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NSF Award given to BDU DRSSD Project

by Portal Web Editor last modified Feb 05, 2013 02:59 AM
Contributors: Bahir Dar University
The workshop addresses the urgent need for human and institutional resource capacity building at the university level in Africa to more effectively manage recurrent and escalating exposure to anthropogenic and naturally triggered disaster and conflict events on the continent.


The Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA) at the University of Arizona (UA) propose to conduct a five-day workshop entitled Risk Science Scholarship and Sustainable Development: Building Educator-Practitioner Networks in Africa. The working session will be hosted by BDU (Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia), a collaborating partner with BARA/UA in the implementation of a new MSc post-graduate program in Disaster Risk Science and Sustainable Development (DRSSD).

The underinvestment in capacity development related to risk management in Sub-Saharan Africa was recently profiled by the Commission of the African Union, UNISDR and the World Bank. It stressed the lack of technically-oriented human resources? in Africa, with specific emphasis on the need for cross sectoral training and strengthening of capabilities in relation to hydrometeorological threats. It also drew attention to ?low knowledge, skills competencies, staff and information at all levels? as limiting factors in national and sub-national management of disaster and associated risks. Despite years of experience in disaster response, Ethiopia has yet to establish adequate systems to respond to and prepare for the series of natural and human-made disasters that continue to beset the country. Development professionals have not yet mastered strategies that focus on risk reduction and management within the development context. Thus the workshop will convene leading educators and practitioners who will revise and design a more socially responsive curriculum that links theory to development praxis for application among government institutions and training colleges within Ethiopia and across Africa.

Higher Education for Development (HED), in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID/Ethiopia), is funding the university partnership in Ethiopia to create a regional center of excellence on disaster risk management and sustainable development in collaboration with Bahir Dar University (BDU).

Other collaborating partners include: Ferguson-Lynch, a U.S. informatics firm that provides technical management for knowledge systems; TANGO, Intl., a U.S. private firm with extensive experience in Ethiopia in food security, development aid, and disaster management; Save the Children/Canada, which has an institutional relationship to Bahir Dar; and DPPA, the Ethiopian government agency responsible for disaster prevention and mitigation.  The proposed strategy for this project is to combine theoretical and methodological training with practical application within the reality of Ethiopia and in cooperation with NGO and government stakeholders.


Visit the Bahir Dar University DRSSD Online Graduate Program Here

Read More about the NSF Conference Award

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