|Training and Education News
Report on the First Regional Training Course on Urban Flood Mitigation (UFM-1)
The first regional training course on Urban Flood Mitigation by ADPC was successfully conducted from 18-29 September 2000 at the Center of Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, with 31 participants from 11 countries namely Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, including 2 staff from ADPC who will be in-house resource persons for future courses.
The preparation of the course including the curriculum development was a process of negotiation for more than one year with leading roles played by two curriculum developers, Mr. David Oakley and Dr. H.R. Khan. With their cumulative flood management experience of 70 years in housing practice, urban planning and water resource development, they developed modules on the nature and causes of flood, flood risk and damage assessment, flood hazard mitigation, urban infrastructure, flood mitigation policies, and institutional frameworks for flood management. In addition to Mr. Oakley and Dr. Khan as key resource persons, four well-known flood experts were invited the present module specific sessions such as regional experiences from the ESCAP perspective, coastal flood management, and GIS applications.
Not only were the participants characterized by geographic distribution, but they were also distinguished by their roles in different institutions in connection with disaster management. They were from government and non-government organizations, such as City Hall Kuala Lumpur, Disaster Mitigation Institute India, National Disaster Management Office Laos, Urban Development Authority Sri Lanka, CARE-Bangladesh and UNDP Program Vietnam. Professions varied from city administrators, city planners, river and dyke designers, field workers, community development officers, engineers, disaster program managers and trainers. The distribution of participants, in terms of both geographic and work experience background, reflected the various stakeholders that are involved in urban flood mitigation at the regional level. The purposeful multi-disciplinary approach to participant selection, though challenging from a training perspective, was considered comprehensive for a pilot regional course in terms of getting a panoramic feedback on course content.
During the course, various teaching methodologies were applied. Interactive lectures, overheads, computer demonstrations, case studies, syndicate exercises and field visits were implemented thereby helping the participants to fuse new professional theoretical knowledge with applied practice skills. Selection of host teams from the participant group also helped to make the training atmosphere both participatory and enjoyable. The course was further utilized as a forum for exchanging country-specific information and experiences among the participants. The participants had been requested to write country reports as a pre-course assignment based on guidelines before arrival so that presentations that were chosen would integrate useful information for effective exchange during group work discussions and questions and answers forums.
To obtain the participants' feedback and suggestions in a timely fashion, module assessment was implemented at the end of each module. Feedback was requested on module content, methodology, course readings and suggested changes for all of the above. Overall course evaluations (on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest) reflected that the majority of scores rated between 7 and 9, indicating that most participants found the content and methodologies to be relevant to their needs and work application. Nevertheless, feedback also suggests that the course contains too much information in some modules and not enough in others with regards to highly urbanized settings and different kinds of floods. These observations are being taken into account in the curriculum revision process. Internally, the course also actively reflected integration of the Asian Urban Disaster Mitigation Program (AUDMP) and Training and Education (TED) staff in the design and delivery of a regional course.
In terms of promoting flood management awareness in the region, the course was marketed on the websites of ADPC, Humanitarian Times, Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), as well as on ADPC Newsletter and the Disaster Research Newsletter. It was also marketed at other ADPC courses, during staff field visits and with our partners in Asian countries. Furthermore, the Vietnam Ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Do Ngoc Son, and the Bangladesh Ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Suhrab Hossain, were both invited to preside over the opening ceremony and the closing ceremony respectively. Since both speeches reflected ADPC's goal of regional cooperation, the Vietnam Ambassador's speech is also cited on the ADPC website as example.
Given that this course was a pilot regional course, the following steps have been taken to ensure the continuity of the fine-tuning process for future delivery.
- Internal post-course follow-up analysis of lessons learnt and curriculum content and methodologies to be revised is on-going. A team of ADPC staff is working with a curriculum developer consultant to revise the course based on participants and resource persons' feedback. Estimated completion is projected for the end of this year.
- Creation of an electronic listserve for all participants to contribute to a regional post-course dialogue on application of knowledge and skills learnt in UFM in their day to day work.
- Projected timeline for a second regional course on UFM is estimated in May/June 2001 to be followed by the curriculum adaptation process for transition into a national course with country specific needs and content.
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