Online DRM Program

The accredited TorqAid online Participatory Disaster Risk Management (PDRM) program has been running since mid 2016, but this will now close at the end of June 2020. The program name was changed from ‘Disaster Risk Management (DRM)’ in 2019.  There are five modules on offer, namely Key Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Issues; Recent Global Disasters; Risk Management; Participatory Project Management (PPM); and Complex Humanitarian Emergencies (CHEs).  Follow the link below to this program brochure

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When accompanied by follow-up assignments, the online PDRM is granted Recongition of Prior Learning at Masters levels with specific courses offered by a couple of Australian universities.  The link below includes details of these two university series of courses, together with the assignments on offer.

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If you are interested in registering for this online PDRM, please complete the ‘Intention to Register’ Form below. We are aiming to commence our next cohort of students in early 2020.

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Bushfires

The Australian 2019/2020 bushfire season has been unprecedented in its intensity and geographical spread. Following the fires, Chris has (since early March) been working as a Bushfire Recovery Adviser (BRA) for a major church body operating across Victoria, this involving him visiting and supporting affected communities in the east of Victoria.  Follow the link below for Chris’ role as a BRA.

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In January 2020 Chris prepared an article on the bushfires for the March 2020 edition of the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria’s (GTAV) quarterly ‘Interaction’ magazine.  This includes some suggested Classroom Activities for Secondary level students.  This gives a good overview of the Emergency Response Stage of the bushfires; some comments on the recovery challenges throughout 2020, this complicated by COVID-19; and some thoughts on future Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) initiatives, these including some related to climate change.

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Based on his BRA work, Chris has prepared an article on training for bushfire-related field staff and volunteers, these people involved in recovery work within a COVID-19 context.

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This article is included in Module 1 of the Participatory Disaster Risk Management (PDRM) prpgram which runs from the 27th July through to the 8th November 2020.  Follow the links both to this PDRM.

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Finally, enclosed below are links to both a somewhat more comprehensive bushfire-related Bibliography, and separate Agency Directory.

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DRM-Framework

Over the past 20 years or so, TorqAid has worked with its students to develop a diagrammatic framework of key diagrams, which together describe key aspects of all disasters. This is called a ‘Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Diagrammatic Framework’. This article (July/August 2020 version), which is updated monthly, can be found here.

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There is some key information here for the Global Humanitarian Practitioner. This includes:

  • Four key TorqAid diagrams, namely the Disaster Risk Management Cycle (DRMC); the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) diagram; the DRM Planning diagram; and the Project Management Cycle (PMC).
  • Two versions of both the DRMC and DRR, one relating to sudden onset hazards/potential disasters (eg earthquakes, cyclones, bushes), and the other to slow-onset varieties (such as drought or climate change).  Jpeg versions of the 2020 editions of all these diagrams can be found on www.torqaid.com/resources
  • A short paragraph on postulated ‘Theory of Change’ for each of these four diagrams (see pages 4, 7, 12 and 21)
  • A new section on COVID-19 (see pages 11/12), and the adverese effects this has over time on the six key components of the DRR diagram
  • A compact, but compehensive, section on Risk (see pages 14-20), including comments on Risk, Hazards, Vulnerability, Capacity, Resilience, the ISO 31000 risk management framework, Risk Matrix, and Risk Management Table
  • A couple of pages (pages 224/25) on suggested Humanitarian Evaluation Criteria (HEC)

The illustrations in this article are covered in the online Participatory Disaster Risk Management (PDRM) program, which is running from late July through to early November 2020.  Follow the link below for this program.

