Professor Gina Yannitell Reinhardt

Department of Government
Professor Gina Yannitell Reinhardt



Dr. Gina Yannitell Reinhardt recently joined the Department of Government at the University of Essex. She studies how citizens and policy makers make decisions under uncertainty, and how those decisions affect economic, social, and political development and subsequent policy outcomes. She focuses specifically on foreign aid, international development, and disasters, asking how development financing can be judiciously allocated to help avert, alleviate, mitigate, and manage disasters. Dr. Reinhardts work can be found in journals such as World Development, Political Analysis, Political Research Quarterly, the Journal of Risk Research, and the Review of Policy Research. Dr Reinhardt is active in theatre, and she volunteers with organisations that combat domestic violence. She speaks Portuguese and Japanese, and plays the drums and the harp.


  • Dr Gina Yannitell Reinhardt earned her doctorate in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis. Political Science Washington University in St. Louis, (2005)

  • Master of Arts (MA) Political Science Washington University in St. Louis, (2002)

  • Prior to this, she researched for one year in Brazil, funded by a Fulbright Grant.

  • She earned her B.A. in International Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, with minors in Japanese and Theatre.

  • Certificate Japanese Cultural Studies and Literature Kansai Gaidai University,


University of Essex

  • Full Professor, Government, University of Essex (1/10/2020 - present)

  • Reader, Government, University of Essex (1/9/2019 - 30/9/2020)

  • Senior Lecturer, Government, University of Essex (1/9/2017 - 31/8/2019)

  • Lecturer, Government, University of Essex (1/9/2015 - 31/8/2017)

Other academic

  • Assistant Professor, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University (1/8/2005 - 31/8/2015)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

DrReinhardts work examines how decision-making under uncertainty affects the distribution of wealth in society.

She focuses her work on the political economy of foreign aid, economic and social development, and the political and policy implications of disasters. This pursuit has drawn her inquiry in fascinating directions.

She has studied race, trust, and migration; the construction of trust by the media across levels of government; and how the allocation of foreign aid conditions its performance effectiveness.

DrReinhardt also researches political methodology, and applies established models to new problems and topics.

Her work on survey measures, experimental design, and signalling games has been seen inPolitical Analysis,theJournal of Risk Research, and the Journal of Theoretical Politics.

Current research

Dr Reinhardt is combining her interests on disasters and development to disentangle the relationship between development interventions and disasters. Foreign aid has a complex relationship with disasters. On one hand, disasters can bolster development (building social capital, improving accountability) or damage it (sapping resources, straining economies). On the other, aid implementation can fortify developing areas physically and administratively, or create vulnerabilities that increase disaster likelihoods.

Development financers are in a conundrum: step in to mitigate disaster damages, or stand back and hope rebuilding and recovery will alleviate further disasters? The ethical complications and physical impossibilities of simulating disasters prevent academics from giving clear policy directives, and critical events leave little time to decide.

Recent academic work on disasters and RCTs (randomized controlled trials) indicate a possibility for change. Dr Reinhardt is beginning to collaborate with scholars and policy practitioners around the world to merge the rigors of RCTs with the policy imperative of disaster-related work.

Conferences and presentations

Sustainable Management of Marine Resources

Invited presentation, project launch event and conference, Swindon, United Kingdom, 9/5/2022

University host, presentation about East of England social prescribing, presentation on research/evaluation

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, 4th International Conference, 9/3/2022

Evaluation of Social Prescribing

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, East of England Social Prescribing Conference, 3/3/2022

The Spotlight Toolkit: an interactive decision making platform for impact evaluation

Catalyst Conference, 26/6/2019

Resilience Index and Resilience Policy database showcase event

Workshop at the University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom, 21/5/2019

What Can Computerized Text Mining Tell Us about Disaster Resilience? Investigating Resilience Plans

MPSA, 6/4/2019

LGA Annual Fire Conference and Exhibition 2019

Invited presentation, LGA Annual Fire Conference and Exhibition 2019, Harrogate, United Kingdom, 12/3/2019

