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Description: Community Based Disaster Risk Management

Description (selected) 

On-line Course

April 18 – May 16, 2005

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


With increasing frequency, countries face situations in which scarce resources that were earmarked for development projects have to be diverted to relief and reconstruction. A recent World Bank Study on Jamaica, Dominican Republic and OECS countries confirms that long-term economic growth recovers slowly after major natural disasters. If sustainable development is to be achieved, countries will have to take effective measures to manage natural hazard risks.


Effective disaster risk management requires close coordination of all activities and the participation of all sectors in the economy: national disaster agencies, sector ministries, business and private sector organizations, as well as community level organizations. Since low-income households and communities are often more vulnerable to natural hazards than the population at large, their active involvement in risk reduction, based on local knowledge and measures tailored to local conditions, offers to complement national disaster management initiatives. The role of local actors – municipal governments and communities – is being increasingly recognized. Decentralization of disaster risk management implies delegation of competencies and resources to the local level keeping in mind the subsidiarity principle.


Community-based Disaster Risk Management is part of the comprehensive Natural Disaster Risk Management Program developed by the World Bank Institute with support of WB Hazard Management Unit and ProVention Consortium. The objective of this specialization course is to introduce the basic concepts, tools, and mechanisms that help the design and implementation of community-based disaster risk management programs. The course highlights the flexibility and inventive character of community-based initiatives. This specialization course targets community leaders, representatives of aid and relief agencies and general development practitioners. 


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 March 22, 2005. Only acceptances will be communicated by April 3.





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