International Course in Disaster Risk Reduction at the Local Level


Lisbon earthquakeDisasters, whether due to natural, socio-natural or technological occurrences or phenomena, have an adverse effect on efforts aimed at sustainable development. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is a key pillars of achieving peace and sustainable development. The course falls completely within the human security discourse, which forms the basis of much of the environmental security and peace thinking.

For the second year in a row, the course is being taught at the University for Peace campus in Costa Rica (Ciudad Colon) and in neighboring communities.

The course purpose is to equip student practitioners in environment, peace and security with enhanced knowledge, skills, resources and technical abilities in disaster risk reduction. It therefore provides the tools to prevent such disasters, to mitigate their impacts or to resolve conflicts between different social groups that occur as a result of disasters.

Some of the main topics developed will be: Nature of risks, especially for the most vulnerable populations; links between disaster risk and development particularly vulnerability reduction, human coping, and the theoretical and practical ways in which resilience to disaster is established at the local level; DRR processes and structures; introduction to varied social survey techniques, people-centered monitoring and evaluation, environmental analyses, and the application of appropriate methodologies to people-centered DRR issues; skills in conducting educational and training workshops.

The course will be a mix of lectures by invited experts and student involvement in the learning process, by sharing their experiences, investigating about complex concepts, preparing and delivering seminars, and participating in simulation and field exercises and web-interactions. An important segment of the course will be delivered in the field, in interaction with local communities.

Prospective students are invited to visit the “Documents� section of this web-page and consult up-dated bibliographies, and freely downloadable on-line documents.