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close this bookDisaster Assessment (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - United Nations Development Programme , 1994, 54 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentUnited Nations reorganization and the Disaster Management Training Programme
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsPART 1 - An overview of disaster assessment
Open this folder and view contentsPART 2 - Practical insights on conducting assessments
Open this folder and view contentsPART 3 - The role of the UN in relation to assessments
Open this folder and view contentsPART 4 - Preparedness planning for emergency assessment
View the documentSummary
View the documentAnnex 1: Acronyms
View the documentAnnex 2: Additional reading
View the documentModule evaluation - Disaster Management Training Programme


Purpose and scope

This training module, Disaster Assessment, 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, NGOs 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

Disaster assessment is the gathering and analysis of information pertinent to disasters and disaster response. The scope of the information required covers factual details of the hazard event causing the disaster, the needs of those affected, and the available resources for responding to those needs.

The assessment process extends from preparedness activities and the pre-disaster warning phase through the emergency phase and even into the rehabilitation and recovery of the community. As the needs of the community change through these phases, the objectives of the ongoing assessment change as well.

Part One of this module clarifies the assessment process and charts the changing objectives of assessment through the various phases of a disaster and relates these assessment activities to the decision making process.

Part Two provides practical guidelines for the collection of accurate and usable data during the various phases of a disaster and gives specific insights to the differing assessment needs required by different disaster types.

Part Three of the module addresses the role of the UN in disaster assessment.

Part Four discusses the preparedness planning measures which must be in place prior to a disaster to facilitate rapid and accurate assessment when required.

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.