Course Description

This four-week online professional development certificate course explores how new information-, communication- and mapping technologies can be practically used to respond to disasters, augment situational awareness, improve relief coordination and much more.

The digital revolution is changing disaster response. From the earthquake in Haiti to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the recent earthquake in Nepal, a range of new tools can help national and international organizations respond faster and more effectively.

Some of these tools can help you complete your work faster and less mistakes, some enable you to summon remote support on the fly in the middle of a disaster. Yet other tools help you make sense of the vast amount of information that is available and that can threaten to overwhelm you.

This course looks at a variety of real world examples from organizations working in the field and analyzes some of the key challenges related to access, implementation, scale, and verification that these new technologies can presents. The course is designed to assist professionals in developing concrete strategies and technological skills to work amid this rapidly evolving landscape. For a more detailed syllabus, please click here.

Course Topics and Featured Tech

  • Week 1: Introduction & Social Media for Crisis Response
  • Week 2: Mapping the Crisis: New Techniques for Disaster Response and Preparedness
  • Week 3: Mobile Response: How Mobile Technology is Changing Disaster Response
  • Week 4: Looking Ahead: Where New Technologies are Taking Us
  • Featured Technologies: Twitter, Facebook, Tomnod, OpenStreetMap, OSM Tasking Manager, Ushahidi, FieldPapers, FrontlineSMS, AIDR and more!

Course Objectives

After the course, participants will be able to:

  • Critically analyze both the opportunities and the pitfalls that emerge when working with technology to respond to crises
  • Connect relevant development and humanitarian approaches to the technological strategies and tools discussed in the course
  • Manage specific software platforms and utilize various technological tools for responding to and managing crises
  • Design dynamic and effective strategies for using technology platforms and tools to respond to challenges in the field
  • Develop confidence and critical self-awareness in working with social media, maps, and mobile technologies

Course Methodology

  • This course is delivered entirely online over a period of four weeks.
  • This course features several live interactive expert presentations each week with leading practitioners, software developers, academics, and donors.
  • Every live event is recorded and archived for you to watch later.
  • This course also features a unique hands-on learning environment with animated videos, technology demos, practical activities, networking events, office hours, participant presentations, immersive simulations, and more.
  • TechChange recommends budgeting a minimum commitment of 5-7 hours per week and scheduling time for the course around your existing obligations.
  • Participants will have access to all course content for at least 4 months after course completion so the material can be completed and revisited later.
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