International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001

Socios en Acción



Technological Institute graduates first crop
of emergency and disaster managers

The Ejido Institute of Technology, based in the city of Mérida, has graduated the first crop of senior technicians in emergency and disaster management and response.

The 25 graduates will work for civil protection and disaster reduction organizations, and benefited from a new academic accreditation plan for disaster managers.
Professor Alejandro Liñayo, who conceived the project and was chosen by the inaugural Class of 2002 as their “mentor”, gave the keynote speech. He focused on the achievements of the programme to date and the significance of this first graduation.

“It is the first instance in which the national higher education system has certified a group of people as ‘disastrologists’, if I may coin a term, to work in these areas that are so complex and so important to the country and the region,” he said.

Liñayo first envisioned the programme in the early 1990s. However, it was not until 1997 that the first potential candidates were accepted. The three-year academic programme instructs professionals in three different areas: Urban Operations, Industrial Operations, and Civil Self Defence. At present, some 300 students are attending courses.

In order to launch the programme, a rigorous feasibility study was undertaken, as well as an analysis of the needs and deficiencies of Venezuela’s emergency and disaster management institutions. The assessment underscored the need to reduce the lack of professional training among officials working for these institutions who, in spite of their abundant good will, lacked the technical and academic tools needed to enhance their efforts.

“Good will is a necessary but not sufficient condition for working in this field,” said the Professor.

At present, a project is being developed by the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology to expand the number of disaster management professionals in the country. It will involve providing the same courses in other institutions of learning around the country, ensuring that training courses in disaster management are accredited by the National System of Higher Education, and creating a competency certification programme to meet the needs of non-professionals with many years of experience in disaster management bodies.
For more information, please contact

Integral Disaster and Risk Management
This is a new higher education course to be taught online by the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña [Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC)], through both the Centro Internacional de Métodos Numéricos en Ingeniería [International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE)] and Structuralia.
Professionals from different fields throughout Latin America – who are interested in risk and disaster related-issues, were able to enroll in this course. Two basic subjects began on November 5. Subsequently, the number of classes will increase, taking into consideration all aspects involved in risk management (for instance, disaster prevention or civil protection), as well as existing types of hazards (seism, floods, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and technological hazards, among others).  

For further information about this course, please visit the following URL: