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ITC - Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment (Certificate) http://www.itc.


Distance Course in

Registration NFP registration

Certification Location Start Duration EC Tuition fee Register
deadline deadline
16 May EUR 1000 /
Certificate Distance 6 weeks 5 25 Apr 2011 01 Dec 2010 Register
2011 500

Owing to increased vulnerability and climatic extremes, we are faced with the rapidly growing impact of
disasters worldwide. There is an urgent need to incorporate the concepts of disaster risk management
into planning, sustainable development and environmental impact assessment. Disaster risk
management requires the assessment of risk, which is a multidisciplinary endeavour.

The course explains how to conduct a risk assessment using spatial information on hazards, elements at risk and
vulnerability with the aid of GIS and remote sensing, and how this information can be used in risk management,
with a focus on urban areas.

For whom is the course relevant?

This course is designed for all those who have to carry out risk assessment and require knowledge and skills in
using a GIS to handle the necessary the procedures, such as professionals working in governmental and
non-governmental organizations, planners, engineers, architects, geographers, environmental specialists and
university teachers. Some basic background in GIS is desirable, although not strictly necessary as the course
follows a step-by-step approach that enables participants to rapidly acquire the basic skills in handling GIS

What will be achieved?

The course will guide participants through the entire process of risk assessment, on the basis of a case study of a
city exposed to multiple hazards. At the end of this course, you will be able to:

understand the concepts of hazard assessment, elements-at-risk mapping, vulnerability assessment and risk
formulate the spatial data requirements for risk assessment
use GIS to generate an elements-at-risk database
apply various methods for vulnerability assessment
generate risk maps using qualitative and quantitative methods
understand how risk assessment is used in risk reduction and disaster preparedness.

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ITC - Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment (Certificate)

What is the course content?

The course is composed of a number of sessions. Each session has a PowerPoint presentation and a document
introducing the session topic. Each session also has exercises and assignments, including maps or materials to be
handed in. The course is based on a study load of one module of three weeks (5 ECTs), which is offered in distance
form over a period of six weeks. Below is a summary of the sessions and detailed content.

Session Theory Exercise

Set up Blackboard account; install ILWIS
00: Getting
software; get to know the tutors and fellow
Generation of a hazard profile using disaster
01: Introduction databases; introduction to ILWIS and the
Introduction to disaster risk management and
to risk RiskCity dataset; learn the various hazard
risk assessment
assessment problems by evaluating high-resolution
Defining spatial data requirements for risk
assessment; iInternet search for information
02: Obtaining
Presentation of data requirements for the on risk assessment; acquiring free and
spatial data for
various types of hazards; sources of spatial data low-cost data; generating 3D image data
risk assessment
using Google Earth; stereo image
Frequency assessment; selection of hazard
03: Hazard Hazard types; main concepts of hazard assessment example (flooding, landslides,
Assessment assessment; frequency-magnitude relationships earthquakes, technological hazards, volcanic
hazards, etc.)
Types of elements at risk; classification of Generating an elements-at-risk database from
04: Elements-
buildings, infrastructure, lifelines, critical scratch; generating an elements-at-risk
facilities; population information; collection of database using available data (building
elements-at-risk information footprint map, census data and LiDAR)
Types of vulnerability; social vulnerability;
Defining vulnerability curves; spatial
05: Vulnerability physical vulnerability; methods of vulnerability
multicriteria evaluation for vulnerability
assessment assessment; participatory GIS; spatial multi
criteria evaluation
Loss estimation models; HAZUS; qualitative risk Creating risk curves; selection of risk
06: Risk
assessment; QRA; basics of flood risk, seismic assessment method: flooding, earthquakes,
risk, landslide and technological risk assessment landslides, technological hazards.
Risk evaluation; risk governance; risk
Multi-hazard risk assessment for buildings;
07: Risk communication; cost-benefit analysis; using
assessing economic losses; cost-benefit
management risk information for emergency planning; spatial
planning, and environmental impact assessment

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ITC - Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment (Certificate)

Session Theory Exercise

How to do such a study in your area?

Final project:
08: Final project
Selection of project topic related to risk
and examination
assessment and its use in risk management

Multiple choice exam

Why choose this course?

The course has been designed over a long period of time and has been tested many times in different countries. It
is based on a course book with assignments and an exercise book with GIS exercises. Active interaction with
lecturers and fellow students takes place via internet. The general approach of the course is task-based learning
that blends theory and practice. The study load is 20 to 24 hours per week. All materials including (most of) the
software will be provided online in ITC's digital learning environment Blackboard. Most materials will be sent on a
DVD to enable convenient offline study.

Learning from a distance, how is it like?

The general approach of the course is task based learning which blends theory and practice. The study load is 20 to
24 hours per week. All materials including (most of) the software will be provided online in ITC's digital learning
environment Blackboard. For convenient offline study most materials will be sent on a CD-Rom. We will use email
for individual communication and a discussion board in Blackboard for group communication.

Admission requirements
Academic level and background
Applicants for the Distance programme should have a Bachelor degree or equivalent from a recognised university in
a discipline related to the course, preferably combined with working experience in a relevant field.

English language

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ITC - Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment (Certificate)

As all courses are given in English, proficiency in the English language is a prerequisite. Participants in Distance
programme are exempted from an English language test. However, ITC expects their proficiency in the English
language to meet the minimum requirements mentioned below.

English language tests: minimum requirements

TOEFL Paper-based Test (PBT) 550

TOEFL Internet-based Test 79-80
British Council / IELTS 6.0
Cambridge CPE/CAE

Computer skills
Applicants for the Distance education programme must have elementary computer experience, regular access to
internet and e-mail. For some courses additional computer skills are required (see description of specific course).

GIS and remote sensing

Most distance courses, except for the introductory course, require knowledge of, and skills in, working with GIS
and/or digital image processing of remotely sensed data.

Candidates are asked to provide proof of identity during the registration process.

Hardware and software requirements

Since the computer is used for both the practical exercises and the communication via the internet you are
expected to have a computer capable of running ILWIS (standard PC or laptop is OK) and an internet connection.
The course is made for the Open Source GIS software ILWIS (Integrated Land and Water Information Systems. The
Open Source software is free and will be supplied on a DVD, together with the data sets and training materials. You
will also work with Blackboard (educational software) and with Microsoft Office (Word and Excel).

What more there is to know?

This distance course is based on a module of one of ITC's degree courses. Successful completion will lead to
exemption for that module in the degree course.

The course is developed by a group of people. Coordination is by Dr. C.J. (Cees) van Westen, Director United
Nations University-ITC School for Disaster Geo-information Management (UNU-ITC DGIM).

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