement, particularly in contexts where disaster, climate change and conflict converge. She has authored commissioned reports for UNHCR, IOM, UNDRR, the Platform on Disaster Displacement and the Global Protection Cluster, and co-authored expert guidance and an edited book on Humanitarian Crises and Migration. Sanjula has worked with think tanks, research institutions and NGOs in Thailand, Hong Kong and the United States, where she directed legal aid centres for asylum seekers and refugees or managed projects on crises and migrants. She is a Centre Affiliate at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, a Non-Resident Fellow at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University and an Advisory Committee member of the Platform on Disaster Displacement. Sanjula received her LL.B (Hons) from Monash University and her LL.M. (Dist) from Georgetown University.

Image credit: UNHCR/Luke Hueller