Siad Darwish, Ph.D

Senior Associate, Culture, Conflict, and the Environment

[email protected]

Meet Siad

Dr. Siad Darwish is an environmental anthropologist and humanitarian consultant specialized in systemic risk and programming in complex crises. In 2009, Siad became a trainer of trainers for CDA’s Reflecting on Peace Practice systems thinking framework.  Today, he leads CDA’s collaborative learning project on the Environment-Fragility-Peace Nexus, where he co-develops tools and frameworks for Integrated Programming in Fragile, Climate and Conflict-Affected Situations, working with some of the foremost humanitarian organizations and their local partners.

At CDA and as an independent consultant, Siad’s work is rooted in a commitment to justice and inclusivity. Through mixed-methods, design thinking, and participatory action research, Siad provides innovative strategic policy advice that generates actionable and sustainable solutions for international organizations. However, Siad is no expert, who delivers prescriptive advice. Instead, he approaches all his assignments with curiosity, humility, and open listening in order to design participatory processes in which he can learn together with his clients and affected communities to achieve the best possible outcomes for them. In this way, Siad has, for example, co-developed USAID’s approach to food security in fragile and conflict affects environments. His publications include articles on the importance of complexity-informed programming in the Anthropocene, the intersection between Disaster Risk Reduction and Peacebuilding, environmental governance in authoritarian contexts, and guidance notes on integrating masculinities into peacebuilding programs

Siad also designs and facilitates training interventions that address the most pressing needs of humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding organizations, and guides organizational change processes to integrate learning. He has trained over a thousand people in conflict sensitivity for UNDP and teaches at the Academy for Conflict Transformation

As an applied academic, Siad works as a research associate at the University of Melbourne’s Initiative for Peacebuilding, where he leads the environmental peacebuilding stream, and he has taught at the University of Wollongong and contributed to research projects at Deakin University in Australia. 

Siad holds a PhD in Critical Interventions in Theory and Ethnography from Rutgers University, a MA in the Anthropology of Development from the University of Sussex, and a combined honours BSc in biology and anthropology from the University of Surrey.  

Resilience and Social Cohesion in Fiji’s Climate-Affected Informal Settlements

Localism as Radical Ethics: What Syrians have taught us about the critical localization of aid