DRLS 6010 Psychosocial Leadership Analytics (Human & Social Factors) (3 credits)
Disasters are part of everyday life. Human behavior within a pre- or post-disaster context are deciding factors in determining an individual, family/household or community’s disaster resilience when faced by catastrophe. Evidence based knowledge gained with this course will result in an enhanced understanding of psychosocial and behavioral sciences within a disaster context. Through principles of disaster research and evidence based practice application, this course aims to provide students with the tools to understand and critically appraise human behavior within a disaster context. Students will consider and apply knowledge gained with this course through relevant skills and competencies that is intended to promote disaster resilience through an ecological systemic perspective. Students are expected to acquire both the academic knowledge and relevant applied skills through the educational activities presented with this course.
DRLS 6020 Operations Leadership, Management and Policy (3 credits)Disaster Operations represents one of the five academic pillars of the Disaster Resilience Leadership Sciences (DRLS) academic program. The course focuses on understanding evidence-based best practices and policies for disaster operations that strengthens disaster resilience in affected communities. It centers on the role leadership plays in guiding disaster operations and policy across all phases of the disaster life cycle (preparedness, response, recovery, and risk reduction). Learning objectives focus on developing student competencies in these areas: hazard analysis, disaster risk and vulnerability, disaster preparedness and risk reduction, disaster response and recovery, approaches and issues related to protection of beneficiaries and staff, crisis communication and informatics, and advocacy in crisis management settings.
DRLS 6030 The Economics of Disaster: Leadership & Analytics (3 credits)
In resilience contexts, at any phase of the disaster cycle, leaders are faced with an array of options at both macro and micro policy levels, where decisions may greatly impact the lives of others. Many important aspects of disaster, including planning, prevention and mitigation, and disaster recovery are economic in nature. Yet the most vulnerable are often marginalized or ignored by decision makers. The lack of a comprehensive understanding and estimation of disaster vulnerability by decision makers can result in negative effects on livelihoods. Real or perceived constraints within any policy context shape the process by which policies are formulated, decisions made, and resources allocated.
The purpose of this course is to equip students with foundational knowledge and basic economic tools to analyze disaster impacts. This course will strive to impart an understanding of a set of basic theoretical constructs and how these are applied to policy and empirical literature on the economic analysis of disasters. Theoretical topics like inter-temporal choice and valuation, risk, and uncertainty are fundamental to understanding very real and concrete issues that lie at the heart of disasters’ impact on societies around the world: How well do nations and their constituent citizens and business enterprises handle uncertainty and the risk of disaster? Should governments invest in mitigation or set resources aside for recovery? What role do private insurance markets play? How can one systematically evaluate investments in prevention and mitigation if the probability of a disaster strike is not well known?
The course attempts to demonstrate how economic impacts are inter-related to the social, environmental, and infrastructure dimensions of resilience and how a multi-lens approach is critical to understanding the economics of disasters.
DRLS 6040 Environment and Infrastructure (3 credits)
All disasters occur in an environmental context—a physical space shaped by natural and human forces. That context affects almost everything, from the triggering event (a hurricane, an oil spill) to a community’s distinctive vulnerabilities (flood-plain development, declining fisheries). Many of these factors can be traced to human decisions about land development, the use of natural resources, and environmental protection. What is more, today’s environmental context is backlit by climate change, which threatens to intensify many environmental disasters including storms, floods, wildfire, and drought.
Leadership in disaster resilience requires an understanding of how the natural environment and human infrastructure interact to shape the character of disaster risks and offer a platform upon which effective resilience strategies can be organized. This course provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand disaster risk in this context and to understand and evaluate the ways that those in the public and private sectors address that risk.
DRLS 6032 Quantitative Research and Analysis in Disaster Resilience (3 credits)
DRLS 6033 Quantitative Research and Analysis in Disaster Resilience (3 credits)Disaster resilience is a complex endeavor requiring many levels of information and understanding. In order to be effective and competent, practitioners must be able to organize and access various types of information, continually add to their knowledge through critical assessment of research in their fields of interest, analyze field data to better understand and evaluate their practice, and effectively communicate knowledge and ideas to others.
