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Description: Damage and Reconstruction Needs Assessment

Description (selected) 

On-line Course

June 6 – July 4, 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 and in particular the poor.


With increasing frequency, countries face situations in which scarce resources that were earmarked to 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. Disasters directly impact the foreign exchange earnings capacity of countries, at a time when extra resources are needed to finance the necessary imports of food, energy and factors of production. If sustainable development is to be achieved, countries will have to take effective measures to manage natural hazard risks.

The Damage and Reconstruction Needs Assessment course is part of the Comprehensive Natural Disaster Risk Management Program developed by the World Bank Institute with support from WB Hazard Management Unit and ProVention Consortium. This specialization course is designed for staff of government agencies, both central and local, and representatives of international aid agencies dealing with natural disaster management and disaster relief and reconstruction activities. The course aims at enhancing participants’ understanding and capacity in assessing the social, economic and environmental effects of natural disasters. It reviews methodologies and instruments used to quantify direct damages and indirect losses and the overall macroeconomic consequences of catastrophic events, in order to determine the damages and the reconstruction needs.

The course is based on the Handbook developed by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean. It incorporates both the conceptual and methodological aspects of measuring the damage caused by disasters to capital stocks, losses in the flows of goods and services, and temporary effects on the main macroeconomic variables. The presented methodology can be also used to estimate whether there is a sufficient domestic capacity for dealing with reconstruction tasks, or whether international cooperation is required.   


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 May10, 2005. Only acceptances will be communicated by May 20.




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