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SCHC Forum

The Melbourne-based Syrian Community (SC)/Humanitarian Community (HC) Forum has been running since Sept 2013.  It involves representatives from the Syrian community/diaspora in Melbourne; Australian humanitarian agencies (eg Save the Children; RedR Australia) working in the Middle East; the main service providers (eg AMES Australia, Diversitat) giving support to arriving refugees; specialist agencies (eg Foundation House; Diaspora Action Australia) or individuals (eg clinical psychologists); as well as other interested/involved individuals and organisations.  The purpose of the SC/HC Forum is to provide a safe environment and location whereby individuals can both share information about the work they are doing, and also network with other stakeholders.  In particular we tend to cover to following:

  • Input from the Syrian community/diaspora on both how they are coping with the humanitarian situation in Syria, as well as hosting arriving refugees
  • Humanitarian NGOs on their operational work in the field; contact with arriving refugees; and potential for closer cooperation with the Syrian community/diaspora
  • The main service providers, and their stories of stories, success and challenges in working with arriving refugees
  • Psycho-social specialist agencies (such as Foundation House) and individuals on the psycho-social stresses faced by a variety of stakeholders, these including the refugees themselves; care-givers and humanitarian practitioners; and the Syrian community/diaspora itself
  • Other agencies (such as churches) and individuals involved in supporting arriving refugees

Meetings tend to be held on Wednesdays.  The next one will from 10 am to midday on Wednesday 12th July 2017. The location for this is the Board Room of the 3 ZZZ community radio station at 309 Albert St, Brunswick, 3056.  Tel 03 94151923.  www.3zzz.com.au . Agenda for this can be accessed here (ideally released by 8/6).

As background information to these meetings, please read the article entitled ‘Understanding Syria’, which is regularly updated by TorqAid.

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Please note in this the latest map of Syria and Northern Iraq, showing the territory controlled by the various protagonists.  Also included is a modified Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) diagram for Syria, showing a time-line of key events which have occurred between 2011 and 2017.  Finally it should be noted that Syria, as an example of a Complex Humanitarian Emergency (CHE), is taught by Chris on both the TorqAid online accredited Disaster Risk Management (DRM) program, and also on the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Emergency Management program unit (EMG 309 = Humanitarian Relief) for which he is Unit Chair.  Press here for links to the map; the DRR diagram; the online DRM program; and a summary of the DRM CHE module.

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Syrian-DRR

Those of you familiar with TorqAid’s consultancy and training, will be aware that we use a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) diagrammatic framework to clarify and explain our understanding of disaster initiatives across the Disaster Risk Management Cycle (DRMC).  Follow the link below to this diagrammatic framework article.  We have included in this article a variation of the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) diagram, which illustrates how this DRR process in Syria has been adversely affected by the conflict which has engulfed much of the country over the 2011-2017 period.

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This DRR diagram includes a timeline of decisive decisive events which have shaped the conflict in Syria, these explained in an article published by the BBC in March 2017 – see www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39233357 .  Enclosed below is the link to the jpeg version of this Syrian DRR diagram.

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PPM-generic

Since 2002, over 65 accredited Participatory Project Management (PPM) workshops have been facilitated across Australia and overseas. Australian PPM workshop locations have included Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Nhullunbuy, Darwin, Alice Springs, Perth and Adelaide. Overseas location have included Fiji, PNG, Indonesia, India, Afghanistan and Albania. In the link below is the 2020 PPM workshop program.

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When accompanied by assignments, this workshop is accredited with a couple of Australian universities.  Follow the link below to the assignment and university details.

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PPM Training

Since 2002, TorqAid has facilitated over 65 Participatory Project Management (PPM) workshops both across Australia and overseas.  Australian locations have included some specialist work with indigenous communities.  PPM is now taught in two formats, namely as contracted PPM accredited workshops by individual clients; and as the Module 4 (PPM) of the online accredited Disaster Risk Management (DRM) program.  Follow the links below to the generic PPM workshop; the online DRM program; and an overview of the DRM module 4 (PPM).

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PPM training covers the following topics, although these can be customised to meet client’s specific requirements:

  • Understanding the background context
  • Relationship building and guiding principles
  • Spatial dimensions
  • Overall framework – Project Management Cycle (PMC)
  • Stakeholders; vulnerability issues; power structures; and stakeholder coordination
  • Brainstorming and ranking community strengths and challenges
  • Key participatory tools and techniques
  • Logical framework approaches
  • Identifying baseline data and objectives.  Time-lines.  Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework
  • Financial and risk management
  • Capacity building and administration issues
  • Developing a Project Design Document (PDD), and proposal writing
  • Implementation and post-implementation strategies (including sustainability)
  • Example of a successful community level project

