Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs


    Disasters are part and parcel of human civilization since time immemorial. While the early generations could select and settle on the safer yet equally beneficial locations to satisfy their needs, people in present day cities and villages have very limited or almost no choice in many cases, often placing them in harms way. As such, ‘natural events/hazards’ now have the potential to become a ‘disaster’ due to choices humans make.

    Disaster Management is comparatively a young and evolving discipline. The UN’s International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) was probably the first attempt during 1990s to call for more attention to be paid to disasters as they are recognized as potential dangers that can undermine several decades’ development gains.

    While various disaster risk reduction related initiatives helped to raise awareness at both international and national levels, there remains a long and hard way to reduce disaster risks specifically at local and sub-regional levels. In rapidly urbanizing and globalizing world, disaster studies requires to understand cross-cutting issues from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

    This intensive short course is an elective to the Master of Science in Sustainability, Peace and Development run by the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace and can be taken by non-degree students (i.e., students not enrolled in the master’s degree programme). Taught in English, it brings together teaching faculty from a network of universities in the Asia Pacific region via video-conference and is supported with a learning management system hosted by our partner, the University of Hawaii.

    More information about course details.

  • The course is supported by UNU Learn – a learning management system (Moodle).  All enrolled students from the partner universities have access to this platform. Course materials are uploaded to UNU Learn before each class. Video conferencing is used to connect the classrooms. The classes are recorded and uploaded to the UNU YouTube Channel. Students can review the class recordings and course materials online. There are also online forums where class discussions can be continued and further developed.

  • United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP)

    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome

    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan