Module 1: Introduction to Development and Disasters
Locating disasters in the broader developmental context is integral to understanding the entire cycle of disaster management. Therefore, a wider perspective and a working knowledge of underlying key theoretical and empirical issues relating to growth, development, poverty, inequality and human development are essential. Disaster managers also need to understand the role of the State, international actors, foreign aid, globalization and its implications. The conceptualization of development is itself often contentious and a clarity on the concept is useful. The current emphasis on sustainable development and human well-being also needs to be understood as disasters impact both.
It is important to note that the development discourse is vast, and several disciplines ranging from economic to sociology and anthropology offer diverse theories of development. The module starts with global economic history within the socio-political context of colonialism and the significance of the idea of a welfare state. It covers sociological theories of modernization and dependency, and juxtaposes challenges of poverty, inequality, governance, in addressing issues of gender, education, livelihood and health.
The module offers a macro perspective of disasters and development which would enable critical reflection and foster sensitivity around a range of contemporary socio-political issues. This foundation will help participants to understand debates in the field of disaster management covered in subsequent modules of the programme.