As background material to this, we are including a few complementary articles:

  1. So what is participatory project management
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2. The TorqAid Toolkit

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3. Two participatory tools, namely the Ten Seed Technique (TST) and the seasonal calendar

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4.  Teach like a Champion (capacity building)

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5.  The Project Design Document (PDD) template/format

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TorqAid Consultancy

This blog highlights the various humanitarian-related consultancy services offered by TorqAid.  These are primarily offered by the CEO, Chris Piper, but he can draw on extra expertise from other members of the company, as well as the TorqAid Advisory Team  (TAT).  The link below is to a one page bio for Chris, and this can be supplemented by a longer CV as required/requested.

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DRM Diagrammatic Framework.  Over the past 15 years, TorqAid has developed four key diagrams which illustrate the key aspects of a disaster or humanitarian situation.  These are the Disaster Risk Management Cycle (DRMC); the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) diagram; the DRM Planning diagram; and the Project Management Cycle (PMC).  These four are incorporated with three other illustrations (the risk matrix; the ISO 31000 risk management process; and the Core Humanitarian Standard {CHS) diagram) in the article linked below:

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DRM memberships.  Chris is a member of the Australian Civilian Corps (ACC), as a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) specialist, and from 2014-16 was a member of the Post Disaster Recovery Team (PDRT).  He is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Emergency Services (MAIES), as well as a member of the International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP).

Chris has worked across Australia, and throughout the Asian-Pacific, Eastern/Southern African, and European regions in the roles outlined below.  The scenarios involved have been a combination of natural disaster and conflict-related situations.

Strategic planning such as :

  • Working as the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Adviser for the Kingdom of Tonga’s National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO). This work focused on developing Government-led coordination Clusters, as well as responding to an off-shore volcanic eruption
  • Working as DRM Adviser for the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) in Vanuatu.  Principal roles here involved developing a strategy for dealing with future tropical cyclones (TCs) and droughts
  • Working as an humanitarian consultant on an Australian government mission to Cambodia, planning out resettlement and reintegration of refugees/returnees from Thailand
  • Enclosed below are links to the Cluster framework carried out in Tonga:

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Emergency Response such as:

  • Working as Crisis Centre Adviser in Tirana, for Albanian churches, at the height of the refugee exodus from Kosovo
  • Planning and management of emergency airlifts to Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Jordan from the UK and Australia

Recovery Initiatives such as:

  • Working with an Australian NGO to develop a Cyclone Nargis recovery strategy for national partners in Myanmar
  • Working with a British NGO helping develop a recovery program for partners in both Aceh and Sri Lanka following the Indian Ocean tsunami
  • As an ACFID/AusAID-contracted consultant, working with the Government of PNG to develop a a comprehensive recovery strategy following the Aitape tsunami
  • Management of inter-church community level recovery initiatives in Victoria following the 2009 bushfires and 2011 floods

Training/Capacity Building such as:

  • Facilitation of over 110 accredited DRM and Participatory Project Management (PPM) workshops both across Australia and overseas
  • Development of an online accredited DRM program for humanitarian and development practitioners
  • Highlighted below are the links both to the online DRM, as well as to the overall training options offered by TorqAid

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Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) such as:

  • Development of a CBDRM-focused program in Laos for an Australian NGO
  • Development of a CBDRM field manual.  Enclosed below is a link to this CBDRM manual

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Humanitarian Evaluation such as:

  • Team leader for a British NGO’s evaluation of its humanitarian work in Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro
  • Evaluation for an international NGO’s conflict-related humanitarian response in Afghanistan
  • Team leader for an Australian NGO’s CBDRM evaluation work in PNG, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu

 Working with Diaspora Communities such as:

  • Co-Founder and Co-Convenor of the Melbourne based Syrian Community (SC)/Humanitarian Community (HC) Forum

Preparation of  Submissions, reports etc such as:

  • Preparation of multiple proposal, reports, evaluations and other documents such as the Project Design Document (PDD)
  • An example of a DRM/CBDRM PDD for an NGO working in Myanmar is enclosed in the link below:
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Networking & Publications, such as:

  • Co-founder of the Melbourne Development Circle
  • Founder and Editor of the Australian Aid Resource and Training Guide (AARTG) over a 15 year period
  • Development of the TorqAid Toolkit, the link to which is given below.

