Owing to increased vulnerability and climatic extremes, we are faced with the rapidly growing impact of disasters worldwide. There is an urgent need to incorporate the concepts of disaster risk management into planning, sustainable development and environmental impact assessment. Disaster risk management requires the assessment of risk, which is a multidisciplinary endeavour.
The course explains how to conduct a risk assessment using spatial information on hazards, elements at risk and vulnerability with the aid of GIS and remote sensing, and how this information can be used in risk management, with a focus on urban areas.
For whom is the course relevant?
This course is designed for all those who have to carry out risk assessment and require knowledge and skills in using a GIS to handle the necessary the procedures, such as professionals working in governmental and non-governmental organizations, planners, engineers, architects, geographers, environmental specialists and university teachers. Some basic background in GIS is desirable, although not strictly necessary as the course follows a step-by-step approach that enables participants to rapidly acquire the basic skills in handling GIS software.
What will be achieved?
The course will guide participants through the entire process of risk assessment, on the basis of a case study of a city exposed to multiple hazards. At the end of this course, you will be able to:
understand the concepts of hazard assessment, elements-at-risk mapping, vulnerability assessment and risk assessment
formulate the spatial data requirements for risk assessment
use GIS to generate an elements-at-risk database
apply various methods for vulnerability assessment
generate risk maps using qualitative and quantitative methods
understand how risk assessment is used in risk reduction and disaster preparedness.
What is the course content?
The course is composed of a number of sessions. Each session has a PowerPoint presentation and a document introducing the session topic. Each session also has exercises and assignments, including maps or materials to be handed in. The course is based on a study load of one module of three weeks (5 ECTs), which is offered in distance form over a period of six weeks.
Why choose this course?
The course has been designed over a long period of time and has been tested many times in different countries. It is based on a course book with assignments and an exercise book with GIS exercises. Active interaction with lecturers and fellow students takes place via internet. The general approach of the course is task-based learning that blends theory and practice. The study load is 20 to 24 hours per week. All materials including (most of) the software will be provided online in ITC's digital learning environment Blackboard. Most materials will be sent on a DVD to enable convenient offline study.
Applicants for the Distance programme should have a Bachelor degree or equivalent from a recognised university in a discipline related to the course, preferably combined with working experience in a relevant field.