USAID Knowledge Product Project

The aim of the project is to develop a disaster risk reduction body of knowledge which in turn will lead to flexible, multi-sphere and trans-disciplinary disaster risk reduction training programmes aimed at various practitioners working in related disaster risk management fields

The aim of the project is to develop a disaster risk reduction body of knowledge which in turn will lead to flexible, multi-sphere and trans-disciplinary disaster risk reduction training programmes aimed at various practitioners working in related disaster risk management fields.The project works on the principles of open knowledge. Through this philosophy the ACDS aims to spark a knowledge revolution in DRR in the southern Africa region. The projected outcome of the overall project is multiple training interventions within various southern Africa training institutions, utilising the common body of knowledge. These training interventions will range from short courses to Masters and Ph.D programmes. Not only will this approach ensure quality and uniformity, but the SADC region will have a common standard in DRR knowledge. Various modes of delivery will be used.

The project is managed within the ACDS by Prof. Dewald van Niekerk and Ms. Doret Botha with Ms. Elza Snyman as the adminitrive assistant.  The nature of the project necessitates wide consultation and a variety of different skills sets and experiences are needed.  To keep the project focussed and in line with international trends the ACDS have constituted a Steering Committee (SC). This committee comprise of a number of national and international experts in DRR. They are:

The project is managed within the ACDS by Prof. Dewald van Niekerk and Ms. Doret Botha with Ms. Elza Snyman as the adminitrive assistant.  The nature of the project necessitates wide consultation and a variety of different skills sets and experiences are needed.  To keep the project focussed and in line with international trends the ACDS have constituted a Steering Committee (SC). This committee comprise of a number of national and international experts in DRR. They are:

  • Prof. Gabriel Kassenga (Adri University, Tanzania)
  • Ms. Patricia Zwieg (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Mr. S. Gwala (South African Local Government Association)
  • Mr. Koos van Zyl (AgriSA)
  • Ms. Mal Reddy (Durban University of Technology, South Africa)
  • Mr. Mmaphaka Tau (South African National Disaster Management Centre)
  • Mr. Peter Rogers (Retired Chief of the Project Management Office of the South African Navy)
  • Mr. Seth Vorgzorgbe (UNDP-BCPR, Southern Africa)
  • Ms. Willi Faling (University of Pretoria, South Africa)

To ensure internal coordination, the ACDS also makes use of a Project Team (PT).  The duty of the PT is to advise the project manager on the technical execution of the project.  The project manager is accountable to the director of the ACDS, who in turn is accountable to USAID. The members of the PT are:

  • Prof. Dewald van Niekerk (Director: ACDS, NWU)
  • Ms. Doret Botha (USAID DRR Training Programme Project Manager)
  • Ms. Elza Snyman (USAID DRR Training Programme Administrator)
  • Mr. Wilem Mosterd (Head of Short Course Office, School of Social and Government Studies, NWU)
  • Mr. Gideon van Riet (Lecturer in Political Studies, NWU)
  • Prof. Eric Nealer (Professor in Public Management and Administration, NWU)
  • Dr. Clara Bocchino (Post-doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Law, NWU)

For a full list of the available products, please head to the Knowledge Shop where you will be able to download the documents of your choice.

  • Conceptualising disaster risk
  • Disaster risk governance
  • Exposure and vulnerability
  • Vulnerability assessment and analysis
  • Varieties and characteristics of hazards
  • Community capacities and resilience
  • Understanding disaster risk
  • Disaster risk reduction: a trans-disciplinary issue
  • Disaster risks assessment and analysis
  • Information management and systems for disaster risk management
  • Remote sensing and the application of GIS for disaster risk reduction
  • Early warning systems
  • Hydro-metrological hazards
  • Geological hazards
  • Biological hazards
  • Anthropogenic hazards
  • Environmental degradation
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • Urban disaster risks
  • Financing disaster risks
  • Planning and disaster reduction
  • Land tenure and opportunities for reform
  • Indigenous knowledge for disaster risk reduction
  • Food security overview
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Water catchments and resource management
  • Public participation and community action
  • Environmental management
  • Communication for disasterrRisk reduction
  • Disaster risk reduction in disaster response and recovery
  • Country profiles of all SADC states
  • Scenario planning
  • Disaster response
  • Gender and disaster risk reduction
  • Agricultural disaster risk reduction
  • South African disaster risk management policy and legislation
  • Train the trainer

The ACDS realise that this intervention must make provision for a variety of different learners and learning styles. To this end a number of multi-media products will also form part of our Knowledge Shop. Some under development currently is mentioned below.

Documentary on Climate Change Adaptation: Community Perspectives directed by Nick Ellenbogen

We are most privilaged to be working with one of the foremost playwrights, directors and producers in South Africa, Mr. Nick Ellenbogen. Mr. Ellenbogen has written over 150 theatre pieces many focussing on issues of conservation and sustainable natural resource management. Nick knows how to tell a story and how to capture the imagination of the viewers. Roddy Bray writes about Nick: “Nicholas is one of those people who can fill a stage. He was a central figure in ‘struggle theatre’, the multi-racial productions that challenged the apartheid regime in the ’70s and ’80s. In particular he was a founder of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg and helped establish the renowned Grahamstown Festival. In 1989 he started ‘Theatre for Africa’ to exemplify African arts. He travelled to far-flung villages, auditioning actors, creating theatre companies, combining skills from different African cultures. With Nicholas as playwright and director they travelled the world with productions focused on conservation. Their success provided opportunities for the actors beyond their dreams. Year after year they won awards at the Edinburgh Festival. They toured Asia, Europe and the USA; they even performed for the British Royal Family at Balmoral and at the US State Department. Some of the plays, such as ‘Horn of Sorrow’ and ‘Guardians of Eden’, had a significant impact on the international regulation of the ivory trade.

Nicholas is well aware that international action for conservation is only half the battle. He wanted to bring conservation debates back to Africa, especially to communities living in ecologically sensitive areas and around wildlife reserves. The success of ‘Theatre for Africa’ had come to the attention of the Ford Foundation, World Bank and the WWF, and they agreed to sponsor his actors to tour even the most remote regions of Southern Africa. The success of Nicholas’ approach has been recognised in a Congressional Citation (USA) and the WWF President’s Award.”

Filming on the project is scheduled for end November to mid-December 2010. Watch this space for more information.

(the above excerpt from http://www.capetown.at/letters/ellenb.htm)

Documentary on Climate Change Adaptation: Community Perspectives directed by Nick Ellenbogen

The following knowledge products will have a strong multi-media component linked to them:

  • Conceptualisation of Disaster Risk
  • Vulnerability assessment and analysis
  • Community Capacities and Resilience
  • Understanding Disaster Risk
  • Disaster risk reduction: A trans-disciplinary issue
  • Disaster risks assessment and analysis
  • Information Management and systems for disaster risk management
  • Remote Sensing and the application of GIS for disaster risk reduction
  • Geological Hazards
  • Biological Hazards
  • Environmental degradation
  • Urban disaster risks
  • Planning and disaster reduction
  • Land Tenure and opportunities for reform
  • Indigenous knowledge for disaster risk reduction
  • Food security overview
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Water catchments and resource management
  • Public participation and community action
  • Environmental Management
  • Communication for Disaster Risk Reduction