Course Description

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Global warming and Natural Hazards

The course deals with the science of global warming, and how future changes in the Earth's climate may impact natural hazards such as droughts, heat waves, floods, severe weather, tropical storms and wildfires. 

The implications for these changes will be discussed in the context of Public Health and Disaster Management.
 

Operational , Technological and Logistical – Topics in Disasters

The course will combine lectures, case studies and guest lecture on selected issues of operational issues during disaster events, logistical and technological aspects.
Course objectives:

Providing the students with basic terms, tools and understanding on the operational issues, logistic and technology regarding disaster management. 

The course includes three topics:

 

  • Operational issues regarding preparedness and response at different levels as needed before, during and after the emergencies and disasters. 
  • Logistical issues required for dealing with disasters. Analyzed in this part of the required logistics solution various disaster events. 
  • Technological aspect that will include analysis of how technology can help dealing with disasters, as well as its potential to help terrorists plot.

 

Seminar - From Theory to Practice

As part of the various courses in the program, students learn a variety of theories in the fields of emergency and disaster management. The courses combine a wide variety of disciplines, in which students are exposed to many theories and research in the field. As part of this course, the students will meet with senior officers in the field of emergency in Israel, in order to expose them to the opinions, personal perceptions, organizational perceptions and challenges of office holders. The students might also have tours and might visit selected field exercises. The course will also include some case studies of disasters.  

 

Course objectives:
Exposing the students to selected topics that will be presented by senior officers, relevant to emergency preparedness and response, in order to expand the knowledge and understanding of the personal and organizational concepts that underlie the organization dilemmas. In addition, exposing students to case studies of selected disasters for expanding students’ knowledge and understanding of disaster management.

CBRN Introduction to Non-Conventional Emergencies

Course essence and rationale:
The environment in which humans live has many risks, including those posed through the exposure to toxic chemical compounds, disease causing agents, and radioactive materials. Uncontrolled human exposure to these substances, a.k.a. "non-conventional substances", can happen naturally (e.g., epidemic), as a result of an industrial accident or through intentional release (e.g., terrorism or war). Injuries caused by such exposure are very different than conventional trauma. In addition, the psychological implications are usually more challenging. Dealing with non-conventional threats requires adjustment of both the tactical and strategic response plans to the unique characteristics of these scenarios. In this course we will discuss the main features of non-conventional threats, describe the response to these scenarios and explore relevant case studies.

 

Course objectives:
Students will be familiarized with the basic and advanced terminology of the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) realm; students will understand the unique characteristics of this threat; students will acquire tools to comprehend and deal with CBRN threats.

Introduction to Emergencies and Disasters

Natural or man-made disasters can cause a crisis on both the individual and the societal lev-els. On the individual level this can include physical and/or mental harm, economical loss etc. On the societal level, the crisis can affect the economy, infrastructure, public health, and have adverse effects on the political and organizational levels. These effects can be either local or national. The course will examine all stages of emergency management, from prevention and preparedness, through response and recovery. The aim of this course is to equip students with tools to better understand and cope with disasters. Upon its comple-tion, the students will get to know the different types of emergency and disaster situations, the different stages of emergency management and the methods utilized by different organiza-tions to cope with them.

Scientific Writing

Contrary to creative writing (e.g., literature, newspaper articles), scientific literature is meant to allow the conveying of scientific messages in a concise, accurate, objective, purposeful, and clear manner. Adhering to the principles of scientific writing facilitates to produce high quality scientific outputs that could be easily evaluated and reviewed by peers. Scientific writing contributes to the development of the scientific literature and facilitates the preservation, endowing and development of academic knowledge.

The course will expose students to the principles and foundations of scientific writing. It will equip the students with tools and methods for proper scientific writing and adherence to academic style. The course will lay the foundations for skills that will be required from the students throughout their studies in the program, their writing of their final paper, and in their continued interaction with academia after graduation.

