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Reconstructing Nepal: The 2015 Earthquakes and their aftermath

Scholarly, Governmental, and Non-Governmental Publications

Expertise, Labour and Mobility in Nepal's Post-Conflict, Post-Earthquake Reconstruction

"Expertise, Labour and Mobility in Nepal's Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Construction, Finance, and Law as Domains of Social Transformation" is a project led by Dr. Sara Shneiderman at the University of British Columbia (UBC) with partners across the world including Social Science Baha and Tribhuvan University in Nepal. It is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). This multi-disciplinary study aims to understand the relationships between post-conflict state restructuring and post-earthquake reconstruction in large-scale social transformation through empirical research in the domains of construction, finance and law. 

This UBC Library Resource Guide is one output from this project.

After the Earth's Violent Sway

"After the Earth's Violent Sway: the tangible and intangible legacies of a natural disaster" is a project organized at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London in partnership with Social Science Baha, with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The Principal Investigator, Michael Hutt, along with an interdisciplinary team, aims to document and analyze the 2015 earthquakes' long-term impacts on political discourse and cultural heritage. This project also draws historical comparisons with earlier earthquakes and politico-cultural transitions in 1833 and 1934.

One output from this project is the creation of a SOAS Digital Library database of research materials that is available online. It currently contains over 800 pdf documents in both English and Nepali, many of them from the Nepali media, and a number of videos. All of this material is being made available with the formal permission of copyright holders. Items are still being added on a regular basis, and the cataloguing and digitisation work will continue into 2020. To access the whole collection, please click on ‘All Items’. Items will then appear in alphabetical order by title, with English language items coming first, followed by items in Nepali. It is currently possible only to conduct searches based on the collection's metadata; the text content of all items will be made fully searchable at a later stage. To view or download an item, simply double click on it, then click ‘pdf’.

Nepal Critical Transitions Project

"Disaster as a Catalyst for Social-Ecological Transformation: Nepal Critical Transitions Project" is an interdisciplinary project led by Dr. Jeremy Spoon that is sponsored by an NSF RAPID grant and facilitated by Portland State University and The Mountain Institute. Using an ecologically applied anthropological method, Dr. Spoon and his team conducted ethnographic and survey research at separate time intervals to track the impacts and recovery trajectory of several communities. More information about the project as well as materials it has produced can be found on Dr. Jeremy Spoon's Nepal projects page.

Narratives of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake

The Institute of Hazard, Risk, and Resilience (IHRR) is a research institute at Durham University in the United Kingdom that has utilized a transdisciplinary approach to studying Nepal's 2015 earthquakes. In 2018 they released their first book, an edited volume entitled "Evolving Narratives of Hazard and Risk: The Gorkha Earthquake, Nepal 2015" which was edited by Louise Bracken, Hanna A. Ruszczyk, and Tom Robinson. Please find this book under this resource guide's subheading 'Books and Theses'.

Durham University is also a major partner to the Earthquakes without Frontiers partnership which "brings together a group of earth scientists with a long track record in integrated earthquake science, social scientists that have extensive experience in exploring the vulnerability and resilience of communities in disaster-prone regions, and experienced practitioners in the communication of scientific knowledge to policy makers".

A collaborative team of experts from Durham University, UNESCO and the Department of Archeology, Government of Nepal "will continue their work on a series of post-disaster surveys and rescue excavations at damaged UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Kathmandu Valley". The website and blog are where updates and information is published.

Broken Ground: Earthquakes, Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia, 1900-1960

Dr. Daniel Haines at the University of Bristol is working on a project related to Nepal's historical relationship with earthquakes entitled "Broken Ground: Earthquakes, Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia, 1900-1960".

Resilience Capacity of the Community

Resilience Capacity of a Community is part of a larger project entitled "A Study on the State of Social Inclusion in Nepal" that is based in the Department of Anthropology at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu with funding from USAID.

Infrastructures of Democracy

Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Infrastructures of Democracy: State Building as Everyday Practice in Nepal's Agrarian Districts "employs comparative ethnographic methods and deliberative public engagement to explore how people enact and participate in ‘democracy’ in contexts of governmental transition. Following the end of a decade-long civil conflict, local institutions emerged as key sites of on-going struggle over democratic futures in Nepal. Much of those struggles are waged around the governance of infrastructure development, in a country characterized by challenging topographies and smallholder agrarian livelihoods."

