Establishment of institute of disaster management – Bangladesh

A. K. M. Abdul Ahad Biswas, Ph.D

Living with risk and to develop disaster risk reduction initiatives, priority emphasis must be given to education as an essential part of disaster reduction and management strategies. The various dimensions of disaster risk management within a community can be addressed and continuously reinforced, passed between generations, through formal educational programs and professional training. People’s understanding and the exercise of their professional skills are essential components of disaster management and risk reduction strategy. An investment in human resources and increasing individual capabilities across generations are likely to have more lasting value than any specific investments made in technical measures to reduce and manage disaster risks.

Due to over exploitation and indiscriminant use of nature, it has been becoming more and more ferocious causing massive destruction. We have such terrible experiences on 15 November, 2007, in 1991 as well as in 1971. Again we are in great challenges of green house effects of inundating total costal belt accounting 580 km length sea beach which is one third of our country and 10,090 sq km of in-country water area (Ref: Map Asia).

Why need establishing Institute of Disaster Management?

Developing countries are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of education and research on disaster management, and increasing efforts are being made to streamline preparedness, response and recovery mechanisms at all levels. It is well known that many developing countries, including Bangladesh, are not always well-prepared to deal with disasters. A lack of well-developed disaster management education, research and plans results in a severe loss of human life, property, crop production, forestry, animal life, fisheries etc. A lot needs to be done to improve the situation, particularly in regard to production of agriculture, livestock and fisheries. This paper describes the roles of education and research on disaster management including launching academic and researching programs to cope with natural disaster and to make strategies on disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation and the role of education and research in disaster management career development and advancement are discussed under the following subheadings 1. Basic role of education and training on disaster management;

2. Role of disaster and risk management training centers on disaster management;

3. Role of formal academic and educational programs on disaster management;

4. Role of professional trades and skills training on disaster management; and

5. Role of capacity-building on disaster management.

1. Basic role of education and training on disaster management: Past experience has revealed the enormously positive effects of education for disaster management and risk reduction. Children who know how to react during disaster like cyclone SIDR or earthquake or flood, community leaders who have learned how to warn their neighbors in a timely manner, and societies familiar with preparing themselves for natural hazards all demonstrate how education can make an important difference in protecting people at the time of a disaster. Academic research has become much more focused on the transfer of knowledge and experience. This necessitates a much closer association between disaster management specialists and populations at disaster risk. This has prompted more participatory research in which women and other highly vulnerable populations are involved. Such an investment in the development of human resources can only be sustained to the extent that the value of risk management becomes institutionalized, and likewise is reflected throughout a growing range of educational curricula for students of all ages.

2. Role of disaster and risk management training Institute on disaster management practices: The Disaster Management Institute will evolve from an earlier emphasis on operational activities. Previous attention devoted to contingency planning and community preparedness will reorient towards motivating local participation and multidisciplinary outlooks that can create disaster-resistant communities. Disaster management Centers will organize a variety of training programs for the disaster workers and managers and professionals. Graduates from this institute might constitute the core of disaster professionals in this disaster prone subcontinent, particularly in Bangladesh. Disaster management and coordination programs have the beneficial values of a methodical and sustained approach to institutional training.

3. Role of formal academic and educational programs on disaster management: Academic programs related to hazard studies and emergency management has expanded widely over the past ten years but only in some parts of the world. Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) lists only one post graduate Disaster Management studies department in our country in BRAC University at private sector and there is no example in public universities at undergraduate and post graduate level. Institute of Disaster Management at PSTU can promote the professionalization of emergency and disaster risk management through skills training programs, can support for the development of professional certification and graduate and post graduate degree programs in disaster management education. These activities might include the development of university level courses and curriculum regarding disaster management. PSTU Disaster Management Institute can lunch education programs for technical specialists and can offer long and short-term professional courses focuses on climate change, disaster data analysis, GIS technology, sustainable development and environmental management issues, disaster studies, natural hazards, international development, disaster preparedness and mitigation, economics and financial planning and other means that can reduce vulnerability within the wider context of disaster risk awareness, appraisal, reduction and management in various aspects of disaster management, full time academic program on Bachelor of Science and Masters degree in Disaster and Risk Management.

Examples of Disaster Management Education Institutions:

??Indira Gandhi National Open University in New Delhi, India offers a certificate on disaster management at undergraduate level, and a post-graduate diploma in disaster management.

??The Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology in Ahmedabad, India offers a course in urban disaster management in the School of Planning.

??The Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering (CESE) at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai, India offers post-graduate programs and activities pertinent to natural hazards and disaster risk reduction. The centre offers advanced degrees in technology involving course work followed by research and also offers interdisciplinary doctoral programs. These programs are designed to address the needs and challenges of major industrial interests, governmental sectors, international and UN agencies including the World Bank, UNDP and UNEP.