What can Computerized Text Mining Tell Us about Disaster Resilience? Investigating Resilience Plans

- Workshop on Disaster and Emergency Politics and Management at the SPSA, Austin, TX, United States, 17/1/2019

Accidental Dwelling Fires Evaluated

Essex County Fire and Rescue workshop for Management Team, Kelvedon, United Kingdom, 26/11/2018

Can Social Impact Evaluations be Standardized? Introducing the Spotlight Toolkit for Programme Evaluation

European Evaluation Society Biennial Meeting, Thessaloniki, Greece, 3/10/2018

The Intersection of Race and Gender in Political Trust

Midwest and American Political Science Association, 2015

Changing Channels? Evaluating the Efficiency of Aid Delivery Mechanisms.

Development Economics and Policy Conference, Heidelberg, Germany, 2015


Journal articles (24)

King, BA. and Yannitell Reinhardt, G., (2023). Introduction to Structuring Inclusion into Political Science Education. PS: Political Science and Politics. 56 (1), 165-169

Reinhardt, GY., Windsor, LC. and King, BA., (2023). Introduction: Diversity and Inclusion in Political Science as a Profession. PS: Political Science & Politics. 56 (1), 107-113

Reinhardt, GY. and Lutmar, C., (2022). Disaster diplomacy: The intricate links between disaster and conflict. Journal of Peace Research. 59 (1), 3-11

Wood, R., Reinhardt, G., RezaeeDaryakenari, B. and Windsor, L., (2022). Resisting Lockdown: The Influence of COVID-19 Restrictions on Social Unrest. International Studies Quarterly. 66 (2)

Vidovic, D., Reinhardt, GY. and Hammerton, C., (2021). Can Social Prescribing Foster Individual and Community Well-Being? A Systematic Review of the Evidence. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 18 (10), 5276-5276

Reinhardt, G., Vidovic, D. and Hammerton, C., (2021). Understanding Loneliness: a Systematic Review of the Impact of Social Prescribing Initiatives on Loneliness. Perspectives in Public Health. 141 (4), 204-213

Windsor, LC., Yannitell Reinhardt, G., Windsor, AJ., Ostergard, R., Allen, S., Burns, C., Giger, J. and Wood, R., (2020). Gender in the time of COVID-19: Evaluating national leadership and COVID-19 fatalities. PLoS One. 15 (12), e0244531-e0244531

Yannitell Reinhardt, G. and Chatsiou, K., (2019). Using community education interventions to build resilience and avert crises: how accidental dwelling fires decreased in Essex County, UK. Local Government Studies. 45 (3), 394-412

Reinhardt, GY. and Ross, AD., (2019). Expanding Social Science Through Disaster Studies. Social Science Quarterly. 100 (7), 2523-2529

Reinhardt, GY. and Drennan, L., (2019). Local emergency management special issue: guest editors’ introduction. Local Government Studies. 45 (3), 293-301

Reinhardt, GY., (2019). The Intersectionality of Disasters’ Effects on Trust in Public Officials. Social Science Quarterly. 100 (7), 2567-2580

Reinhardt, GY. and Victor, JN., (2018). Competing for the Platform: How Organized Interests affect Party Positioning in the United States. Party Politics. 24 (3), 277-277

Reinhardt, GY., (2017). Imagining worse than reality: comparing beliefs and intentions between disaster evacuees and survey respondents. Journal of Risk Research. 20 (2), 169-194

Reinhardt, GY., (2015). First-Hand Experience and Second-Hand Information: Changing Trust across Three Levels of Government. Review of Policy Research. 32 (3), 345-364

Reinhardt, GY., (2015). Race, Trust, and Return Migration. Political Research Quarterly. 68 (2), 350-362

Reinhardt, GY., (2015). Race, Trust, and Return-Migration: The Political Drivers of Post-Disaster Resettlement. Political Research Quarterly. 68 (2), 350-362