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Mentoring such as:

  • Personal support for humanitarian/development practitioners working in both Afghanistan and Niger

 

 

 

 

Pips war

Chris & Phil Piper are researching and writing about their father’s (Flt Lt ‘Pip’ Piper) wartime experience flying Spitfire Mk VIII’s with 273 Squadron in India and Burma over the period July 1944-August 1945.  They are basing their research on a number of sources including Pip’s logbook; some memoires written by him in the 1980’s; the Operational Record Books (ORBs) of the squadron from May 1944-August 1945; and, perhaps most unusual of all, an 89 page ‘Squadron Secret Diary (SSD)’ which was covertly written up by squadron members.

273 was an RAF squadron, but included many nationalities – as well as British pilots, there were also those from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, and also (right at the end of the war) Burma.  The squadron operated out of a number of airstrips across British India (Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar), and well as Burma itself (Maunghnama, Ramree Island, and then Mingaladon, just outside of Rangoon).  The squadron’s main role was supporting elements of the British XIV Army as it battled down the coastal Arakan region.  The title of the book is ‘Pip’s War & the Forgotten Exploits of a Burma Spitfire Squadron’.

The squadron was disbanded in 1946, but in order to preserve its memory, a 50 year campaign commenced, waged primarily by Jane Pelling, one of the pilot’s sister, to have the squadron shield or crest officially recognised.  Squadron members had submitted their own design to the Air Ministry at the end of the 1944, this being based around a black widow spider, superimposed on a Burmese fylfot.  The latter looks remarkably like a swastika, and the suggested design, perhaps understandably, was rejected by the powers to be.  In 1996, this decision was eventually reversed after it had been debated in the House of Lords. The shield now proudly is embedded next to No. 1 squadron’s crest in the floor at St Clement Danes Church in the Strand.  The black widow remains, but the fylfot was removed….

Enclosed below are the links to a number of key documents:

An overview of 273 squadron’s wartime campaign.

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A summary of Pip’s logbook over the period May 1944-August 1945

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A summary of the key pilots names and other squadron characters mentioned in the ORBs & SSD

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A summary of squadron characters; other RAF and Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) squadrons, as well as Allied and Japanese aircraft, mentioned

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The squadron crest (including the fylfot !)

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Finally we’re including a Review of a 2016 publication entitled ‘Air Battle for Burma:  Allied Pilot’s Fight for Supremacy’ by the Australian author, Bryn Evans. This review, written by Chris in early 2017, was commissioned by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in Victoria, Australia. Please contact the author at bryn.evans@ozemail.com if you’d like a signed first edition copy of this book.

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TorqAid Training

Chris Piper, the TorqAid CEO, is an experienced Global Humanitarian & Development Practitioner, teacher/trainer/facilitator, and researcher.  With regards teaching/training/facilitation in the global humanitarian/development sector, four separate, but complementary, levels of training are offered:

  • Accredited 3-4 day Participatory Disaster Risk Management (PDRM) and Participatory Project Management (PPM) workshops
  • A new two day Train like a Champion (TLC) workshop, as well as a three day Humanitarian Train like a Champion (HTLC) workshop
  • A series of seven, mainly PDRM related, Short Courses (SCs)
  • An online PDRM program

Over the past 16 years, Chris has faciliated over 110 PDRM and Participatory Project Management (PPM) workshops across Australia and overseas.   These workshops can be customised and delivered to individual clients. The links to the generic PDRM and PPM workshops are given below.

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A new ‘Train Like a Champion’ (TLC) program has been introduced towards the end of 2019.  This includes a ‘one-pager’ on TLC teaching techniques and tips; a two day TLC program; and a three day ‘Humanitarian Teach Like a Champion’ (HTLC) program.  Follow the links below to these three separate TLC components .

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There are a series of seven Short Courses (SCs), and the link to these is www.torqaid.com/short-courses

The online PDRM is currently under review, with a new program to be introduced in early 2020.  The link to this online program is given below.

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