Humanitarian Action

Humanitarian crises occur world-wide as a result of forces of nature, conflicts or communicable diseases. The last decades have been characterized by a deep commitment of the international community to provide humanitarian aid to disaster-stricken areas. The challenges in providing humanitarian aid are complex, from the perspectives of both providers and beneficiaries, and varied ethical dilemmas frequently occur. The course will provide the students with tools to analyze varied humanitarian actions, the dilemmas that are encountered, and positive and negative consequences of humanitarian aid.

Course objectives:

To provide the students with the understanding and insights concerning principles and dilemmas of humanitarian aid, the stakeholders that are involved and the social and political dynamics that impact on the provision of aid. The students will be exposed to the relations between crisis and aid; analyse concepts of neutrality; relations between disaster management and humanitarian aid; and accountability of all involved stakeholders to the communities that require aid. 

Medical Management in Mass Disasters and Mass Casualty Events

Prerequisite Course: Introduction to Emergencies and Disaster

Course Description:
Health systems, institutions and staff are a key element in providing an effective response to diverse emergency events. Rescuing victims, mitigating damages and reducing preventa-ble disabilities require a synchronized response of health and medical bodies. The course will expose the students to the complexities of managing MCIs and the principles of re-sponse at various levels (national, regional, local and community level), taking into account pre-hospital and hospital entities as well as post-emergency rehabilitation bodies. The course will focus on the medical aspects of managing mass casualty events and disasters, emphasizing the varied medical entities that are involved in responding to emerging needs. The course will examine the three phases of management – pre event (preparedness), during the event (management and organization), and post event (after action review, learning les-sons, implementation and rehabilitation). The key tools that are used from triage, through emergency medical services and up to recovery and return to routine function will be pre-sented.
During the course, a simulation of a mass casualty incident will be conducted, in which the students will represent the varied stake-holders.

 

Course objectives:
To expose the students to the principles of preparedness, response and recovery of healthcare systems in diverse emergencies. The students will learn the main doctrines for providing medical services during emergencies, the varied tools that are frequently uti-lized, and the relations between different medical entities as well as between them and other interface bodies. The students will have the opportunity to simulate the theories, principles and tools available for the healthcare systems in responding to unique needs of the community and the population in times of emergency.   

Statistics

Course summary & rational: Quantitative methods are the basis of all empirical research. In this course, students will learn different types of statistical procedures that would help them in analysing quantitative data. The course will be accompanied by the practice of the subject mat-ter by using SPSS/EXCEL software.
Course aim: Provide knowledge of basic terminology in the field of quantitative methods to carry out an empirical research. Provide conceptual basis of statistical analysis, which
includes descriptive and analytic statistics. 

Epidemiology & Research methods

Epidemiology has become an increasingly essential approach in both public health and clinical practice. Epidemiology is the basic science of disease prevention and is used to identify risk factors for disease in the population while outlining ways to reduce these factors. Epidemiology is the basis for clinical decision making and health policy planning and implementation.

Quantitative Research Methods are the tools for accurate data collecting as basis for decision making regarding clinical aspects and aspects of public health and health policy. Knowledge of research methods and understanding the results is the foundation for making informed decisions.This course is designed to teach the basic principles, terminology and methods of epidemiology and research methods together with the possible applications to public health and clinical practice. 

Mental Health Aspects of Emergencies and Disasters

General
Emergency & disaster situations confront the health responder teams in the front line of their sequela – physical and psychic (or mental) trauma. Rate of mental health injuries from those conditions might reach overwhelming numbers, and might cause the collapse of mental health community and governmental systems.
The course will deal with these issues from multilevel approach and will attempt to bring together theoretical, clinical and organizational considerations.
The provision of the optimal response to disaster conditions regarding the mental health realm is primarily based on organization of services and actions. Hence a focus will be put on the aspect of mental health organization in disaster in the communities and governmental systems. 

Course objectives

To expose students to an understanding of the two realms relevant to this topic:
(a) An understanding of the mental vulnerability of emergencies centered on the mental trauma and its various derivatives.
(b) Understanding the planning principles related to mental health in emergencies.

