Module Information

Module Identifier
EAM4420
Module Title
Risk Management and Resilience in a Changing Environment
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Dr Catherine Delaney (Senior Lecturer - Manchester Metropolitan University)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 3 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Research presentation  20%
Semester Assessment 3,000 word written essay on research topic, including 500-word executive summary  70%
Semester Assessment Leading seminar discussion sessions  10%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed assessments.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Describe the principles of preparedness, mitigation, and resilience

Identify and evaluate the historical and geographic factors that contributed to the incorporation of resilience thinking into emergency management

Critically assess the different ways resilience shapes contemporary practices in emergency management

Demonstrate through their written essay, research presentations, and research summary, and in-class discussions evidence of the development of transferable skills, including: critical analysis; effective communication; research design and problem identification; conducting empirical research; and interpretation, evaluation, and synthesis of a range of academic and empirical materials.

Brief description

Resilience has become a buzzword in recent years, an overarching principle that is steadily reshaping how society conceptualises and manages social and environmental uncertainty. This module will explore how resilience has impacted the institutions and techniques of risk management. We will explore the historical development of disaster management, its growing convergence with development and security practices, and the 'state-of-the-art' techniques researchers and practitioners deploy to understand, measure, and manage socio-ecological resilience and adaptive capacity.

Content

Unit 1: Evolving Paradigms in Risk Management

1. Introduction: Resilience and Risk Management

-This seminar will introduce students to the key themes of resilience and risk management, and introduce some of the issues confronting disaster management today, such as impacts of climate change that include more intense hurricanes and changing weather patterns.

2. Command and Control

-This seminar will explore the introduction of institutionalised risk management through civil defines and emergency preparedness programming during the Cold War. It will situate the emergence of all-hazards planning and its command and control-style approach to planning and programming within the military roots of disaster management.

3. Mitigation & Vulnerability Reduction

-This seminar will explore the paradigm shift within disaster management, from post-event response to pre-event mitigation. Drawing on case studies of earthquakes and hurricanes in Central America, it will situate these changes within the rise of vulnerability approaches to hazards studies, and explore the policy implications of the shift to vulnerability.

4. Resilience, Security, and Sustainable Development

-This seminar will analyse the recent interest in resilience within risk management policymaking and programming. It will situate disaster resilience within the broader development of systems approaches in military, economics, and ecology in order to draw out the parallels and differences between different types of resilience. It will also consider the links between resilience and other key policy goals such as sustainability and precaution.

Unit 2: Techniques and Issues in Resilience Planning

5. Governance Reform

-Building on the previous unit, this seminar will analyse techniques in resilience, beginning with governance reform. It will explore current efforts at governance reform within disaster management designed to increase resilience to hurricanes, drought, and flooding through case studies in the Caribbean. It will situate these changes within the wider political and economic contexts that influence what kinds of reforms are pursued and adopted.

6. Participatory Techniques

-This seminar will analyse the variety of participatory techniques that fieldworkers use to build resilience in organisations and at community levels, including focus groups, interviews, transect walks, and co-management strategies. Drawing on case studies of disaster resilience in Jamaica, it will also introduce students to pertinent political and ethical issues involved in conducting participatory research, including issues of agency and empowerment.

7. Adaptive Management

-This seminar will explore adaptive management techniques agencies use to monitor programs and build adaptive learning capacities into organizations, such as outcome mapping. Through a case study of sustainability programming in Wales, it will provide an overview of organisational management techniques and consider, through group activities and case studies in environmental management, how these techniques operate and to what effect.

8. Catastrophe Insurance

-This seminar will explore the recent development of new calculative and statistical techniques for quantifying and valuing risks to catastrophic events such as hurricanes and earthquakes. It will explore how catastrophe insurance and weather derivatives products are created, as well as consider how markets for these produced are produced and regulated. Finally, it will also examine how state and market actors utilise these products within their overarching risk management approaches.

9. Resilience or Transformation?

-This seminar will provide a more in-depth exploration of recent debates within resilience theory and practice on social and ecological transformations. Through an engagement with literature on transition management, students will critically reflect on the political and ethical implications of resilience approaches, as well as

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The seminar sessions on catastrophe insurance will introduce students to state of the art techniques in catastrophe risk modelling
Communication The module will develop the students' skills of written communication in writing their assessed essays. The executive summary is specifically designed to develop students' communication skills. There will be short seminar discussions on writing for professional agencies throughout the term. Students will also be expected to contribute to group discussions in the seminars (although this will not be assessed).
Improving own Learning and Performance Student attendance and participation in the seminars, and their undertaking of an assessed essay, will help them to enhance a range of learning skills. The module requires students to undertake 180 hours of self-directed study.
Information Technology The assessed essay and group presentation requires students to undertake independent research using bibliographic search-engines and library catalogues. Writing essays and preparing and running powerpoint presentations will enable students to practice their IT skills.
Personal Development and Career planning The module will help students to develop a range of transferable skills. Students interested in pursuing advanced degrees will benefit from the theory-based discussions that strengthen critical analysis skills. All students will develop group work skills that will be valuable for their future employment. The practical issues discussed will support students hoping to follow a career in environmental management, disaster management, or emergency management fields.
Problem solving The written assessment will require students to evaluate the applicability, advantages, limitations, and effectiveness of different techniques of resilience building to contemporary problems of environmental change and risk management. It will also develop and demonstrate their critical thinking skills.
Research skills Seminar sessions will include small discussions on researching and writing for professional organisations. Students are expected to research and synthesize a range of academic source material in completing their assessed research essay and presentation. Through the research process, students will have the opportunity to plan and carry out research, discuss research methods, and prepare research presentations.
Subject Specific Skills The module will enable students to undertake geographical analyses of resilience policies and practices in a number of specific fields, from security to development and environmental management. It will also further develop, and give them the opportunity to practice, subject-specific research skills they learned in the first-term methods course.
Team work The assessed leading of seminar discussion session will require students to work with a partner to develop in-class activities that will be used to illustrate different resilience techniques (during unit 2). This assignment will enable students to develop negotiation and persuasion skills in a small-team setting. Additionally, the seminars will include in-class group activities designed to help student understanding of assigned readings, which will provide opportunities for students to interact in a large group setting and discuss their thoughts with the class.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7