Capacity Building (Sunday, 8 June 2014, 13:30 – 15:15)

Integrating Disaster Risk Science in the Algerian Higher Education System: Challenges and Perspectives
Djillali BENOUAR (Algeria)

The 2010-2013 Monsoon Floods in Pakistan: Meteorological Advancements and Required Improvements
Farrukh CHISHTIE (Pakistan)

Skills and Capacity Shortages in South African Disaster Risk Management Entities: Observations from the USAID/ACDS Disaster Risk Management Training Project
Christo COETZEE (South Africa)

Research on Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Reduction

Research on Theories and Practices of Disaster Education
Ying ZHANG (China)


Integrating Disaster Risk Science in the Algerian Higher Education System: Challenges and Perspectives

Djillali BENOUAR
Civil Engineering Faculty, USTHB, Algiers, Algeria

This paper attempts to present an experience in integrating disaster risk science in the Algerian higher education and research systems. It is well accepted worldwide today that higher education constitutes a fundamental pillar for capacity and resilience building at all levels of civil society, as well as administration. In the framework of Periperi U (Partners Enhancing Resilience to People Exposed to Risks) the main objective is to advance institutional capacity building in risk-related higher education in Africa.

Since 2006, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific research adopted the Bologna process, which organised higher education in what is called License/Master/Doctorate (LMD). As all higher education institutions in Algeria are state-owned, this new LMD system allows faculty members to propose new curricula for licenses (Bachelors, Masters and Ph.Ds) for integration in the official system at any university; however, curricula should be accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education.

A disaster risk science curriculum for a Masters degree was first established and submitted to the commission, but, unfortunately, the commission rejected the curriculum as there was nothing called disaster risk science discipline in the Ministry of Higher Education. After lobbying, showing the importance of strengthening the university community as a facilitator for dialogue and integration of knowledge on the subject, the need to link disaster risk reduction curriculum development processes of higher education at the Ministry, and explaining that integrating disaster risk science in higher education is a must for promoting a culture of prevention and concerns a wide range of disciplines and sectors (education in general, public health, engineering, urban planning, sociology, governance, energy, agriculture, civil protection, etc.), for the second year we have been advised to include modules in the existing engineering courses. The civil service in Algeria does not have in the nomenclature the diploma of disaster risk management, the universities are not able to deliver such a degree and the government institutions and organisms will not be able to recruit students with a disaster risk degree. The solution was found by including disaster risk courses into existing curricula, for instance as Master of Earthquake Engineering and Disaster Risk Reduction concerning civil engineering courses; but we are still working in having an integrated DRR in a Masters degree including as much disciplines as possible. Several disaster risk-related researches at the Ph.D level are included in the National Research Programme (PNR) established by the government.

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The 2010-2013 Monsoon Floods in Pakistan: Meteorological Advancements and Required Improvements

Department of Space Science, Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan

About 1.5 million people were displaced and above 100 killed in the 2013 monsoon flooding across Pakistan. It has been four years of such events starting with the most devastating 2010 floods. With more than 20 million affected and above 1,800 casualties in this disaster, some improvements have been done in terms of disaster management, especially in the area of response and recovery. Massive flooding disasters continued in 2011 and 2012, but with lesser impact and intensity. It is the aim of this study to map out the various strategies that have been put in place post-2010 floods. This work contends that it was actually the 2005 Northern Pakistan earthquake that led to a major shift in the practice of disaster management in the country. The resulting systematic framework developed replaced former “reactive” measures.

This work first of all analyses the national as well as provincial documents that resulted from this effort taken by the government. Our study describes various improvements and gaps in infrastructure, prevention and preparedness investment and recovery mechanisms. The documents and those related to the floods are analysed in four crucial areas for disaster management: preparedness, response, recovery and prevention/mitigation. It is noted that the least focused areas are the prevention/mitigation aspects. Focusing on the 2010-2013 mega-floods and related disaster events in the context of response, improvements put forth by various departments’ post-2010 floods are detailed. In particular, aspects of preparedness and early response are examined in the case of implementation of technological improvements at the Pakistan Meteorological Department. The presentation points out to the current enhanced capability of the Department. Further, the local and international collaborative partnerships forged within this organisation are noted, in particular the improved modelling and forecasting capacities. However, we report that the state of measurement and observation, especially in the context of using ground radar meteorology, still remains far behind standard practices.

In summary, we note the great importance of meteorology and radar technology as a crucial area to focus upon, complemented with satellite remote sensing products, in order to contend more effectively with the annual monsoon floods and other extreme weather events across Pakistan.

