Online PDRM program

The online Participatory Disaster Risk Management (PDRM) program has been modified for 2020, taking into account the 2019/2020 Australian bushfires, the current 2020 global Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, and Climate Change.  This PDRM commences on the 27th July, and will run until the 8th November 2020.  The brochure to this is given below.

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The program consists of five modules, as outlined below.  Participants can take any number of these. If participants take all five modules, and the required follow-up assignments, they are then able, if they are otherwise eligible, to seek Advanced Standing from a number of Master level courses offered by a couple of Australian universities (see Assignment details in the section after the modules). The five modules on offer, and their dates are:

Module 1:      Key Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Issues & Diagrams   –  27th July to 16th August

Module 2:      Participatory Tools, Project Management, and Teaching Tips    –   17th August to 6th September

Module 3:      Risk Management   –  7th to 27th September

Module 4:      Complex Emergencies, Conflict-related Situations, and Pandemics   –  28th September to 18th October

Module 5:      Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) & Climate Change  – 19th October to 8th November

The link to the assignment questions is given below.  As already indicated, eligible participants must complete all five modules. They then must answer three assignment questions, basing their answers on three of the modules in question.  The information below outlines the assignment details, as well as the contact details of the two universities in question,

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The PDRM Registration Form can be downloaded below.  This is in Word format and should be completed and returned to Chris Piper at pipercm@iprimus.com.au.  It includes details of the costs of the modules, assignments (if these are being taken), and possible discounts.

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Train Like a Champion

TorqAid has developed a ‘Train Like a Champion’ (TLC) short article for global humanitarian and development practitioners.  This covers five teaching principles and twelve useful teaching tips. This is largely for individuals who have had no formal teaching or training experience, but yet in their jobs, are required to train or facilitate others.  This ‘one page’ article has been developed by Chris Piper, the TorqAid CEO, from his teaching experience both across Australia and overseas.  He is both a global humanitarian expert, as well as being a qualified, skilled and experienced adult educator, teacher and university lecture.  Follow the link below to this TLC ‘one pager’.

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These  TLC teaching principles and tips are also included in Module 2 (Participatory Tools, Project Management, & Teaching Tips) of the online accredited Participatory Disaster Risk Management (PDRM) program, which runs from the 8th June through to the 20th September 2020. Follow the link below for this PDRM brochure.

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This ‘Train like a Champion’ (TLC) article also lies at the heart of the two day TorqAid ‘Train like a Champion’ (TLC) workshop, as well as that of the longer Humanitarian Train Like a Champion (HTLC) workshop (see details in next section).  The two-day TLC workshop is ideal for teaching essential training skills to international development staff based in either a support office, or out in the field.  The workshop is highly participative and practical. Follow the link below for a copy of this.

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This TLC workshop has also been expanded into a three day TorqAid ‘Humanitarian Train like a Champion’ (HTLC) workshop. The first day focuses on an introduction to humanitarian issues globally, with the afternoon including a case study of the humanitarian situation facing the Rohingya refugees (as well as Bangladesh host communities) in Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh. This particular scenario has been chosen, as a sophisticated, and well documented, humanitarian program has developed there since the latest large exodus of Rohingya refugees started arriving in early September 2017.  Chris also has worked in Bangladesh before, with his most recent mission being with the UN in Cox’s Bazar for three months in mid 2018. The second and third day of the HTLC are similar in content to the TLC, but with more emphasis on humanitarian issues and examples.  This HTLC workshop is ideal for global humanitarian practitioners, whether this be as part of their pre-departure orientation, or as on the field capacity building. Follow the link below for a copy of this 3 day HTLC workshop.

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Twelve Teaching Tips

In order to become an effective teacher, trainer or facilitator, individuals ideally need a combination of the following:

  • A high standard of relevant academic, professional and/or technical expertise
  • An understanding of pedagogy and andagogy (adult learning) principles
  • Good personal and inter-personal attributes and skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Good facilitation skills

TorqAid has produced a ‘one pager’ which summarises Twelve Teaching Tips which can contribute to an individual become a great teacher. Follow the link below for these Tips.

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This article can be found in the TorqAid Toolkit, a useful compendium of resources for the development or humanitarian practitioner. Follow the link below to the Toolkit.

