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close this bookDrought and Famine - 1st edition (DHA/UNDRO - UNDP, 1992, 52 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsPART 1: Drought
Open this folder and view contentsPART 2: Famine
Open this folder and view contentsPART 3: Institutional issues
View the documentReferences


Purpose and scope

This training module, Drought and Famine, is designed to introduce this aspect of disaster management to an audience of UN organization professionals who form disaster management teams, as well as to government counterpart agencies, NGO's and donors. This training is designed to increase the audience's awareness of the nature and management of disasters, leading to better performance in disaster preparedness and response.

The content has been written by experts in the field of disaster management and in general follows the UNDP/UNDRO Disaster Management Manual and its principles, procedures, and terminology. However, terminology in this field is not standardized and authors from different institutions may use the same terms in slightly different ways.

Overview of this module

This module addresses a type of disaster that devastates human settlements around the world - famine. As the module indicates, famines have multiple causes. Nevertheless, drought is frequently an important contributing factor. Therefore, the following discussion considers the various types of drought, factors causing drought and drought impacts. Next, the module describes famine. As with drought, the discussion commences with definitions and then moves through causes and impacts. Factors influencing the severity of the famine such as individual and family coping strategies, early warning systems, and measures to mitigate the effects of drought and developing famines are also covered. Finally, the role and interaction of different actors in providing relief and rehabilitation, including UN agencies, governments, NGOs and donors, are analyzed.

Training methods

This module is intended for two audiences, the self-study learner and the participant in a training workshop. The following training methods are planned for use in workshops and are simulated in the accompanying "training guide". For the self-study learner the text is as close to a tutor as can be managed in print.

Workshop training methods include:

· group discussions
· simulations/role plays
· supplementary handouts
· videos
· review sessions
· self-assessment exercises


The self-study learner is invited to use this text as a workbook. In addition to note-taking in the margins, you will be given the opportunity to stop and examine your learning along the way through questions included in the text. Write down your answers to these questions before proceeding to ensure that you have captured key points in the text.