This course includes a three-credit lecture and one-credit lab (DRLS 6033). The three-credit classroom component introduces students to quantitative data principles, methods, and applications relevant to disaster resilience practice and research. It emphasizes the practical application of data to assess quality of evidence and contribute to knowledge through systematic inquiry, including comprehension of data collection and research methods relevant to disaster resilience data creation. Understanding the scope and application of data in disasters is stressed. Methods in statistics and epidemiology are foundational. The one-credit lab section builds on the lecture, introducing skills in computation for data processing and interpretation.
DRLS 6110 Humanitarian Assistance Research and Evaluation (3 credits)
Evaluations are a primary tool for humanitarian organizations to maintain accountability and identify critical lessons in response, planning, and recovery. This 3-credit course focuses on the applications of evaluation science, with emphasis on skills relevant to humanitarian action and emergency response.
The first part of the course focuses on evaluation history, theory, applications, and applied practice. This includes major methodological choices and common techniques in evaluation. The second part of the course asks students to apply evaluation skills to a range of real-world scenarios, where the justification of approach, considerations of stakeholders, and logistics of involvement are critical components. These sessions are intended to provide students with practical advice and insight to the evaluation process. This course requires frequent submission of individual written assignments, self and peer evaluation, and group work projects and presentations.
DRLS 6042 Integrating Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (3 credits)
The course is an advanced professional-level examination of the fields of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and ongoing efforts both domestically and internationally to integrate these two hazard mitigation efforts. Class presentations and discussions will examine the various issues relevant to the design and implementation of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction plans and actions including costs, benefits, legal issues, impact on development, environmental links and concerns, as well as governance issues. Students will analyze the assessment of climate-related risk and the design methods and technological tools used to develop and implement climate and hazard risk reduction plans and actions. The role and leadership of stakeholders from the public and private sectors will be closely examined. Case studies will be introduced to generate examination of and discussions on the ways climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction actions have been successfully implemented and how local, regional and national governments are working to integrate these two activities.
DRLS 6710 DRL Summer Institute: Special Topics I - Institutions and Politics of Humanitarian Advocacy (3 credits)
This course will introduce students to critical professional skills for humanitarian advocacy. We will explore the international and domestic politics of humanitarian decision-making; career paths in the field; practical tools for policy change, e.g. drafting policy memoranda and legislative proposals, creating coalitions, managing procurement etc.; and fundamental challenges such as civil-military and public-private cooperation, the intersection of diplomacy and humanitarianism, whole-community resilience, and "human security." The course will combine in-class seminars, field visits, guest lectures, and tabletop exercises. We will visit (or will interview senior representatives from) e.g. Congress, the Department of Homeland Security (including FEMA), the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and USAID; NGOs such as InterAction and the American Red Cross; and preeminent think tanks e.g. Brookings (Internal Displacement program) and CSIS (Humanitarian Crisis Response project). Students will be expected to draft a peer-reviewed advocacy paper that will reflect the professional requirements of change leadership in the humanitarian field: for instance in light of the current debate about the "post-Millennium Development Goals agenda."
DRLS 6720 DRL Summer Institute: Special Topics II - Case Studies in Disaster Operations (3 credits)
Why does the response to some disasters succeed while others fail? What recovery and relief practices result in rebuilding a more resilient community? How has social media changed disaster communications? What are the attributes of an effective disaster operations capability? This course will seek to answer these and other questions concerning domestic and international disaster operations through an examination of a series of case studies and informed discussions with disaster managers from government agencies, NGOs, voluntary organizations, donors, international financial institutions, and the business community. Taking full advantage of being in Washington, DC, guest speakers from FEMA/DHS, the World Bank, the Red Cross, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Save the Children, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD), USAID/OFDA, and others will be invited to provide their perspectives on such recent disasters as Syria, the Ebola outbreak, Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, recent cyclones in the Philippines, the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Boston Marathon Bombings and more. A day trip to New York City to meet with disaster officials at the United Nations will also be planned.
DRLS 6730 DRL Summer Institute: Special Topics III - Trauma & Resilience in Children (3 credits)
Children and adolescents are exposed to a growing number of hazards in today's globalized world, resulting in a level of trauma and loss that prevents millions of children from surviving and thriving. The effects that natural and hybrid disasters, extreme poverty, armed conflict, human trafficking, gender-based violence, and the use of child soldiers have on global youth signals the urgent need for child-centered disaster risk reduction and protections to ensure the rights of the world's children. The course offers a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exploration of trauma and resilience in children, examining child survival and development, protection and access to education, and child-sensitive humanitarian action that strengthens the capacity of communities to enable the resilience of disadvantaged youth.