??Moratuwa University in Sri Lanka includes concepts of disaster management in courses conducted by the departments of town and country planning, architecture, and building economics.

n Ruhuna University in Sri Lanka offers a general and special undergraduate degree program in natural hazard management within the Department of Geography.

n The Bandung Institute of Technology in Bandung, Indonesia offers several courses which relate to architecture and environment, and urban planning issues.

n The Coastal Resources Institute at Prince of Songkhla University in Thailand is an institute with a commitment to establishing coastal management that leads towards sustainability. Interdisciplinary methods and tools are applied to consultancy, research and development in media-based activity areas.

n The Centre for Disaster Studies at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia is a multidisciplinary research unit presently housed in the School of Tropical Environment Studies and Geography. The centre addresses both public interests and professional needs in the fields of emergency management and meteorology for the benefit of city councils and other researchers.

n The Earthquake Hazard Centre at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand is a non-profit organization located in the School of Architecture, supported by the Commonwealth Science Council. It acts as an information network and dissemination centre for earthquake-resistant construction in developing countries. It shares basic earthquake engineering knowledge that is readily available in some countries with professionals working in construction-related fields in developing countries.

4. Role of professional trades and skills training on disaster management: In Asia, the past 30 years have seen a remarkable growth in the number of professionals trained in different science and engineering branches related to geological, hydro meteorological and climate hazards. There are now many more people with the skills to assess and interpret the physical phenomena of natural hazards, even in smaller developing Asian nations. When the subject is addressed, the courses tend to teach mostly structural mitigation and feature largely physical means of controlling the effects of natural hazards, such as the utility and construction of check dams, flood embankments or retaining walls.

While modern science widely acknowledges that societies are increasingly complex, there is little corresponding attention paid in formal educational programs to the social, economic or political factors associated with risk management. Accordingly, there is still a lack of social scientists, community-based leaders or broadly informed public administrators practicing in the field of Disaster management risk reduction.

5. Role of capacity-building on disaster management: Capacity-building can be achieved through means such as training and education, public information, the transfer, provision or access to technology or other forms of technical assistance intended to improve institutional efficiency. In disaster management and risk reduction, the concept also relates to the training of disaster managers, the transfer of technical expertise, the dissemination of traditional knowledge, strengthening infrastructure and enhancing organizational abilities. PSTU Institute of Disaster Management can play an important and innovative approach to addressing these issues.

As a national center for disaster management of expertise that brings together the multiple interests in human security and environmental issues. With inter-sectoral initiatives it will be able to develop innovative and integrated approaches to further the wider dissemination of the subject. By giving specific emphasis on the following types of activities PSTU Disaster Management Institute will become a focal point for national networking: support research and training for the development of new varieties, hybrids and breeds for crop production, Animal production and Aquaculture, and water and natural resources management techniques; cooperation in new sciences such as remote sensing and geographical information system (GIS), biotechnology, weather and flood forecasting and disaster management; common data standard for GIS; develop methodologies related to integrated disaster risk assessment and management, with particular regard given to traditional and local knowledge; and pursue unbound research of a complex nature that embodies social systems, environmental concerns, and political constructs that combine in ways that are decisive for human security.

Risk reduction and Disaster management efforts in Bangladesh require a considerable amount of inter-sectoral collaboration. As such, a training and capacity-building working group needs to establish and this working group will compile a comprehensive framework for all types of formal and non-formal disaster management training and other capacity building programs. As a national center for Disaster Management and risk reduction PSTU can lead for this purpose. In the PSTU Disaster Management Institute sharing experiences and collateral learning through organized training programs enable disaster managers to learn from each other’s experience throughout the country. In India, the National Centre of Disaster Management in Delhi, the Assam Administrative Staff College and other administrative staff training institutes elsewhere in the country conduct disaster management and preparedness training. The Disaster Mitigation Institute (DMI), Ahmedabad, Gujarat is such an example. Its mission is to reduce the impact of disasters on communities by raising awareness, helping to establish and strengthen sustainable institutional mechanisms, enhancing knowledge and skills, and facilitating the exchange of information and experiences obtained through local learning. The primary aims of PSTU Disaster Management Institute’s courses are to build national capacities in disaster risk reduction and management by sharing local knowledge and experiences, using interactive and participatory training methods. Course material will be developed in the context of South Asia. Objectives include:

examination of different disaster risk management models and approaches;

analysis of community-based approaches in disaster risk management;

identification of various risk reduction measures that can be undertaken by a community and the transformation of them into community action plans;

learning lessons by sharing local experiences; and

promotion of commonly accepted standards or norms for community involvement in disaster management practices.