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Skills and Capacity Shortages in South African Disaster Risk Management Entities: Observations from the USAID/ACDS Disaster Risk Management Training Project

Christo COETZEE and Kristel FOURIE
African Centre for Disaster Studies, North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

South Africa has some of the most progressive disaster risk management legislation in the world. With a pro-active focus the legislation promotes the use of preventative scientific knowledge and technology to reduce disaster risks and save lives, as opposed to merely responding to disasters. A key enabler in achieving this goal is providing officials at all levels of government with training in the science of disaster risk management. Although training is such a core component in achieving the pro-active risk reduction goals of South African disaster management legislation, very little progress is being made by government entities at all levels to provide training to officials in various aspects of disaster risk management science. To assess the extent of the problem, the paper conducted a dual analysis of existing disaster risk management needs and priorities identified in key legislation and government reports between 2005-2011, and an analysis of USAID/ACDS disaster risk management skills and capacity development programme, implemented between 2011-2013. The analysis of both data sets paints a worrisome picture of the current state of disaster risk management training in South Africa. Little progress has been made in training officials on even the most basic aspects and concepts of disaster risk management science, and even less progress in more advanced issues such as the use of GIS, climate change and early warning systems. The serious deficiencies in the current disaster risk management training regime not only hampers the achievement of legislative goals, but also hampers the ability of officials to save lives in the communities they serve.

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Research on Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Reduction

Zoe SCOTT1, Roger FEW2 and Marcela TARAZONA1

  1. Oxford Policy Management, Oxford, UK
  2. School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

The presentation will report on the preliminary findings and research approach for a project commissioned by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) researching the processes of capacity development for disaster risk management in developing countries. The research programme has the over-arching objective of increasing the effectiveness of international efforts in supporting capacity-building for disaster risk management (DRM). This applies at a range of scales within countries, from the level of national institutions through sub-national governance mechanisms to institutions rooted at the community level. In many cases it is at the local scale where both the need for capacity-building but also the potential for concrete action on disaster risk reduction (DRR) is concentrated; but this in no sense obviates the need for complementary capacity-building support oriented toward higher scales. Indeed it is the integration and coordination across those scales and actors that is likely to be key in effective DRM.

This research project entails eight detailed case studies of capacity development activities in developing countries across a range of governance contexts, examining and comparing activities, barriers, enabling factors and the interaction across scales for a series of contrasting approaches to achieving sustainable capacity building in DRM and DRR. The need for a strong cross-scalar institutional basis for DRM is prioritised within the 2005 Hyogo Framework for Action, and calls for support to national, sub-national and community scales was again reaffirmed at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2013. Closely-linked arguments from the field of climate change adaptation and the wider discussions around building resilience as a development goal re-emphasises the need for support across scales and contexts. A key part of that support process is improving international understanding of how best to deliver capacity-building assistance. Yet, beyond the simple statements that aid to build capacity is required, there remains a gap in our ability to provide guidance on what sorts of interventions works best, at what scales, under what circumstances, and across different types of governance contexts – including how to operate most effectively when working with fragile or weak states and/or in the insecure environments that characterise complex emergencies.

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Research on Theories and Practices of Disaster Education

Ying ZHANG1 and Min WANG

  1. Beijing Seismological Bureau, Beijing, China

Disaster education should not be limited to the introduction of experiences; it needs empirical research, the research field of vision from the macro to the meso and micro. The school is the best place to carry out disaster education because school education is more systematic and formal. The students are disaster-prone people; students can spread risk awareness to the family and community, thereby enhancing the universal awareness of disaster reduction and prevention. Geography education has the ability and responsibility to the important task of disaster education. The geography teacher is also duty-bound.

The survey aimed to understand the general situation of DPML of secondary school teachers, and junior and senior high school students in China. By geographic divisions and sample collective rules, surveys were conducted among:

Secondary school teachers from Beijing, Guizhou, Heilongjiang, Jiangxi, Jilin, Qinghai, Shandong, Shanghai and other provinces or regions. A total of 885 valid questionnaires were collected (1,000 copies were issued).

Junior high school students from Beijing, Fujian, Guangdong, Heilongjiang, Shanghai and Tianjin provinces and regions. A total of 7,313 valid questionnaires were collected (10,000 copies were issued).

Senior high school students from Beijing, Fujian, Guangong, Heilongjiang, Shanghai, Sichuan, Tianjin, Zhejiang and other provinces and regions. A total of 3,478 valid questionnaires were collected (5000 copies were issued).

The survey showed that the lower level of the overall DPML of the teachers, the attitude scores is highest, the knowledge scores followed, and the skills scores were the last. The same situation can found in the DPML of junior and senior high school students. The dimension of skill has relationship of disaster experience or disaster education. On this basis, it is proposed to carry out curriculum development, teaching method, assessment and teacher training research according to the students’ age and the psychological characteristics in order to promote disaster education and enhance teachers’ and students’ DPML. So disaster education programmes should be as soon as possible researched. This is in accordance with the division of disaster education system needed to carry out exploration of the mode of public disaster education, to build the education system and dual-core interacting model.

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