Population Health

Certificate overview

Historically, humanitarian responses to disasters in low- and middle-income countries have involved an enormous influx of funding, personnel and commodities prior to or immediately following the onset of the disaster.

Many experts agree, however, that these humanitarian responses have not been as effective as they could be. Reasons include:

  • Poor coordination amongst the host nation, donors and the response community.
  • Programming is directed at the short-term response without a planned transition to recovery and development.
  • Lack of sufficient focus on capacity building, disaster risk reduction and resilience for disaster-prone countries and regions.
  • Unannounced, inappropriate or unused donations.
  • Limited rigorous evaluation resulting in a shortfall in evidence for, and implementation of, best practices.

Tremendous opportunities thus exist for strengthening the prevention of and response to emergencies. Examples of areas with potential for impact include:

  • Disaster risk reduction, resilience and transition from response to recovery.
  • Clinical and public health best practices, policy, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Disaster response given the changing demographics of refugees and internally displaced peoples.

The goal of this certificate is to provide graduate and professional students from a variety of disciplines with a coherent body of study to gain a better understanding of prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery for crises to ultimately assist those affected by disasters (or living in a disaster-prone area) to recover their “normal” way of life.

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