Output from the national seminar on Disaster management in Bangladesh at PSTU:

On 23 February, 2008, Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Dumki Patuakhali hosted a seminar on the “Disaster Management in Bangladesh: Role of education and Research”. Participants included academics, practitioners, and representatives from government and non government national and international organizations and foundations.

The Disaster Management seminar offered a unique opportunity for academics and operational agency staff to examine and prove the role of education and research issues in professional disaster management education, training and research. In key note paper presenter recommended that disaster management is the cycle of research to action and action to research and disaster preparedness is the triangular cycle of education, research and practice and recommended to facilitated disaster management education and research by establishing Disaster management Institute at PSTU. Scientists emphasized on three important aspects of disaster reduction- public information, training and education. Some presenters recommended establishing of the Bangladesh Institute of Disaster Management Training and Research as long term risks reduction strategy. PSTU researchers suggested in their paper that the present situation deserves producing graduates on Disaster Management, needs establishment of degree offering Disaster Management Education and Research Institute. At Last the Chairman of the technical session of the seminar strongly recommended and argued the respective authority establishing an Institute of Disaster Management at PSTU in his concluding speech. He gave importance of preparing the next generation of humanitarian professionals, and Patuakhali Science and Technology University can take initiative for this.

Chief Guest of the seminar and Chairman of UGC Prof. Nazrul Islam also agreed with the comments of all paper participants and ask PSTU to host more disaster management seminar to gather more knowledge on Disaster Management education and research as a multidisciplinary subject and to submit a project profile establishing Institute of Disaster Management.

So we the member of PSTU family, understanding the importance of education and research on disaster risk reduction and management, and keep in mind the recommendations of those hon’ble scientists, researchers, academics, experts, senior GOs and NGOs officials who participated in the national seminar, and deserving of the present situation, we feel a lot needs to be done to improve the nationwide disaster management situation and risk reduction, we propose establishing the ‘Bangladesh Institute of Disaster Management at Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Dumki, Patuakhali’.

Recommendations:

PSTU enable to serve different stages of the disaster management cycle by conducting Agricultural Research and Technology Development like the development of new varieties, hybrids and breeds for crop production, Animal production and Aquaculture, and water and natural resources management techniques; cooperation in new sciences such as remote sensing and geographical information system (GIS), biotechnology, weather and flood forecasting and disaster management; common data standard for GIS). For this mission PSTU has various departments like Environmental Science, Agronomy, Agricultural Botany, Horticulture, Agro forestry, Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Animal Science, Agricultural Engineering, Aquaculture, Electrical and electronics Engineering and Physics and Mechanical Engineering etc.

The SAARC Frame work for Action (SFA) of disaster risk reduction also identifies as the priority areas to Develop and implement Disaster Management training, education, research and awareness programs.

So in concluding part – to make professionalism and humanitarian response, training and its potential and place in humanitarian careers, to explore the effectiveness of academic programs, to fostering greater collaboration between disaster management humanitarian organizations and academic institutions we want to recommend that the present situation deserves producing graduates on Disaster Management, needs establishment of degree offering Disaster Management Education and Research Institute and PSTU has the feasibility to lunch this program within the existing capacity.

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15 responses to “Establishment of institute of disaster management – Bangladesh

  1. Pingback: Senior Living Communities » Blog Archive » Establishment of institute of disaster management - Bangladesh

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  4. I am in the process of establishing disaster mgmt instritute in Pune India i will like to work with you

  5. I would like to speak with Mr. Abdul Ahad Biswas
    to discuss about the topics. Thanks for the cooperation.

    Please call me:

    416-916-1558

  6. Thanks Ahad. It would be better if you could have mentioned the assistance of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) of Government of Bangladesh and UNDP to PSTU regarding establishing the institute.

    CDMP have been working with a number of public and private universities of Bangladesh in order to introduce undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Three consultations meetings with the relevant experts have been conducted in order to have the following outputs.

    o A database of the Disaster Management Professionals working in public and private Universities in Bangladesh
    o The subjects, courses and content of courses are being taught for different degree programmme in different universities
    o The certificate progarmme, and degree programme outlined for the universitities
    o The list of the intended departments, institutes/universities for DM education and research
    o The proposed courses and content of the courses for degree programme (Bachelor in Disaster Science and Management) and Master Programme on Disaster Management and Climate change)
    o Prepare a list of the research projects can be carried out by internship programme/MS/PhD thesis under CDMP framework grants
    All the paper are now ready for distribution. Meanwhile Khulna University have introduced MS in Disaster management and Climate Change and their curriculum is ready to have intake in coming semester.

