Participants of the Disaster Management Expert Session pause for a group photo during the event.
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) participated in a Disaster Management Expert Session hosted by Stenden University Thailand and its sister campus Stenden South Africa.
The expert session aimed to gain further knowledge and assistance from disaster management experts to strengthen the university’s current disaster management curriculum in South Africa and help establish a similar four-year degree program in Stenden’s branches in Thailand, the Netherlands and Indonesia.
ADPC’s participation in the expert session is part of the center’s ongoing support for academic institutions in the region to assist in fostering the next generation of experts in disaster management.
Ms. Yvonette Serrano Duque, M.D., Senior Public Health Specialist, Public Health in Emergencies, represented ADPC during the meeting. She expressed a need to better understand how to integrate different sectors, such as health, tourism and business, into disaster management efforts for more effective interventions.
Since Asia frequently experiences natural hazards, interest in disaster management among students should increase and with it a demand for formal education in the subject.
"With the bulk of disasters and emergencies happening in Asia, market demand for a disaster degree program is expected to be significant. ADPC can be part of supporting this endeavor," said Ms. Serrano Duque.
Participants of the event included representatives from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office (DDPM) Thailand, and members of Stenden’s branches in the Netherlands and South Africa.
The expert session concluded with a consolidation of suggestions from the participants. These included an endorsement for a standard disaster management curriculum at all Stenden locations co-created by representatives from each campus. Unique modules to address local challenges/expertise based on the campus where the course is taking place will also be used. For example, the campus in Indonesia can have a special focus on disaster management for the tourism sector.
ADPC hopes to continue supporting Stenden University and other academic institutions with their needs related to disaster risk reduction capacity building in the future.