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The University of the South Pacific (USP) has awarded its first-ever graduates of the Certificate IV in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Team Leadership course, designed for professionals in disaster risk management and resilience in the Pacific.
This is the first of its kind in the Pacific which recognises that professionals working across disaster and resilience areas have many years of expertise but have had limited access to career pathways that support the professionalisation of the sector itself.
The Pacific Community (SPC) conducted a training capability assessment and was asked by member countries to support more robust and accredited training opportunities, aiming to strengthen on-the-job training for teams in emergency and disaster management in the region.
The course was designed to strengthen professionals with the necessary skills in various leadership roles responding to natural disaster events, undertaking risk analysis, engaging with the community and media, and understanding key concepts of disaster risk management. Ultimately, this is to support leadership pathways for practitioners in the sector whilst also supporting the professionalisation of disaster risk management and resilience roles across the Pacific.
George Katonivualiku, one of the graduates and the Senior Information and Public Relations Officer with the Office of the Prime Minister in Fiji, believes that the course has better prepared him and his fellow professionals to create awareness in communities around the impacts of natural disasters and how to mitigate these threats. “I’m so grateful to be part of this cohort and graduating. I’ve learnt so much.” A participant who graduated from Vanuatu, Neil Malosu, stated “I have learnt a lot from the course and have already applied some of the learnings and strategies in my work”.
SPC developed the DRM course through the WorldBank-funded Pacific Resilience Project and delivered by USP's Pacific Technical and Further Education School (Pacific TAFE).
The Certificate IV in DRM (Team Leadership) course is an accredited seven-month programme designed for professionals who already have practical experience and is a hybrid of online and face-to-face learning. The course was also delivered in Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and Marshall Islands with a good number to graduate in October 2023.