Online PDRM program

The 2021 online Participatory Disaster Risk Management (PDRM) program is running from the 22nd February through to the 4th June 2021. The  brochure for this can be accessed below. There are five modules to this as highlighted in the five (2020) videos below. The PDRM is open to a combination of Australian or Global Humanitarian or Development Practitioners, tertiary level students, and other interested stakeholders.


The PDRM 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 can then, if they are otherwise eligible, 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 2021 dates are outlined below.

Module 1:
Key Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Diagrams & Issues
22nd Feb to 12th March 2021
[Preview Video]

Module 2:
Humanitarian Practitioner Attributes/Competencies, Participatory Tools & Project Management
15th March to 2nd April
[Preview Video]

Module 3
Risk Management
5-23rd April
[Preview Video]

Module 4:
Complex Emergencies, Conflict-related Situations, and Pandemics
26th April to 14th May
[Preview Video]

Module 5:
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) & Climate Change
17th May to 4th June
[Preview Video]

The copy of the Teaching Framework for the 2021 PDRM is given below.


The link to the 2021 assignment questions is given below. As already indicated, eligible participants seeking Advance Standing/Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) must complete all five modules, and answer three assignment questions.


The 2021 PDRM Registration Form can be downloaded below. It includes details of the costs of the modules, assignments (if these are being taken), and discounts for particular stakeholders.


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’.


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, the teaching component of which is running from the 27th July through to the 8th November 2020. Follow the link below for this PDRM brochure.


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).  Follow the links to these two workshops below.

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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.


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.






This link below relates to a customised bibliography, with highlighted information on cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons.


This includes material on the following:

  • BBC articles on how hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons form
  • A variety of articles by different agencies and authors on Cyclone Amphan in India/Bangladesh (2020); Hurricane Dorian (2019); Cyclone (TC) Fani in India, and Cyclone Idai in Mozambique (both 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)

The second article is the TorqAid Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Diagrammatic Framework. This includes key components of both the Disaster Risk Management Cycle (DRMC), and the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) diagram. The key components of both diagrams can be applied to the disaster risk management of cyclones/hurricanes/typhoons.


The study of cyclones/hurricanes/typhoons is carried out in Module 1 of the TorqAid online, accredited, Participatory Disaster Risk Management (PDRM) program; and one of the assignment questions relates to this topic. Follow the link below to the PDRM


Short Courses

In addition to its online, accredited, Participatory Disaster Risk Management (PDRM) program, TorqAid offers seven Short Courses (SCs). The link to this program is given below.


The seven SCs on offer are:
SC1:    The Disaster Risk Management Cycle (DRMC) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) diagrams, and their application to to a combination of floods and tropical storms; earthquakes and tsunamis; and drought

SC2:   Australian bushfires, and psychosocial stress related to disasters

SC3:   The Rohingya humanitarian situation in Bangladesh

SC4:   The Ten Seed Technique (TST) as a fabulous, practical, ranking tool

SC5:   Covid-19 and Risk Management

SC6:   The DRR diagram and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SC7:    Aspirations for, and challenges of, positive progress this year relating to Climate Change

These SCs are designed for a combination of stakeholders, principally global or Australian humanitarian/development practitioners, and secondary/teriary students. Sessions can be delivered either as one hour online (eg Zoom) training sessions, or, social distancing requirements notwithstanding, as one hour face-to-face lessons.

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.


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


A summary of Chris’ work in Cox’s Bazar


The ‘Understanding the Rohingya Crisis’ Summary Sheet


The the online DRM brochure.


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.


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.


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.


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.









This reference links the reader to the one day Disaster Risk Management (DRM) training carried out by Chris Piper for BRAC – 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.

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

Humanitarian Response  –  This includes the latest joint Sitrep, as well as useful background assessments, maps & infographics.

Relief Web – 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.


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’.