Partnerships with institutions of higher learning on the development and implementation of disaster risk management education and training programmes
Upon analysing education, training and research capacity for disaster risk management nationally, as well as taking cognizance of the fact that academia possesses specialized skills and expertise necessary to inform policy and practices on DRM issues, a few of higher education institutions were found to be strategically placed to build capacity for DRM in the country.
The NDMC engaged in proposals with the Universities of Venda, Free State, Stellenbosch, North West, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Durban University of Technology to support them (universities) on the development and implementation of DRM education, training, research and community outreach programmes. These engagements culminated into the NDMC entering into respective formal Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Universities of the Free State, Venda and KwaZulu-Natal.
The aim of these MoUs is to facilitate the process to develop and implement disaster risk management education and training programmes, as well as to provide a platform for academics, and practitioners to interact and exchange knowledge on disaster risk management discourses in line with the primary objective being "To promote a culture of risk avoidance among stakeholders by capacitating all role players through integrated education, training and public awareness supported by scientific research".
It is in line with these MoUs that the NDMC had between 2011/12 and 2013/14 financial years, been able to award bursaries to a collective of 103 students who qualified respectively in Advanced University Diplomas and Master's Degrees in disaster management.
The University of Venda was able to initiate a process to develop a Bachelor of Disaster Risk Science programme. Although the implementation and rollout of this programme was delayed by the university's internal quality assurance systems, as well as the accreditation process by the Council for Higher Education, the NDMC is confident that once these processes are finalised, the programme will be rolled out.
The MoU with the University of KwaZulu-Natal has recently been signed by both parties and now ready to be implemented. A diploma programme by the Durban University of Technology will also be implemented in the near future.