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Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
SUN1.5: Education and training in DRR
Time: Sunday, 26/Aug/2012: 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Session Chair: Madeleine COLBERT, Global Risk Forum GRF Davos
Session Chair: Yasamin O. IZADKHAH, International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES)
Location: Flüela



Volunteers in disaster education centres: another important role of disaster education centres


Kansai University, Japan

It can be said that one of the biggest problems of current disaster education in Japan is the style of communication that is one way from experts to non-experts. In other words, disaster education has been simply defined as an activity that transfers knowledge of disasters and disaster management from experts to non-experts, i.e. general public. However, some recent studies show that even though Japanese public has enough level of knowledge of disasters and disaster management, most of them do not prepare for disasters. One of the main reasons why Japanese public do not prepare for disasters is that they think experts would help them in the end when a disaster happens. This is because the experts behave as experts at normal times in consequence of division of labour. However, disaster can be defined as the situation that experts cannot deal with hazards properly. In order to make general public understand this reality, chances of collaborative work with experts should be provided as one of the new ways of disaster education.

There are over 60 disaster education centres in Japan. These education centres provide a way of learning about disasters and disaster management for the visitors through mainly their displays and interactions with the attendants. These centres are usually managed by local fire authorities. And most of the attendees are hired by the authorities or local government etc. This means these centres are run by so-called experts; hence there must be some space for improving these centres from the above-described point of view.

In this presentation, it is proposed that becoming volunteers can be a way of disaster education from science communication perspective. In addition, in order to prove the feasibility of implementing volunteers in Japanese disaster education centres, a few practices from the UK are also introduced.

Maximise your returns in crisis management preparedness: a cyclic approach to training and exercises

Ralf Josef Johanna BEERENS1,2, Philip ABRAHAM3, Erie BRAAKHEKKE1,4

1Netherlands Institute for Safety (NIFV) – Research Department (The Netherlands); 2Lund University – Lund University Centre for Risk Assessment and Management (LUCRAM) (Sweden); 3Frontline Training Associates (United Kingdom); 4Police academy of the Netherlands (The Netherlands)

In order to provide an effective response to a crisis, preparedness is key. Considerable resources are applied to developing crisis management and response capabilities. In many cases this investment is not being used effectively, with potential gains in efficiency and effectiveness not being realized. This can be averted by instituting a well structured and cyclic training and exercise programme including evaluation and review. This will ensure that the training itself and individuals, teams and methodologies meet the required standards and provide an effective return to the organisation and communities. Training and exercise programmes are not independent activities, they form part of a larger, risk-based, process of disaster management preparedness. In order to have an impact on an individual’s skills, knowledge or behaviours or organizational learning, or the design of procedures and teams, the programmes need a cyclic and holistic approach as well as clearly identified outcomes that focus on identified gaps and emerging threats. This will support meaningful evaluation against clear indicators. Without having clear outcomes, standards or values, it is not possible to evaluate a programme’s effectiveness. These outcomes form measurable performance indicators around which a detailed programme can be designed. Following delivery, the evaluation observations are analysed to identify critical gaps in knowledge, behaviour or policy. This analysis allows clear, structured recommendations to be formulated that will provide guidance as to the content of the continuing training programme cycle, prioritising key needs and ensuring maximum efficiency and utilisation of resources, at all levels. By analysing and comparing various European exercises and their outcomes we can demonstrate the advantages of this approach. We end this paper with recommendations that would potentially increase the learning outcomes in any future training or exercise programme.

Training programs for risk reduction of typhoon disaster chains in southeast coastal region of China

Sheng CHANG1,2, Jing'ai WANG1,2, Yongdeng LEI1,2, Liang MA1, Qunfang LI1

1School of Geography and Remote Sensing Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China; 2Key Laboratory of Regional Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

In the context of global climate change and rapid socio-economic development of China, the southeast coastal region is becoming the most developed area in China, carrying 16.97% of the total population and 24.64% of China’s GDP with less than 5% of the total land territory. However, in the past decade, the southeast coastal region (including Guangdong, Hainan, Fujian, and Zhejiang provinces) suffered 20 times disaster chains per year including rainstorm, floods, and landslide/debris flow caused by the typhoon disasters, with 168.3 of annual average casualties and about $100Million of direct economic losses per year, which seriously threaten regional security. Based on characteristics of the typhoon-flood-landslide/debris flows chains and theory of regional disaster system, two series of training programs for disaster reduction are developed, one is public-oriented program for regional background training according to the features of regional hazard-formative environment, hazards, hazard-affected bodies, and disaster cases. The other is a series of stakeholder-oriented training programs. The content of the program includes: teacher training program based on disaster risk reduction experience popularization and emergency drilling, and cultivation of campus safety culture; training of community disasters correspondents for their daily disaster information management; governmental staffs training contains understanding and exercise of emergency plans, and multi-sectors coordination; volunteer training focuses on emergency rescue knowledge and normalized volunteer services. This training program can be more practical and efficiency by integrating the above two training series. This research could help to improve the national system of disaster reduction training and risk governance. Public risk awareness and response capacity for disaster chains may also be strengthened through this training program to facilitate regional disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

The risk of the wrong priorities in university education

Helga KROMP-KOLB1, Thomas LINDENTHAL1, Wolfgang KROMP2

1BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria, gW/N; 2BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria, ISR

The “State of the Planet Declaration” by the Planet under Pressure Conference 2012 sets off saying that the continued functioning of the Earth System is at risk. Without urgent action, we could face threats to water, food and other critical resources: these threats risk intensifying economic, ecological and social crises, creating the potential for a humanitarian emergency on a global scale. The defining challenge of our age is to safeguard Earth’s natural processes to ensure the survival of civilization while eradicating poverty, reducing conflict over resources, and supporting human and ecosystem health.