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Hurricanes-cyclones-typhoons

This particular post in late September 2019, the month when earlier Hurricane Dorian had devasted the Bahamas.  It contains useful material for both humanitarian practitioners, as well as tertiary and secondary students studying hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons.  There are two main references.  The first is an amended version of the September 2019 version of the TorqAid Humanitarian and Development bibliography.  This highlights key information about hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons.

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This bibliography includes useful material on:

  • BBC articles on how hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons form
  • ACAPS and other articles on Hurricane Dorian; tropical cyclone (TC) Fani in India, and Cyclone Idai in Mozambique (2019); Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean (2017); Cyclone Debbie in Australia (2017); TC Winston in Fiji, and Hurricane Matthew in Haiti (both 2016);  TC Pam in Vanuatu (2015); and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philipppines (2013)

Also included in this post is a second article, this relating to the TorqAid article on the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) framework.  This includes some key diagrams, one of which is the Disaster Risk Management Cycle (DRMC).  The DRM framework article has been amended up to Feb 2020.

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The DRMC clearly indicates the likely required initiatives for affected communities and emergency service providers as they work through a devastating hurricane/cyclone/typhoon.  This includes the role of the media, particularly in the Emergency Response Stage. These initatives include:

  • Early warning and evacuation
  • Search and rescue
  • Effective leadership, management, coordination, communications & information sharing
  • Establishing essential services.  Clearing and managing logistical routes
  • Providing humanitarian assistance, with particular focus on vulnerable groups
  • Carryng out initial damage and needs assessment

As the Recovery Stage emerges, other priorities will develop, these including:

  • Ongoing effective leadership, management, coordination, communications & information sharing
  • Clearing rubble/debris, and carrying out more detailed damage and needs assessments
  • Ongoing, targetted, humanitarian assistance, with a strong focus on vulnerable groups
  • Temporary accommodation, and the repair/rebuilding of houses and other key buildings
  • Psychosocial support
  • Commencement of restoration of social/political, economic, built and natural environments
  • Strengthening of existing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) initiatives, to counter future threats

TorqAid Talks

Chris Piper is a qualified secondary teacher and adult educator, as well as university lecturer. He has facilitated accredited Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Participatory Project Management (PPM) workshops across Australia and overseas, and he also runs the TorqAid accredited online DRM program. From April to July 2018 he worked as a RedR Australia deployee to UNDP in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, as their Early Warning Dissemination and Training Specialist.

He is now offering ‘TorqAid Talks’ to clientele. These would mainly consist of secondary and tertiary students, as well as NGO personnel, but could include commercial companies supporting overseas humanitarian or development programs. The initial TorqAid Talk is on ‘Understanding the Rohingya Crisis’, and the link to this talk is given below.

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Enclosed below are links to the following:    Chris’s background as a Humanitarian Expert (Adviser/Consultant, Trainer, Researcher)

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A summary of Chris’ work in Cox’s Bazar

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The ‘Understanding the Rohingya Crisis’ Summary Sheet

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The the online DRM brochure.

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CXB Rain Gauges

One of the four main responsibilities which Chris Piper had, when he was deployed by Redr Australia with UNDP in Cox’s Bazar for three months (Apr-July 2018) as their ‘Early Warning Dissemination and Training Specialist’, was to project manage the installment of automated rain gauges in three Rohingya camp locations in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.  The link to the article here describes this particular project, which contributes to a ‘toolbox’ of initiatives designed to reduce risk, and improve safety, for the Rohingya refugee population.

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CP Rohingya Mission

Chris Piper was contracted and deployed by Redr Australia as an ‘Early Warning Dissemination and Training Specialist’ for UNDP from April-July 2018.  This was down in Cox’s Bazar District in Bangladesh, where the international comunity is working in support of the Government of Bangladesh to provide humanitarian assistance for around 1.3 million people, this comprising just less than a million Rohingya refugees, and the rest, Bangladeshi host communities.  The link below describes the key aspects of his work over that period.

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He is now producing three separate short (two page) articles, describing some of this work in more detail.  This includes the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) training he carried out for the Bangladeshi NGO, BRAC; the landslide related initiative focussing on the implementation of a small number of automated rain gauges around the refugee camps; and some comments on some of the brilliant grass-roots level work being carried out by the Communication with Communities (CwC) network out there. The first two of these reports (DRM training, and landslide-related rain gauges) are included below.  The third article (CwC) will be added in the forthcoming days.