Gawande, K., Reinhardt, GY., Silva, CL. and Bearfield, D., (2013). Comparing Discrete Distributions: Survey Validation and Survey Experiments. Political Analysis. 21 (1), 70-85

Reinhardt, GY., (2009). Matching Donors and Nonprofits. Journal of Theoretical Politics. 21 (3), 283-309

Reinhardt, GY., (2009). I Don't Know Monica Lewinsky, and I'm Not in the CIA. Now How about that Interview?. Political Science & Politics. 42 (2), 295-298

Balla, E. and Reinhardt, GY., (2008). Giving and Receiving Foreign Aid: Does Conflict Count?. World Development. 36 (12), 2566-2585

Reinhardt, GY., (2006). Shortcuts and Signals: An Analysis of the Micro-level Determinants of Aid Allocation, with Case Study Evidence from Brazil. Review of Development Economics. 10 (2), 297-312

CAREY, JM. and REINHARDT, GY., (2004). State-Level Institutional Effects on Legislative Coalition Unity in Brazil. Legislative Studies Quarterly. 29 (1), 23-47

Carey, JM. and Reinhardt, GY., (2003). Impacto das instituições estaduais na unidade das coalizões parlamentares no Brasil. Dados. 46 (4), 773-804

Carey, JM. and Reinhardt, GY., (2003). State-level institutional effects on legislative coalition unity in Brazil. Dados. 46 (4), 773-804

Conferences (1)

Wood, R., Reinhardt, G., RezaeeDaryakenari, B. and Windsor, L., (2021). Resisting Lockdown: The Influence of COVID-19 Restrictions on Social Unrest

Reports and Papers (10)

Reinhardt, GY., Disasters, Media, and Political Trust

Reinhardt, GY. and Victor, JN., Competing for the Platform: The Politics of Interest Group Influence on Political Party Platforms in the United States

Reinhardt, G. and Chatsiou, K., Analysis of Accidental Dwelling Fires in Essex (2009-2017)

Reinhardt, G., Vidovic, D. and Hammerton, C., Evaluation: LifeLink Programme

Grants and funding


Empowering Co-Production in Greenstead

North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group


NIHR Global Health Research Group on Disrupting the cycle of GEndered violence & Poor Mental health among Migrants in precarious Situations (GEMMS)

National Institute for Health Research


IAA Impact Evaluation Toolkit �Phase 1

University of Essex (ESRC IAA)

Evaluation of the Kingston Council's Internet of Things programme (initial consultancy)

Sutton Council

Marine Spatial Planning Addressing Climate Effects (MSPACE)

Natural Environment Research Council

Evaluation of the Kingston Council's Internet of Things programme (phase 2)

Sutton Council

Evaluation of the Kingston Council's Internet of Things programme (phase 3)

Sutton Council

Developing networks to foster research on disasters and emergencies

University of Essex (ESRC IAA)


Africa ARISE: Advancing a Resilience Index for Sustainable Energy and Water in Africa

University of Essex (GCRF)


University of Essex (GCRF)

Ecosystem Management: Building Resilience and Adaptability to Coastal Climate Change Effects

Economic and Social Research Council



University of Essex (GCRF)

Connected Communities

European Commission

ARISE: Advancing a Resilience Index for Sustainable Environments

University of Essex (GCRF)

Evaluation_Local Delivery Pilot for Sport England

Sport England

Evaluation: Local Delivery Pilot for Sport England

Sport England


Business and Local Government Data Research Centre (BLG DRC)

Economic and Social Research Council

Evaluation project to help Essex County Council and its Dementia Challenge finalists prepare evaluation plans for the business cases they will submit to ECC as part of the Challenge.

Essex County Council


Program Impact Evaluation: Toolkit

University of Essex

IAA ECC Challenge Lab project - Waste Busters

University of Essex


"Disasters, Development, and Financing: Can Randomised Controlled Trials Help Save Lives?"

The British Academy

Disasters, development and financing: Evidence-based approaches to understanding what works

University of Essex

Famine and Financing: Evidence-Based Approaches to Understanding what Works

Wellcome Trust

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