Disaster Risk Management

Building people’s resilience to disasters and conflict

One of the key development challenges of our time is the increasing number of people who are at risk of crises and disasters. People's vulnerability increases due to shocks and trends as a result of disasters. The number, complexity and impact of disasters are on the rise, which heightens the need for better disaster management. Disaster Risk Management has become one of the cornerstones of international development. Together we can reduce disaster losses and minimise the impact of disasters on sustainable development. 

From re-active to pro-active

As a student, you will learn how disasters are the result of poorly managed risks, combined with the lack of appropriate risk reduction measures. Effective crises and disaster responses therefore demands that we shift away from reactive emergency relief to pro-active disaster risk reduction. Disaster Risk Management combines the concept of response and recovery (in the post-disaster phase) with the concept of prevention, mitigation and preparedness (the pre-disaster phase). 

Specialised modules

  • Concepts of Disaster Risk Management
  • Designing Interventions for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Facilitating Change for Disaster Risk Management


As a graduate, you will be equipped with essential skills and competences needed to make a difference, including:

  • Applying disaster and conflict theories to real-life crises and disaster settings;
  • Understanding the changing roles, responsibilities and modes of operations of key Disaster Risk Management actors;
  • Designing and conducting risk and context analyses aimed to identify appropriate disaster response strategies and options;
  • Applying emerging integrated, good-practice approaches to address crucial issues in building community resilience;
  • Addressing challenges faced by agencies and staff in responding to crises, including safety and security concerns; 

Career benefits and opportunities

As a graduate of this specialisation, you will be able to respond to natural and man-made disasters in increasingly complex and dynamic environments. In the context of increasing climate variability and climate change (slow-onset disasters), this specialisation pays attention to linking disaster risk reduction with climate change adaptation. The Disaster Risk Management specialisation also touches on conflict, which also makes the course relevant for those working in tense and conflict affected regions. We focus on reducing the negative impacts of disasters and conflict on peoples’ lives and livelihoods and increase people’s resilience to disasters, crises and conflict.

Once graduated, you will have acquired new insights and know-how to use innovative approaches. Through these approaches, you can contribute to building community resilience to better manage risks as required by the nature of today’s crises and disasters. By looking through a disaster and conflict lens, you can make an important contribution to sustainable development. As a graduate, you will either move to higher positions in the organisations working in the field of disaster and conflict or find new opportunities in this field.