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Disaster Management

  • Module code: GG6130
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 6
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

The module builds on underpinning concepts, such as vulnerability and resilience, introduced in GG5140 Disaster Risk Reduction. It takes a critical approach to understanding disaster management and its implementation. The module examines the varying ways in which societies attempt to reduce the impacts of hazards through disaster management. It provides an exploration of how the historical, geographical, social, economic and political contexts shape the creation and implementation of disaster management in both developed and developing world contexts. It critically examines the application of disaster management in a number of contexts and for a range of hazards, through all phases of the disaster management cycle. The module develops a range of employability skills to prepare student for employment in environmental hazards and disaster management careers. These include interaction with stakeholders, negotiation and debate, and the clear articulation of ideas and actions to adapt and mitigate a range of disaster management scenarios. The module adopts an authentic assessment strategy that seeks solutions to specified disaster management challenges that mimic professional practices. This includes the production of a Policy Brief based on an independent disaster management investigation in a non-UK context where students are given the choice between conducting a field-based or a desk-based study.

 

 

Aims

  • To understand the history and development of current approaches to disaster management.
  • To investigate the principles behind the disaster management cycle and the varying needs of different phases of the cycle.
  • To introduce the key actors (participants) in DM across all scales and explore the difficulties of implementing disaster management principles in practice
  • To evaluate disaster management in a range of geographical settings and undertake an independent disaster management investigative study in a non-UK context.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Explain how the historical development of disaster management influences current practices.
  • Outline the phases of the disaster management cycle and explain the implications of intervening at different points.
  • Critically assess the implementation of disaster management in varying contexts (e.g. geo-political, environmental and social).
  • Design suitable disaster management strategies which are sensitive to the contextual factors and articulate these arguments to a (potentially) non-expert audience and develop a portfolio of employment-ready skills.

Curriculum content

  • To investigate the history and character of disaster management approaches and critically evaluate their relative strengths and weaknesses.
  • To examine and critique current approaches to disaster management in a range of geographical and environmental settings including developed and developing countries.
  • Examination of humanitarian disaster management responses.
  • Examination of emergency disaster management responses.
  • A thematic case study analysis and critique of disaster management interventions and their effectiveness
  • Design and manage an independent investigative study of a selected non-UK region disaster management policies and practice though either field or desk based study.

Teaching and learning strategy

This module is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars and investigative field or desk-based research (as chosen by the student). Lectures are designed to introduce the key topics that will be developed through group work exploring case studies and problem-based learning scenarios in the seminar classes. These sessions will be supported by formative assessment with discussion-based feedback as a developmental platform for the two summative assessments that closely mimic professional activities: a case study report and and a policy brief based on an independent study. Students will develop their team working skills through the execution of the formative assessment and develop their independent investigative skills through the preparation (with formative feedback) and execution of their summative assessments.

Employability skills are embedded within the teaching and learning strategy and will be highlighted throughout the module encouraging students to consider the transfer of these skills to the workplace. Specific employability skills will include interaction with stakeholders, negotiation (e.g. in a range of disaster management scenarios) and the communication of actions deemed appropriate to mitigate and adapt to specific disaster management challenges.

Canvas VLE will be used to support all aspects of learning and teaching, providing a platform for articulating the module syllabus, assessment and feedback, archiving module-related resources (e.g. specific reading materials) and a digital discussion platform.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures Seminars Fieldwork/independent research 10 20 64
Guided independent study 206
Study abroad / placement 0
Total (number of credits x 10) 300
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment consists of:

(A) Case Study Report (50%, 4000 words).

(B) Policy Brief based either on a student choice of field or desk-based research (50%, 4000 words).

Formative assessment will include:

(C) Problem-based learning scenarios.

(D) Policy brief preparation review.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) To explain how the historical development of disaster management influences current practices. (A) Case study report informed by the feedback from the formative problem-based learning scenarios (C).
2) To outline the phases of the disaster management cycle and explain the implications of intervening at different points. (A) Case study report informed by the feedback from the formative problem-based learning scenarios (C).
3) To critically assess the implementation of disaster management in varying contexts (e.g. geo-political, environmental and social). (A) Case study report and (B) Policy Brief informed by the feedback from the formative problem-based learning scenarios (C) and the formative Policy Brief preparation review (D).
4) To design suitable disaster management strategies which are sensitive to the contextual factors and articulate these arguments to a (potentially) non-expert audience and develop a portfolio of employment-ready skills. (B) Policy Brief informed by the feedback from formative Policy Brief preparation review (D).

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Report Coursework 50%
Policy brief Coursework 50%
Total 200%
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Coppola DP (2015) Introduction to International Disaster Management (3rd edition). Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

 

Bibliography recommended reading

Benessia A and De Marchi B (2017) When the earth shakes... and science with it. The management and communication of uncertainty in the L'Aquila earthquake. Futures (2016). Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2016.11.011.

Canton LG (2007) Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs. Wiley, Chichester.

Labbé J and Daudin P (2015) Applying the humanitarian principles: Reflecting on the experience of the International Committee of the Red Cross. International Review of the Red Cross97(897-898), pp.183-210.

López-Carresi J, Fordham M,‎ Wisner B, Kelman I and Gaillard JC (eds.) (2013) Disaster Management: International Lessons in Risk Reduction, Response and Recovery Abingdon: Routledge, London.

Scolobig A, Prior T, Schroter D, Jorin J and Patt A (2015) Towards people-centred approaches for effective disaster risk management: Balancing rhetoric with reality. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 12, pp.202-212.

 

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