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News / Comment

NEWS / Disaster risk management in business education
Category: Retail & Supply Chains

Image: Pr. Juan Pablo Sarmiento from Florida International University and main organiser of the event (right); Dr. Indianna Minto Coy (middle) and Mr. Neil McFarlane, head of the UNISDR New York Liaison Office (left). Photo by UNISDR (used with kind permission).

By Elisa Jiménez Alonso

In order to reduce impacts and losses, disaster risk needs to be understood and acted upon at all levels in society; including in the private sector. One way of achieving disaster risk awareness in businesses is through targeted education programmes.

Earlier this year, a dozen universities from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru and the United States came together to develop and strengthen disaster risk management in business courses. They did so in a workshop in Toronto showcasing their cutting-edge modules tackling disaster risk management in business education.

US$10,000 awards were presented to two of the courses: “Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management into Management Education”, by Indianna D. Minto-Coy and Lila Rao-Graham from the Mona School of Business and Management at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, for best new academic offering; and “Teaching Disaster Risk Management at the Rotman School of Management”, by the University of Toronto’s András Tilcsik, for best existing course and new opportunities on disaster risk management in business.

This event was held as a core component of the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE), which was launched in November 2015. One of the ARISE goals is giving more importance to disaster risk management in different higher education courses relating to business. This also relates to the Sendai Framework, which emphasises the importance of action by governments, local authorities, communities, and organisations, including businesses of all sizes.

Reducing disaster risk to businesses and reaching the Sendai targets, will largely depend on how disaster risk is factored into and managed, and on supply chains and capital investments.


To learn more about UNISDR ARISE, click here.

The findings of the white papers and the workshop will soon be available in an open source publication.