Semester Offering: August
Disaster management as an identifiable profession is relatively new. The tasks of a disaster manager, however, have been around for a long time. They have typically been thought of as disaster relief assistance or of specific ad hoc activities during and after a disaster emergency.

There has been a growing awareness in recent years that all of these activities, in fact, comprise the process of disaster management. By understanding this as an identifiable role, we can describe a coherent and cohesive direction for people who are involved in the field of disasters. This, of course, includes the spectrum of activities from administration to project implementation; from disaster prevention to disaster mitigation to disaster preparedness to disaster response.

One of the ideal objectives of this course and is for disaster managers eventually to work themselves out of their job. The ultimate success of disaster management would be the elimination of the underlying causes of disasters which would contribute to disaster prevention. Obviously, total prevention will not be feasible, but minimizing the people's vulnerability to disaster and responding to emergencies in positive ways will make an enormous impact on the current deadly state of disaster events.

To move towards those idealized objectives will require more from disaster managers than an understanding of the scope of their job. It will also require development of several skills and technologies. This course is viewed as being one component of a training program that will contribute towards those skills and technologies.


This course will be delivered in 3 modules through a series of lecture and exercise sessions. It is designed to give participants knowledge of disaster management system and introduce them to the tools used for managing different disasters. The focus of the course will be on Natural Disasters.




I.        Introduction to Disaster Management (6hrs)
1.      Scope and Objectives of Disaster Management
2.      Basic Concepts and Terminologies in Disaster Management
3.      Importance of Management in Disasters
4.      The Management System in Disasters
        Strategic Planning
        Contingency Planning
        Forward Planning
5.      Overview of a Disaster Manager’s Tasks
        Leadership, Decision Making and change management
        Managing Operations
        Managing People
        Managing Organizations

II.     Concepts and Terms in Disaster Management (15hrs)
1.      Disaster Types
        Global Disaster Risk Situation
        Natural Disasters
        Human-made Disasters
2.      Elements of Disaster Management
        Risk Management (Hazard, vulnerability and capacity assessment etc.)
        Loss Management
        Control of Events
        Resource Management
3.      Emerging Trends in Disaster Management
        Introduction to Community Based Disaster Management
4.      Institutional Framework for Disaster Management

III.   The Tools and Methods of Disaster Management (24hrs)
1.      Prevention and Mitigation Tools
        Stakeholder Analysis
        Hazard Mitigation, vulnerability reduction and capacity building plans
        Hazard Scenario Development and Action Planning
        Economic diversification
        Political intervention
        Public awareness
2.      Preparedness Tools
        Planning the response
        Establishing organizational structures for each phase of the disaster
        Establishing objectives, priorities, and goals
        Assessing resources
        Establishment of End to End Early Warning System
3.      Tools of Post-Disaster Management
        Emergency Response management
1)      Introduction to Incident Command System
2)      Disaster Assessment (including damage & loss assessment, need analysis, etc.)
3)      IDP/Refugee Camp Planning
4)      Search & Rescue
        Policies and procedures
        Codes and Standards
        Enabling Legislations
4.      Additional tools for Disaster Management
        Mapping, GIS and Remote Sensing
        Information Management
        Monitoring & Evaluation
        Safety & security




Assigned reading and lecture notes


  1. Disaster Risk Management in Asia, a primer, ADPC publication
  2. At Risk: Natural Hazards, People's Vulnerability and Disasters, by Ben Wisner, Piers Blaikie, Terry Cannon and Ian Davis,
  3. ISDR case studies including: Building Disaster Resilient Communities (2007); Gender Perspective: Working Together for Disaster Risk Reduction (2007).
  4. The vulnerability of cities, Natural Disasters and Social Resilience, by Mark Pelling (2003),


ADPC has regularly offered a course on Disaster Management for the last 10 years to career professionals from NGO’s, Government and community- based organizations. This course is of 2 weeks duration with 80 contact hours. Based on discussions in the AIT/ ADPC Consultative Committee (AACC), it was agreed by committee, that any individual awarded a certificate on completion of the course, should be eligible to have their certified participation on the course recognized by AIT for credit transfer.


Final grade will be determined by:

  • Mid-sem (20%)
  • Class work (40%)
  • Final project (40%).