Course overview

Domestically and globally disasters are on increase, which has been attributed to climate changes which might be attributed to technological developments, and they come with social and economic consequences. Disasters either natural or man-made normally threaten the survival of the victims as well as put the dignity and livelihoods of victims to test and at times leads to a shift in socio- economic situations, unplanned urbanization, environmental degradation, climate variability as well as change, geological hazards and stiff competition of natural resources leading to environmental degradation.

Disasters have evolved substantially to include areas of cyber terrorism, product tampering, biological threats as well as ecological terrorism which were unheard some few years back. Today’s safety professional is faced with a myriad of new and different reactions and issues ranging from control of the media to shareholder reaction, which were not given consideration in the disaster preparedness programs in the past. It is a requirement for safety profession to minimize the risks where prevention is not possible.

Course Description

For decades now, disaster management has been recognized as a field that combines decades of proven record in responding to crises by humanitarian actors as well as humanitarian action core principles which draw on theoretical perspectives and conceptual understanding from a variety of academic disciplines. The reach of this study has grown tremendously from the initial focus on natural hazards to now include a broad range of human-induced disasters, complex emergencies and crises. The crisis are either caused or exacerbated by emerging dynamics of economic globalization and competition for resources which normally leads to displacement, forced migration, conflict, and environmental refugees; adding considerable complexity to the realm of disaster management.

This integrated programme defines humanitarian response within the framework of an understanding of development, with vulnerability and disaster risk reduction as an integral part of development. This online course recognizes the vulnerabilities faced by the poor and marginalized and the disproportionate impact of disasters endured by them in the developing world. In this course, the study of disaster risk reduction, disaster response and post-disaster recovery will be grounded in the values of justice, equity and social inclusion. This course addresses all stages of disaster management in a comprehensive and holistic manner; including pre- disaster preparedness and mitigation, rescue and relief in the context of disaster and post disaster rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery.

Course Objectives

This Diploma Course in Disaster Management is designed to impart domain knowledge, capacities and skills to:


  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of key concepts in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response
  • Recognize issues, debates and challenges arising from an environment of disaster; the relationship between paradigm of development and disasters
  • Critically evaluate disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response policy and practice from multiple perspectives
  • Develop an understanding of standards of humanitarian response and practical relevance  in specific types of disasters and conflict situations
  • Critically understand the strengths and weaknesses of disaster management approaches, planning and programming in different countries, particularly their home country or the countries they work in
  • Respond to disaster risk reduction initiatives and disasters in an effective, humane and sustainable manner.


  1. Introduction to Disaster Management
  • Scope and types of disasters, objectives of disaster management, vulnerability.
  • Elements of disaster management: preparedness, assessment, recovery, rehabilitation and management.
  • Resource mobilization in disaster management.
  • Information collection and management.
  • Strategies and approaches for disaster management.
  • Logistics and implementation, remedial measures.
  • Community mobilization for disaster management.
  1. Logistics in Disasters
  • Understanding logistics in disasters, scope and types of logistics, mobilization of resources and key stake-holders:
  • International Aid agencies,
  • Non -Governmental Organizations (NGOs),
  • Volunteers,
  • Community Based Organizations (CBOs).
  • Notification, response strategy and mobilization.
  • Logistic planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Movement of personnel, resources, and equipment.
  • Back-up strategies and resources.
  • Challenges in disaster logistics.


  1. Food Aid
  • The concept of food Aid.
  • Food security and self-sufficiency.
  • Sources of food aid: domestic and international.
  • Strategic food reserves, food Storage, warehousing and packaging.
  • Food distribution, logistics role of relief Agencies: Government, NGO’s, CBO’s.
  • Financing of food aid, food aid policy: national, regional and international, the political economy of food aid. Social cultural issues in food aid.
  1. Disaster Preparedness and Prevention
  • Definition and objectives of disaster preparedness.
  • Basic principles of preparedness: getting informed, emergency planning and checklists, simulation and maintaining disaster preparedness plans.
  • Natural hazards-specific preparedness: floods, thunderstorm and lightning, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, volcano eruptions and landslides.
  • Preparedness and prevention strategies for technological emergencies: household, industrial and workplace hazards, hazardous material accidents and nuclear power plants. Preparedness measures for terrorism incidents: explosions, biological and chemical threats.
  • Preparedness and public awareness. Insurance and disaster preparedness.
  • Disaster preparedness in selected African states.
  • Challenges in disaster preparedness and prevention.


  1. Counseling and Coping in Disaster Situations
  • Counseling, guidance and coping.
  • Principles of counseling.
  • Types of Counseling.
  • Counseling procedures.
  • Role of a counselor.
  • Client expectations, identifying client problems, trauma and stress counseling.
  • Rehabilitation in counseling.
  • Group counseling.
  • Ethics in counseling.
  • Challenges in adjustment, coping, focused on counseling.

Who should enroll?

This is diploma suitable for persons working in or planning to enter the humanitarian sector, including staff of humanitarian aid organizations, governments, and UN agencies. There are no prerequisites for this course. All participants are expected to have theoretical knowledge of humanitarianism, although humanitarian aid experience is not presumed

Training Format:

  • All materials are made available through our Online Learning Platform
  • Students should commit approximately 5-6 hours of their time per week

Materials Provided:

Online delivery of curriculum materials, exercises and templates.


In order to demonstrate their understanding of the course content, students will be required to submit assignments at the end of every month.

Duration of course – 6 months



ORGANIZERS: Development Dimensions Africa

LANGUAGE: English only


Kindly confirm your participation with:

Online Training Coordinator

Development Dimensions Africa



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