On-Line Training Course on Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management

September 11 – October 20, 2006

National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi and World Bank Institute, Washington are offering an On-Line Training Course on Comprehensive Disaster Management Framework to development practitioners, central, state and local government officials, NGO representatives, community leaders and others interested in the challenges and issues related to disaster risk reduction and management.

Course Overview

This course addresses basic questions such as “why are disasters a development issue?” and “what are the components of comprehensive disaster risk management?” The course reviews the institutional arrangements and financing mechanisms of disaster management systems, and identifies the role of national and local actors in the processes related to risk assessment, mitigation and financing. This course targets general development practitioners to raise their awareness and sensitivity in prevention of natural disasters, and consists of three modules and End of Course Exercise.

· Module 1: Introduction to Natural Disaster Risk Management

It is increasingly recognized worldwide that the devastating effects of natural disasters can be linked to shortcomings of development policies. First, because certain natural phenomena tend to have greater effects in developing countries than in developed ones. Second, because several structural factors associated with a low level of development exacerbate disasters’ effects. Third, because the negative impact of natural phenomena on the prospects for long-term development is considerably greater in less developed countries. Thus, confronting disaster issues in a systematic and coherent fashion must be an explicit objective of development strategies. This introductory module reviews worldwide trends in disaster occurrence, regional distribution, and links to global trends such as persistent poverty, environmental degradation and growing urban density.

· Module 2: National Disaster Risk Management Systems

Poorly planned development turns recurring natural phenomena into human and economic disaster. Allowing dense population on a floodplain or permitting poor or non-enforced building codes in earthquake zones increases not only the vulnerability of the exposed population, but also makes increased losses due to natural hazards more likely. In recent years, the traditional approach to disaster management – which focused almost exclusively on actions taken immediately before, during and shortly after a disaster in order to avoid loss of life and reduce economic damage – has evolved toward a broader concept of disaster risk management. Instead of diverting financing through budget reallocation from ongoing projects in order to finance recovery and reconstruction efforts, pro-active mechanisms are sought to reduce the economic costs and impacts of disasters, improve countries’ response capacity, decrease vulnerability and improve communities’ resilience to disasters. This module reviews different approaches countries take to creating national disaster management systems; diverse methods of transferring disaster risks; options available to governments in financing disaster recovery through risk-sharing tools; costs and benefits of policy options; methods of determining the financing needs for recovery, using damage and reconstruction needs assessment etc.

· Module 3: The Role of Local Actors

Democratization and decentralization are global trends that are causing policymakers to rethink the institutional setup of governments, and the roles and responsibilities of different levels of government in achieving developmental objectives. Disaster risk management is not exempt from these global trends, and actors such as local governments, municipal authorities and local communities play an increasingly important role in emerging national disaster risk management systems. This role deserves not only recognition, but it should be viewed as an integral part of the national systems. This means that the central government must provide appropriate resources to localities, coordinate national efforts and create an enabling environment for local initiatives. This module examines the evolving role of local actors in the context of city management and community-based disaster mitigation.

· End of Course Project

To meet the course completion requirement the participants are required to submit an end-of course case study/project. The objective of the course project is to enable the participants to apply the newly acquired knowledge to specific conditions in their towns, districts, villages or work situations. In the course project the participants should provide a critical assessment of the disaster risk management system in a specific situation. The evaluation should be presented in the context of a recent natural disaster event. The case study should draw upon information from the course materials, data specific to the case study and the selected disaster event.


The course materials have been prepared by a resource team drawn from academics and practitioners involved in various facets of disaster risk management from different parts of the globe. These include Margaret Arnold, Joanne Bayer, Reinhard Mechler, Fouad Bendimerad, Ricardo Zapata, Krishna Vatsa, Katalin Demeter, Katherine Kelman and others.


During the course instructors and facilitators from National Institute of Disaster Management and the World Bank Institute will guide the participants and evaluate the project work.


This course is offered to a group of up to 120 general development practitioners, central and local government officials, policymakers, consultants, researchers and professors of training institutions, NGO representatives and community leaders, who are interested in development challenges and issues related to natural disaster risk management. Once the course is over, participants from training institutions are welcome to replicate this training for their staff, for central and local government officials, NGOs and community leaders.


The language of the course is English.

Course Format

The course consists of self-paced modules, discussion forums, exercises, readings, case studies, tests and learning via interaction with program faculty and peers. Moreover, for each module there are 2 to 3 audio sessions of expert lectures for 40–45 minutes each. The Course materials shall be provided in a CD to each participant.

Course Expectations

Participants are expected to commit 8–10 hours per week (per module) in order to gain the most out of this course in addition to:

· Complete the required reading assignments

· Participate in all online activities. Participation involves posting a minimum of two messages per week that are substantive in nature. The message can be either a new topic or a reply to someone else's message. Participants are encouraged to post more often than twice a week in order to be involved more deeply into topics.

· Participate in videoconferencing and asynchronous chat sessions (if applicable)

· Complete assignments and end of course project

· Complete course evaluation at the end of the course


Joint certificate from NIDM and WBI shall be issued to all successful participants of the course. The successful participants shall also be eligible for specialized courses which shall be launched in January 2007.

System Requirements of the Course

Participants must have access to computers with the following specifications:

· Hardware: Pentium 166 or faster, 64Mb Memory, CD-ROM, Sound Card

· Software: Windows 95,98,ME,NT 4,2000 or XP Internet Explorer 4 or higher, Netscape 4 or higher Microsoft Office 2000 (Word, Powerpoint) Acrobat Reader 5


Rs. 1500/- to be paid by Demand Draft to the National Institute of Disaster Management, payable at New Delhi, India.


Application may be submitted on a plain paper stating inter alia name, age, educational qualifications, professional experience, current occupation, e-mail id, telephone number and postal address along with bank draft of Rs. 1500/-. The deadline for application is August 29, 2006. Acceptances will be communicated by September 4, 2006.

Applications shall be addressed to The Executive Director, National Institute of Disaster Management, IIPA Campus, I.P. Estate, Ring Road, New Delhi – 110002, India. Tel: 91-11-2370 2445, Fax: 91-11- 2370 2446

For further information please contact: Prof Santosh Kumar, National Institute of Disaster Management, profsantosh@gmail.com or Tel: 91- 11-2370 2433, Fax: 91-11-2370 2446/42