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close this bookDisaster Mitigation - 2nd Edition (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - Disaster Management Training Programme - United Nations Development Programme , 1994, 64 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 - Introduction to mitigation concepts
Open this folder and view contentsPart 2 - Actions to reduce risk
Open this folder and view contentsPart 3 - Mitigation strategies
Open this folder and view contentsPart 4 - Implementing organizations
View the documentAnnex 1: Profile of selected United Nations agencies and their activities in disaster mitigation
View the documentAnnex 2: Acronyms
View the documentAnnex 3: Additional reading
View the documentGlossary
View the documentModule evaluation


Purpose and scope

This training module, Disaster Mitigation, 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. Therefore, there is a glossary of terms used in this module at the end of this text. Definitions found in the glossary are those of the UNDP/UNDRO Disaster Management Manual. Definitions in the text are those of the UNDRO expert meeting, 1979.

Overview of this module

Disaster mitigation is the term used to refer to all actions to reduce the impact of a disaster that can be taken prior to its occurrence, including preparedness and long-term risk reduction measures.

It includes both the planning and implementation of measures to reduce the risks associated with known natural and human-made hazards, and the process of planning for effective response to disasters which do occur.

The purpose of this training module is to introduce the trainee to basic mitigation concepts and to discuss the range of mitigation actions which can be considered as a response to the variety of natural and human-made hazards which may be encountered.

The first section discusses the concept of mitigation and briefly surveys the range of hazards which may need to be considered, describing their nature, consequences and some of the mitigation actions specific to each.

The second section decribes the types of mitigation actions which might be appropriate, including engineering and construction, physical planning, economic, institutional and social measures, discussing the usefulness and potential limitations of each type.

The third section considers how the various types of measures available may be combined to form a comprehensive disaster mitigation strategy, how alternative possible strategy options may be assessed, and discusses opportunities and obstacles to implementation of disaster mitigation plans.

The final section looks at the role of the UN, and in particular DHA and UNDP in promoting the incorporation of disaster mitigation into a country's own development planning and institution-building processes, and examines the possible contribution of other UN agencies to this activity.

The module should be read in conjunction with the accompanying modules on Disasters and Development and on Vulnerability and Risk Assessment, with which part of its scope overlaps, and which treat certain aspects of disaster mitigation in greater detail.

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.