"The earthquake and its many aftershocks have placed local governmental institutions under tremendous strain while also prompting a groundswell of local and trans-local support for a massive rebuilding effort. In this context, a better understanding of the dynamics of local governance has become all the more critical."

National Science Foundation - RAPID Response Grants

To help learn more about Nepal's 2015 earthquakes quickly, the United States' National Science Foundation awarded several rapid response grants for scientists and engineers conducting research that required urgent access to data, facilities, and/or equipment. Below is a list of some of these awards and projects.

Engineering and Geology Focused Projects

Andre Barbosa and Michael Olsen, Oregon State University: RAPID/Collaborative Research: Post-Disaster, Reinforced Concrete Building Performance Data Collection following the April 25, 2015 Nepal Earthquake. Visit their website here.

Rebecca Bendick, University of Montana: Collaborative Research: The Nepal Earthquake and Limits on Moment, Fault Geometry and Time-Dependent Stress Changes

Roger Bilham, University of Colorado, Boulder: Collaborative Research: The Nepal Earthquake and Limits on Moment, Fault Geometry and Time Dependent Stress Changes

Marin Clark, University of Michigan: RAPID Collaborative Research: Landslides caused by the April 2015 Nepal earthquakes, from immediate hazard to tectonic driver

Abhijit Ghosh, University of California, Riverside: Collaborative Research: Rapid Response to the Mw 7.9 Earthquake of April 25, 2015 in Nepal

Marianne Karplus, University of Texas, El Paso: RAPID: Collaborative Research: Nepal Array Measuring Aftershock Seismicity Trailing Earthquake

Simon Klemperer, Stanford University: RAPID: Collaborative Research: Nepal Array Measuring Aftershock Seismicity Trailing Earthquake

Ali Mostafavi, Nazife Ganapati and Nipesh Pradhananga, Florida International University: RAPID: Assessment of Cascading Failures and Collective Recovery of Interdependent Critical Infrastructure in Catastrophic Disasters: A Study of 2015 Earthquake in Nepal

John Nabelek, Oregon State University: Collaborative Research: Rapid Response to the Mw 7.9 Earthquake of April 25, 2015 in Nepal

Andreas Stavridis, State University of New York at Buffalo: RAPID/Collaborative Research: Post-Disaster, Reinforced Concrete Building Performance Data Collection following the April 25, 2015 Nepal Earthquake

A. Joshua West, University of Southern California: RAPID Collaborative Research: Landslides caused by the April 2015 Nepal earthquakes, from immediate hazard to tectonic driver

Relief Response and Social Science Focused Projects

John Bevington, ImageCat: RAPID: Investigating the Efficacy of Coordination of Damage Assessment Initiatives following the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake

Louise Comfort, University of Pittsburgh: RAPID: Scalability and Sustainability in Uncertain Environments: Recovery from the Nepal Earthquakes of April 25 and May 12, 2015

Himanshu Grover, University of Washington: RAPID: The Response-Recovery Transition Phase and its Implications for Long-term Recovery: Case Study, Katmandu

Kristine Hildebrandt, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville: Narrating Disaster: Calibrating Causality and Responses to the 2015 Earthquakes in Nepal

Jose Holguin-Veras, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: RAPID: Field Investigation on the Socio-Technical Features of Post-Disaster Response Logistics in the Aftermath of the Nepal Earthquake

Bimal Paul, Kansas State University: Contribution of Linking Networks in Nepalese Earthquake Response: A Case Study

UBC Himalaya Program and Himalayan Studies Resource Guide

UBC is home to a Himalaya Program that draws upon faculty expertise, student engagement, and community partnerships to create an interdisciplinary hub for sharing knowledge about the Himalayan region, including Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Tibetan cultural zones that traverse all of these countries. Beginning in Fall 2015, initial projects have included developing a language partner program to create opportunities for learning Nepali and Tibetan; developing a speaker and event series; and creating an interdisciplinary network across UBC and the broader Vancouver community.

The Himalaya Program and UBC Library have partnered to create a Himalayan Studies Resource Guide that introduces students, faculty, and community at UBC and elsewhere to academic resources, journals, dictionaries, and other databases about the Himalayan region.