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Diploma: Non Profit Workshop
May, 2017, California
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Community Based DRR
May 3, 2017

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What our students are saying:

OL 345 Community-Based DRR Class
Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Online Course.
Disaster Planning | Disaster Response | Disaster Risk Management | Watershed Restoration

8 weeks. Courses are offered every two months. Current offering dates are in the column to the side.
To enroll, simply go to the bottom of this page.

Prerequisites: OL 101 - or - OL 341.
Why are there Prerequisites for Advanced Courses?

Community Based DRR. It is estimated that over 70% of all disasters are now related to extreme weather events—many of which are related to climate change. Because of this, disaster risk reduction should become an integral part of adaptation projects. Community based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) holds the same merit that community based adaptation does: ownership and sustainability.

Our goal in this course is to cost efficiently provide DRR field workers anywhere in the world with personalized information, consultation, knowledge and skills that empower them work more effectively in improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable people by increasing the impact of CBDRR programs.

To learn about course fees and to register please go to the bottom of this page.

This past year CSDi has participated in a number of DRR partner projects worldwide. We are seeing tremendous similarities between the projects: chiefly disasters caused by extreme weather events and flooding—and a lack of knowledge of effective techniques for disaster risk reduction. The disasters seen in student projects have lead to reduced harvests for smallholder farmers, reduced incomes, reduced food security, the destruction of homes and assets and the displacement of families.

The solutions that students have been developing for their projects include land management plans, watershed/forest restorations, rainy season drainage programs, community-based disaster preparedness and risk reduction programs, community-based flood mitigation and adaptation programs, community-based flash flood and landslide prevention programs, and advocacy programs for government flood response support.

In OL 345 students and their community members will first develop a participatory mapping of disaster risks, hazards, assets and community capacity, and then consult with a DRR expert to develop a participatory training process for developing a DRR Program specific to their local context.

If you have already completed a disaster focused participatory capacity and vulnerability analysis and established a community management committee in OL 343, then you will have eight weeks in order to complete six assignments. If you have not facilitated a disaster focused participatory capacity and vulnerability analysis nor established a community management committee, then you will have eight weeks to complete eight assignments which include the participatory capacity and vulnerability analysis.

The course includes an overview of DRR practices complete with downloadable manuals and field guides for each technique.

What we will do in this course.
We're going to do six important things in this course as part of developing a disaster risk reduction plan for your community.
1. Very clearly describe the highest priority, specific hazard that your community faces.
2. Establish a CBDRR subcommittee to provide long-term consistency and management for a DRR plan.
3. Offer a consciousness raising workshop for the subcommittee so that they can learn about the different components of a DRR plan.
4. Develop teams that would provide services for the community that would range from disaster prevention to search and rescue.
5. Provide consciousness raising meetings, handouts, and posters for community members about DRR.
6. Identify a mitigation activity for community members to implement and lead them in a training workshop about its implementation.

See the full syllabus below.

To earn a diploma in Integrated CBA, DRR and Rural Development, you must complete four required, sequential foundation courses, then select four elective courses (such as this one—OL 345) of your choice for a total of eight courses. With a wide variety of electives, you are able to tailor the diploma program to meet your contextual needs and interests.

What Students Think About the Online Courses

OL 345 Course Syllabus: Developing a Disaster Management Project.

Week 1. Local Context

Conducting a participatory capacity and vulnerability analysis. In OL 343 you conducted a participatory capacity and vulnerability analysis as part of developing your project. If it was focussed on DRR you can move onto Assignment 3. If your assessment was on a different theme than DRR, you can use the same workshop resources and focus a second assessment on hazards and disasters. Examples could be floods or extreme weather events such as hurricanes. In week one you will develop the workshop lesson plans and arrange for the meeting where everyone in the community can better understand how disasters can impact their village.

Week 2. Local Knowledge

Leading a participatory capacity and vulnerability analysis workshop. This week you will be facilitating the participatory workshop with the community to assess their disaster related risks, hazards, vulnerabilities and capacities. You will achieve this through a seasonal calendar exercise, a hazard mapping exercise, a timeline exercise, and a summary of hazard impacts on lives and assets. After completing the assessment you will work with the community to prioritize the most important hazards, to pinpoint specific solutions—and to determine community capacity for implementing the solutions.

Week 3. Sustainable Management

DRR Overview: Setting up a CBDRR subcommittee. In week 8 of OL 343 you set up a community based project management committee. You can use the same technique to set up a Community Based DRR subcommittee. This subcommittee will be able to work with your NGO to create long-term associations with government agencies that can support long-term DRR activities. The subcommittee will be in charge of developing a DRR plan, and for coordinating disaster teams. Setting up a subcommittee is a much more rapid process than setting up a full committee. We will also explore an overview of common DRR activities.

