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edX A Resilient Future: Science and Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne via edX

  • Overview
  1. edX
    École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
    2-4 hours a week
    7 weeks
    Paid Certificate Available
    This course aims to introduce participants to existing and emerging technologies suitable for disaster risk reduction while promoting the overall aim of sustainable development. The course focuses on three main natural hazards- floods, landslides and earthquakes. It also discusses the challenges and limits of adapting and adopting technologies depending on context (Global North and Global South) with examples from Switzerland, Nepal, Colombia, Philippines and other countries.

    Image: “Earthquake in Nepal” by Asian Development Bank (www.adb.org) is licensed under BY-NC-ND 2.0 (permission granted 18 January 2016)

    What you'll learn

    Participants will be able to:
    • Explain Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) related concepts and science and technology for DRR.
    • Identify and describe existing and emerging technologies for landslide and flood reduction.
    • Explain methodological tools to assess vulnerabilities and risk and strengthen the resilience of communities at risk of landslides, floods and earthquakes.
    • Exemplify the role and the challenges of science and technological innovations for disaster risk reduction in an interdisciplinary manner including the importance of social aspects.
    • Recognize some of the actors active in DRR and international policy frameworks and technology for DRR.
    Chapter 1: Introduction to Disaster Risk Reduction and Science and Technology for DRR
    Introduction to basic DRR concepts such as hazard, disaster, vulnerability, risk, capacity and resilience, and to define what is science and technology for DRR.

    Chapter 2: Science and Technology for Risk Assessment
    Presentation of tools and technologies that can help complete hazard, vulnerability, and risk assessments.

    Chapter 3: Science and Technology for Prevention
    Presentation of examples of technologies and structural measures that help to prevent and mitigate risks, the non-structural aspects of prevention, including actors and governance with a science and technology linkage, and case studies that show non-structural science, tools and technology application.

    Chapter 4: Science and Technology for Early-Warning and Preparedness
    Introduction to early-warning systems and examples of preparedness actions, and discussions on appropriate technologies for preparedness.

    Chapter 5: Science and Technology for Disaster Response and Emergency Relief
    Introduction to technologies that are used when a disaster strikes and in its immediate aftermath, and show how technologies such as robotics (e.g. UAVs) and ICT can help in disaster response.

    Chapter 6: Science and Technology for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction
    Introduction to technologies that can allow the assessment of the damages and presentation of technologies that could help to “build-back better.”

    Chapter 7: Science and Technology for Resilience and Sustainable Development
    Presentation on how science and technology can help the international, national and local levels to become more resilient against disasters and examples of how science and technology for DRR help to increase resilience. Introduction of risk as an engine for development and general constraints and opportunities on the use of technology for DRR, resilience and sustainable development.

    Taught by
    Silvia Hostettler and Additional Instructors

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