Thompson Rivers University

Research Provocations Series—What’s in Common?—Canadian Wildfires and Nepal Earthquakes

Dr. Bala Nikku presents What’s in Common?—Canadian Wildfires and Nepal Earthquakes as part of the Research Provocations Series presented by the Faculty of Education and Social Work.


Climate politics are not new, though they are more visible due to technological advancements and contested by civil society and community groups at local, national, and global levels.

Social work, though a western project with a century-old historical evolution, is still shying away from environmental debates.

International social work as a tool for professional imperialism has been the subject of contestation from the global south and social work scholarship across the globe.

In this presentation, I share research insights from the work that I have carried out on Indian floods and Nepal’s 2015 earthquakes using green social work as an overarching research framework.

I am beginning to study the wildfires in Canada and community resilience. The growing impacts of climate change, globalization, and resource extraction policies call for urgent action by researchers, advocates, and green social workers.

About Bala Nikku

Dr. Bala Nikku was born in India, and is an assistant professor at TRU in the School of Social Work and Human Service (SSWHS) within the Faculty of Education and Social Work.

He was acting chair of the SSWHS from May to October 2018. Dr. Nikku was a COFUND Senior Research Fellow hosted at Trevelyan College (January to March 2016) and collaborated with academics in the School of Applied Social Sciences and the Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience, Durham University, UK.

Dr. Nikku served as the founding Director of the Nepal School of Social Work (NSSW) from 2005 to 2011 and held visiting positions with the School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, and Faculty of Social Administration, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Dr. Nikku served on the executive boards of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and Asian and Pacific Association for Social Work Education (APASWE).