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Description: Financial Strategies for Managing the Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters

Description (selected) 

On-line Course

January 17 - February 11, 2005

The consequences of natural disasters on economic activities, property, human welfare and natural resources can be devastating. These events greatly affect the productive sectors of the economy, such as industries, agriculture and services, not to mention the impacts on communities, in particular, the poor.

With increasing frequency, countries are facing situations in which scarce resources that were earmarked to development projects have to be diverted to relief and reconstruction. Recent World Bank Study [1] on Jamaica, Dominican Republic and OECS countries confirms that economic growth only recovers slowly from major natural disasters. Disasters directly impact on foreign exchange earnings capacity of countries, at a time when extra resources are needed to finance the necessary imports of food, energy and inputs for productive sectors. If sustainable development is to be achieved, countries will have to take effective measures to manage natural hazard risks.

Financial Strategies for Reducing the Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters is part of the Comprehensive Natural Disaster Risk Management Program developed by the World Bank Institute with support from the WB Hazard Management Unit and ProVention Consortium. The objective of this specialization course is to develop a wider and increased understanding of disaster risk reduction practices and enhance their effectiveness. The course focuses on financial, macroeconomic and development impacts of disasters, trade-offs (costs and benefits) involved in disaster risk management, and offers strategies for reducing the impacts of natural disasters. This specialization course targets officials from finance ministries, planning organizations, public work agencies in order to improve the planning and budgeting processes, and macroeconomic projections.


The language of the course is English.


No cost to participants.

Course Format

The course consists self-paced modules, discussion forums, exercises, readings, case studies, tests and learning via interaction with program faculty and peers. The course includes 3 audio sessions of expert lectures for 40-45 minutes each.

Course Expectations

Participants are expected to commit 8-10 hours per week 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

System Requirements of the Course

  • 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


Deadline for application is December 20, 2004. Only acceptances will be communicated by January 7.


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