    CDMP also developed a number of short courses on Disaster Management for Disaster Managers, ToT on Disaster Management, Disaster Management for Sustainable Rural development, certificate course on DM for Armed Forces Officials, Leadership in Disaster Management

    • Md. Soyeb Uddin Haider

      Dear Sir (Dr. Mahmudul Islam),
      I have been introduced with you in a seminar which have been conducted for “Early Recovery Needs Assessment Program”, jointly organized by UNDP and CDMP. I worked as a facilitator in the Golachipa, Patuakhali.

      Your views about the disaster management in Bangladesh is very pragmatic. It’s a nice opportunity for us who are interested to work with disaster management.

      I passed my MSS in Sociology from Dhaka University. The title of my advanced research monograph is “Cyclone Management: A Case Study of Sandwip, 1991″.

      Expecting your help to work in this area.

      Soyeb

  7. otuoke augustine

    i will like follow on trends and practices in disaster management as your center unveils

  8. Asib Ahmed

    Dear Sir,
    I have been keen interest in disaster management system because i have completed my graduate and post graduate degree in Geography & Environment Science from dhaka university.

    I have been four research papers about disaster management system in Bangladesh. The title of my research works are Man Made Disaster in South Asia: A Case Study of India- Bangladesh River Water Issue”, Disasters arising from Common River Water in South Asia: A Case Study on the Impacts, Women’s Adjustment and Policy Guideline for Bangladesh”, “Adverse Effects of Hill Cutting in and Around the Chittagong City: A Geographical Study”, ” Women’s Coping with Flood in Ganges Dependent Area of Bangladesh”.
    Your views about the disaster management in Bangladesh is very promising. It’s a nice opportunity for us who are interested to work with disaster management.

    Iam egerly waiting for your help to mwork in this field.

    Asib

  9. Asib Ahmed

    Dear Sir,
    I have been keen interest in disaster management system because i have completed my graduate and post graduate degree in Geography & Environment Science from dhaka university.

    I have been four research papers about disaster management system in Bangladesh. The title of my research works are Man Made Disaster in South Asia: A Case Study of India- Bangladesh River Water Issue”, Disasters arising from Common River Water in South Asia: A Case Study on the Impacts, Women’s Adjustment and Policy Guideline for Bangladesh”, “Adverse Effects of Hill Cutting in and Around the Chittagong City: A Geographical Study”, ” Women’s Coping with Flood in Ganges Dependent Area of Bangladesh”.
    Your views about the disaster management in Bangladesh is very promising. It’s a nice opportunity for us who are interested to work with disaster management.

    Iam egerly waiting for your help to work in this field.

    Asib

  10. Southern University Bangladesh going to established Institute of Disaster Management ,

    • Mahmudul Islam

      Its good to know that.
      Meanwhile Begum Rokeya University has establshed a Department and offering 4 years undergraduate degree programme on Dsiaster Management.

      Just to note, I have left CDMP, but continued support as ussual,
      Please note my addresss

      salimmi2001@yahoo.co.uk

  11. Mahmudul Islam

    A new department named “Disaster Science and Management” under the Faculty of Earth Science will be establsihed in the University of Dhaka soon.
    Congratulation !! Unioversity of Dhaka Authority

  12. Mahmudul Islam

    Professionalizing the Disaster Management System: Progress in Bangladesh

    Bangladesh has made a substantial progress in ‘Professionalizing the Disaster Management System, establishing a dedicated Ministry named “Ministry of Food and Dsiaster Management. It also has a dynamic guideline document “Standing Orders on Dsiaster” can be obtained from http://www.dmb.gov.bd/reports/sod_final.pdf, which outlined the role and responsibilities of the people representatives, public service departments, professionals, and citizens. The tasks have been clearly outlined considering predisaster, during disaster and post disaster phae role and following a standard model ‘Comprehensive Disaster Management’.

    Progress has been made in maintreaming Disaster Risk Reduction, especially in Education System. It has incorporated DRR at all level of eduction classes from II to XII, introduced Bachlor of Science in Disaster Management in Patuakhali Science and Technology Univeristy, Begum Rokeya Univeristy, Rangpur. In order to develop professional a number of professional Masters Degree Programs have been introduced in Science and Management in Dhaka University, Disaster Engineering in BUET, and SUST, CUET, and Emergency Health management in NSU. Furthermore traning programme in all servcie cadre institute like BPATC, BCS AdminAcademy, Armed Forces Colleges, BARD, RDA and BIM.
    Have also designed and developed e-learning courses on ‘Introductionto Dsiaster Management” and Comprehensive Dsiaster Management, which will be hosted soon in CDMP web site.

  13. Nipa Dutta

    Cordial thanks to all for their kind cooperation and hard work for establishing and developing the present disaster management faculty in Patuakhali Science and Technology University.We are the students of this faculty taking B.Sc hons. in disaster management. Hope we can fulfill the objective of this faculty.

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