Climate scientists agree that deep cutting action needs to be taken this decade. Oceanographers and biologists put similar claims forward in view of ocean acidification and biodiversity loss. Whatever the actions, they must be taken now, at a time when politicians tend to focus on the economic, the monetary and the political systems. Yet it is clear that these highly interdependent and interacting issues must be addressed simultaneously.

In view of this situation: What kinds of “experts” are needed to assist society in the global challenges ahead? Are universities producing the type of experts society needs? Are scientists given the right incentives? Are the indicators of academic success still valid or must they be complemented by additional, fundamentally different indicators? What are the risks involved in producing the “wrong” experts? Could the right type of science have saved societies that collapsed in the past?

What does it take to equip coming generations of scientists for the multifaceted, highly interconnected issues? Can the necessary change come from within the system; can those who grew up in the thinking of the past make the transition to teaching new paradigms? What must other sectors contribute?

Answers to these questions will be attempted based on an analysis of the situation in Austria.

Dynamic potential in disaster exercises: identifcation – development – evaluation

Ralf Josef Johanna BEERENS1,2, Katharina Anna KALTENBRUNNER3

1Netherlands Institute for Safety (NIFV) – Research Department (The Netherlands); 2Lund University – Lund University Centre for Risk Assessment and Management (LUCRAM) (Sweden); 3Department of Social and Business Sciences, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS) (Austria)

Due to the increasing dissolution of boundaries, dynamic changes and the severity of natural disasters, international disaster-exercises gain ever increasing importance in cross-country disaster management. Only this way can a fundamental basis for a target-oriented use of tangible or intangible resources among the different stakeholders be achieved. Without doubt, a principal endeavor of any exercise (and thus disaster exercises) is the identification of learning processes and linked outcomes. In order to optimize disaster response operations it is particularly necessary to focus on dynamic capabilities. These can be defined as (learning) processes and (behavior) patterns by which existing resources, skills, procedures or routines can be matched or combined in different ways to perform their function and meet new challenges. An example of these capabilities, in the context of disaster exercises, are the differing mechanisms for guaranteeing the preparedness, response and coordination of European civil protection teams and modules. These situations create diverse options for action learning and opportunities for the systematic transfer of experiences. In this respect this paper aims to outline basic contents of identifying and managing dynamic capabilities in disaster exercises using a systemic and multidimensional approach inspired by design science. Firstly this includes the identification of key dynamic capabilities in disaster exercises as well as the description of the processes and conditions (e.g. the combination of implicit and explicit knowledge, improvisation) that are necessary for the formation and development of dynamic capabilities. Currently there are a lack of common, agreed and research validated, parameters that can be used for the evaluation of disaster response performance. This paper aims to introduce and discuss possible parameters and criteria that can be used for this evaluation. The paper concludes with considerations regarding further research activities in order to deepen our understanding of these first findings.

What kind of disaster education should be explored after the Great East Japan Earthquake?


Kansai University, Japan

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, disaster education especially school disaster education has become a large issue in Japan. This is because there are typical cases which proved the usefulness of disaster education in both positive and negative situations. For instance, one of famous positive situation is a story in the city of Kamaishi. In Kamaishi, there have been disaster education activities in schools for several years in collaboration with a university. When the earthquake happened, the well-educated students could evacuate properly since they had learnt about the risk of tsunami and how to evacuate. Although more than 1200 people died in the city of Kamaishi, as for school children almost all students were survived.

Based on the mentioned above lessons from the East Japan Earthquake, Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology establish a committee for discussing future disaster education. The committee had reviewed the current Japanese disaster education and they suggested including “Disaster Prevention” as one of teaching subjects in Japanese National Curriculum. However, looking back the history of Japanese disaster education shows this inclusion plan would not work well.

In this presentation, it will be explained the reason why inclusion of disaster prevention into the national curriculum would not work well as disaster education from historical and theoretical points of view. In addition to pointing out the reason, one of alternative ways of expanding disaster education in Japanese context will be proposed.

School-based disaster risk reduction approach in building resilience for Central Vietnam

Thi My Thi TONG, Rajib SHAW

Kyoto University, Japan

The severe damages of natural disasters on schools and children have considerable implications for several international and national agendas, frameworks and programs which mainly focus on disaster risk reduction (DRR) education. In this regard, this study focuses on promotion of DRR education in terms of safer schools, enhancement of resilience capacity, and reduction of losses from disasters. In order to do that, a methodology was developed aiming to measure the level of disaster resilience at school level, which was also applied for the elementary education system in Central Vietnam. The assessment tool in this study is developed through a combination of climate disaster resilience indexes and the 16 tasks of Hyogo Framework for Action designed for education. It looks at five dimensions namely physical, human resource, institutional, external relationship, and natural conditions with each dimension characterized by three parameters defining them more in details. In this paper, the method to develop a tool for measuring the level of disaster resilience at school level is discussed and the approach to applying it to the elementary education system of Central Vietnam is demonstrated. Data collected from this tool are used to map the position of schools individually and of the education system in the level of climate disaster resilience. By assessing the level of educational resilience, it provides school with an effective way to utilize their internal and external resource in responding to disaster, and policy-makers with a means to promoting DRR education at school level.

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