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As part of his ongoing teaching, Chris updates the monthly Summary Sheet entitled ‘Understanding the Rohingya Crisis’.  This both summarises the humanitarian situation in Cox’s Bazar, and also includes key references related to the complex emergency in both Bangladesh and Myanmar.

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Finally, Chris teaches about the Rohingya crisis in the accredited TorqAid online Disaster Risk Management (DRM) program.  This consists of six modules (four focussing in on DRM; and one each on Participatory Project Management {PPM} and Complex Humanitarian Emergencies {CHEs}).  The link to the DRM brochure is givcen here.

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CXB-DRM-training

This reference links the reader to the one day Disaster Risk Management (DRM) training carried out by Chris Piper for BRAC – www.brac.net in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on the 7th May 2018. Chris was at the time a Redr Australia deployee attached to UNDP, where his official title was Earely Warning Dissemination and Training Specialist. On the training side, it should be noted that he is a qualified and experienced adult educator, university lecturer, and secondary school teacher. The links below lead the read to both a short summary of this training day, together with a longer description of this.

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In the workshop summaries, mention is made of a number of key diagrams, which have been customised to the Bangladeshi and Cox’s Bazaar context. These are the Disaster Risk Management Cycle (DRMC), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) diagram, and Risk Matrix. The links to the jpeg copies are these three diagrams are given below.

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PNG earthquake

A major earthquake struck the PNG highlands on the 25th February.  The second joint (PNG Gov/UN) Situation Report (Sitrep # 2) of the 14th March indicated that around 545,000 people were affected across five provinces, with around 270,000 of these requiring some form of assistance.  This is a complex humanitarian situation, complicated by difficult terrain and logistical challenges.  The main logistical route between the Southern highlands (ie going through Mt Hagen) and Hela Province has now been opened, but secondary and minor roads/routes/tracks are still problematic in places. From a coordination perspective, Forward Operating Bases have been established in Mt Hagen and Moro; with Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) in Mendi and Tari.

This Sitrep # 2 indicates that the main humanitarian priorities are currently food security and livelihoods; WASH; health; shelter (including camp coordination & management); and protection.

Interested/involved stakeholders can draw down from the following three sources of information.
ACAPS –   https://www.acaps.org/country/papua-new-guinea/special-reports#container-994

This includes their Briefing Note of the 1st March, and a useful PNG Preparedness document from 2012.

Humanitarian Response  – https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/operations/papua-new-guinea.  This includes the latest joint Sitrep, as well as useful background assessments, maps & infographics.

Relief Web – www.reliefweb.int/country/png. This includes the latest joint Sitrep, as well as further useful maps and infographics (including useful WFP maps on both impacted areas, and logistical routes).

This earthquake is being used both as a case study in both the TorqAid online accredited Disaster Risk Management (DRM) program, as well as the Australian University Emergency Management unit (EMG 309 = Humanitarian Relief), for which Chris is Unit Chair. Follow the link below to the online DRM program.

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The key initiatives carried out in the emergency response stage, together with those in the later recovery stage, are clearly delineated in the enclosed Disaster Risk Management Cycle (DRMC), which is the first diagram mentioned in the article entitled ‘ a DRM diagrammatic framework’.

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Understanding Rohingya Crisis

By late March 2020, the international community continues working in close cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), where they together provide assistance to over 855,000 Rohingya living in Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh, together with over 440,000 local host Bangladeshis. The majority of the Rohingya live in 34 formally established camps in extremely congested conditions. TorqAid produces a monthly update (latest March 2020) of the Summary Sheet ‘Understanding the Rohingya Crisis’ (see below) which highlights key progress on this complex humanitarian operation.

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TorqAid also produces a summary on the series of ‘What Matters?’ humanitarian bulletins (see below), produced by the skilled Communication with Communities (CwC) team of practitioners working out of Cox’s Bazar. This regular buletin, produced in both Bangla (Bengali) and English, summarises key issues of concern and feedback from both Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities. Follow a link below to the March 2020 summary.

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Chris spent three months in Cox’s Bazar in mid 2018, where he worked as a RedR deployee attached to UNDP.