Globally, disasters are on the increase, impacting communities and nations with grave social and economic consequences and threatening the survival, dignity and livelihoods of the vulnerable sections of their populations. Shifting socio-economic situations, unplanned urbanisation, environmental degradation, climate variability and change, geological hazards, competition for scarce natural resources, and the threat of epidemics are factors that compound the impact of disasters. Disasters increasingly impact the global economy and the sustainable development of developing countries. Organisations like The International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRC) and other humanitarian actors are tremendously proficient at mounting immediate response interventions. There is a growing need to bring together the wealth of practical disaster response experience and knowledge of the IFRC and other humanitarian actors and the academic community like Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to address humanitarian response in a holistic and integrated manner.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) have established an on-line Certificate Course on Disaster Management. This initiative is in line with IFRC’s Strategy 2020, Strategic Aim 1: “Save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises” and TISS's commitment to excellence in disaster management education. This course positions the IFRC with TISS in an innovative partnership to collaborate in evolving new areas in the realm of Disaster Management. This course, while leveraging the decades of experience, inherent strength and uniqueness of the IFRC in disaster response, will enhance the knowledge and capacities of highly qualified and motivated Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers and new humanitarian professionals, resulting in more professional support to building sustainable and resilient communities and nations. This online DM certificate course is designed to address the existing practice-knowledge gaps by developing humanitarian professionals with the right blend of academic and practical approaches to reduce vulnerabilities and risks to hazards while developing ways of building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters.