John Aubrey Chirwa


  • DEV

Personal profile

Key Research Interests

Development Communication, Humanitarian Communication, Media Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis, Journalism, Policy-making, Climate Dhange, Disaster Risk Reduction, Decolonising Research Methods, and International Development.  


I am an Academic, a multi-award-winning Journalist and a Development Communication specialist, with special interest in using my professional background and research skills to help vulnerable communities become more resilient to climatic shocks such as tropical cyclones.

Currently, I'm engaged as a Postgraduate Researcher in Global Development at the University of East Anglia (UEA), with funding from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission of the UK Government. My PhD explores the role of participatory communication in disaster risk reduction in Malawi, building on my Master’s research thesis which looked at policymaking processes and communication in disaster risk reduction programmes. My interest is on the interface between policy, communication and citizen voice in disaster risk reduction national initiatives in Malawi. My goal is to contribute to resilience building of vulnerable groups living in disaster prone areas.

In the last decade, I have worked as an environmental journalist at Nation Publications Limited (NPL), a leading print media organisation in Malawi (2012-2023). I have also worked as a Lecturer of Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at the University of Malawi (2021-2023) and as an Adjunct Lecturer of Language and Communication Skills at Mzuzu University in Malawi (2018-2020).

Over the years, I have received several awards, scholarships and studentships. These include the prestigious Commonwealth PhD Scholarship at UEA (2023 to 2027), the Chevening Masters Scholarship (2020); the Stellenbosch University PhD studentship; the Earthwatch Neville Shulman Awards (2021); Columbia Journalism School Data Storytelling Award (2018); Media Institute of Southern Africa Best Journalist of the Year awards in reporting Disaster Risk Reduction (2018), Medicines (2017), Pediatric and Adolescent HIV/Aids (2020) and Education (2020).

Apart from that, I have published my research work with Routledge, Sage Publications and other journals. I have also presented my papers in various forums in Botswana, Germany, the UK and Malawi. 

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, University of East Anglia

28 Sep 202029 Sep 2021

Award Date: 3 Dec 2021

Bachelor of Arts, University of Malawi

Award Date: 27 Oct 2012

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or