Week 4. Survey of Activities for use Before Disasters Strike

Preparedness for Disaster: Early warning systems. Traditionally, community members have not had warning of when they need to evacuate—and frequently they have left it too late. Your government’s meteorological office may have the capability of, for example, in a potential flood situation, evaluating when water has reached a critical height and can announce that a flood is imminent. Communities should form partnerships with these offices and ensure that they have clear access to early warning information in case of disaster.

Mitigation. If people need...

Week 5. Survey of Activities for use During Disasters

Evacuation training. If people need to evacuate, they need to know when to evacuate, they need to know what to do with their valuable possessions and assets, they need to know where to go where it's safe, they need to know what to take with them, and they need to know what to do when they get to shelter. Capacity building workshops led by the evacuation team can train community members in each of these—and most importantly—can lead them in practice drills.

Search and rescue training. Search and rescue team members learn specific techniques that are safe, and are given simple tools such as lifejackets, safe boats, inner tubes, and flashlights which give them the confidence and the capability to look for a missing person or of rescue a trapped elderly or disabled person.

Week 6. DRR Master Planning for the Future

Developing a DRR plan. Developing a DRR plan may include each of the activities in the surveys above—and maintaining them in perpetuity. This will involve a plan for consciousness-raising among community members about DRR challenges, connecting with an early warning system, organizing teams, training teams in evacuation and search and rescue, and prioritizing mitigation strategies. The plan can include an advocacy campaign for obtaining government support.

Community Engagement. Frequently community members don't have a clear picture of how and why disasters happen. They also may not know how to react when a disaster is building or is already in progress. Workshops and simple posters or how-to cards need to be developed to help them understand these concepts and to learn that there are things that they can do to reduce the risk caused by disasters, and to mitigate the severity of the disasters.

Organizing Teams. Based upon the results of your community’s participatory capacity and vulnerability assessment, you should now have a prioritized list of hazards and disasters. As part of the DRR plan the committee will prioritize preparedness activities, risk reduction activities and mitigation activities. Teams should be organized for each of the major priorities. If, for example, the type of disaster your community faces necessitates evacuation, an evacuation team should be established that develops a plan to lead an evacuation at the appropriate time—and then lead an actual evacuation if necessary.

Week 7. Mitigation Capacity Building Needs & Workshop Planning

Evaluate the results of participatory mapping of disaster risks and hazards—and then select an appropriate disaster risk mitigation technique specifically for community members to learn to implement. Develop an overview for committee members of disaster risk mitigation techniques that could include reforestatoon of watersheds, gully plugging, secure food storage and a savings plan. Make an appointment to propose appropriate techniques to the DRR Management Committee for feedback.

Workshop Planning. Prioritize which DRR technique should be introduced in the first workshop. Contact a DRR expert of feedback and input. Develop a workshop lesson plan. Draw a how-to card. Arrange the date and location for the workshop with your community contact person. Arrange for supplies and tools for the workshop with your community contact person.

Week 8. Capacity Building

Capacity building for disaster risk reduction and mitigation activities for community members. There are many activities that can be done to mitigate potential disasters. Some, like mangrove plantings along river banks can reduce erosion during a flood season. The reforestation of a watershed can reduce danger from flash floods. Both are activities that communities can do over the span of time. Capacity building workshops give community members the skill sets that they need to do these activities. Other activities like relocating houses to higher ground may be outside of their purchasing power, but committee members can be trained to develop advocacy campaigns for approaching governments for support in more major investments.


 The Course also Provides the Following Resources

Documents on course topics by contemporary experts.
Books, posters and manuals available online for download.
Internet development links organized by sector.
Class forum for posting questions to your classmates.
There are no books to buy—all course materials can be linked to, or downloaded from the course site.

Course Fees
There are prerequisites for taking this course:
Either OL 102 - or - OL 342. Please don’t sign up for this course if you haven’t successfully completed the prerequisites. Prerequisites are absolute: please do not ask us for an exception.
Why are there Prerequisites for Advanced Courses?

Choose which price fits your profile.
Course Fees:
1. The 8-week course is $100.00 for citizens of developing nations.
2. The 8-week course is $150.00 for citizens of developed nations.

Enroll by clicking on “Enroll Now” at the bottom of the page. To pay by bank transfer, please write us for the transfer instructions: Online.Learning@csd-i.org .


You will be sent your Login username and password, and instructions for starting the course on the Monday before the course begins. We look forward to meeting you.

The online course will be led by Tim Magee, CSD’s Executive Director, who has over 30 years experience in both working with nonprofits and leading training workshops. Mr. Magee is the author of A Field Guide to Community Based Adaptation published by Routledge/Earthscan.

If you have a question don't hesitate to contact us at: Online.Learning@csd-i.org .

Space is limited.