Disaster Psychology

Disaster planning and management cannot be done without societal context. Yet, many decision makers and crisis planners often overlook the sociological and psychological components that are crucial for appropriate disaster management. In this course we will discuss key concepts in the socio-psychological determinants of disaster management, including: resilience, public preparedness, psychology of risk communication, etc. We will analyze the effects of those factors on human behavior in the context of preparedness to emergencies. We will use several examples to highlight the importance of psychological context in emergency planning. The course will enable students to better understand the role of socio-psychological factors in emergency management and to develop tools to incorporate them into their management skills.

Psychological First Aid [PFA]

Prerequisite Course: Mental Health Aspects of Emergencies and Disaster Situations

General
The course is intended to train its participants to be both Psychological First Aid (PFA) providers as well as trainers for PFA providers. It will focus on the advanced and innovative approaches in the field of psychological first aid, centered on the SIX Cs model, which is recognized as the official national protocol of the State of Israel for PFA-based interventions.

PFA is currently the first operative arm of providing assistance to individuals who react in acute stress reaction symptoms during emergency or disaster events. Previous approaches have viewed administering of PFA as a procedure similar to any psychological treatment (such as short-term psychotherapy), yet studies in the field of neuropsychology indicate that the approach that will allow the victim to return to his/her well-being and continue functioning in the shortest time, should be fundamentally changed.
 

Course objectives
1. Acquiring theoretical and practical training to function as first responders through SIX Cs-focused PFA.
2. In-depth understanding of psychological and neuropsychological models on which the model is based.
3. Learning the method protocol, practicing it and implementing it.
4. Learning the methodology and acquiring the ability to be the training leaders (trainers) for PFA trainees of this method.

In order to receive the official authorization of the Israeli Ministry of Health [MOH] to train the SIX Cs model the course participants will have to successfully pass theoretical and practical exams.

Project Management and Evaluation

Prerequisite Course: Operational , Technological and Logistical – Topics in Disasters

Course description:
Managers of emergency and disaster situations face complex management challenges. These challenges result from the characteristics of the varied emergencies, as well as from the capacity of the affected system to prepare for the potential consequences of the emergency scenarios.
Systems and organizations that optimize their planning and evaluation processes, while maintaining flexibility and creativity to forecast and accordingly implement needed modifications, mitigate the negative effects of the emergencies. Simultaneously, they need to maintain high standards of professionalism, ethics and accountability. This course will expose the students to tools and approaches in project management, its evaluation and implications within a context of reduced certainty and limited resources.

Goals of the course:
To provide practical tools for project management, exposure to managerial approaches and basic terms in planning and evaluating projects. The students will plan and implement projects while observing the principles of MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning). These goals will be achieved by addressing dilemmas and analyzing case studies. The course will include exposure to the challenges faced by and mechanisms used by emergency organizations to plan for and manage projects aimed at building resilience and responding to emergency situations. 

Crisis Management in Organizations

Crisis management is the application of strategies designed to help an organization deal with a sudden and significant negative event. A crisis can occur as a result of an unpredictable internal or external event, or as an unforeseeable consequence of some event, which had been considered a potential risk. In either case, crises almost invariably require that decisions be made quickly to limit damage to the organization. A crisis may be internal when it occurs within an organization, or external, when the crisis occurs in its environment. The crisis could be personal, inter-personal, technical, organizational-managerial, or inter-organizational. In these organizations, we may be employed in front-line or in leadership and managerial positions. Managers at all organizational levels are expected to be prepared, and to have the professional skills to intervene, when some type of crisis occurs.

Different organizations deal differently with situations of crisis and disaster. Some belong to the public sector (primarily Government Ministries and Local Authorities), while others may be Non-Governmental (NGOs), For-Profit, or Civil Society organizations. They may be located at different levels of management: at the International, National, Regional, Local or the Community level. Often, some of these organizations collaborate with each other, either to prevent an expected crisis or when it happens. Such collaborations are expected to strengthen intra and inter-organizational resilience, through organizational learning procedures.

Course objectives:

During the course, students will learn the main theories and practices of crisis management in the above mentioned types of organizations. They will learn to identify pre-crisis "red lights" within organizations, which will enable them to prevent and to handle different types of crises and disasters. A number of organization-based case studies will be discussed in class to illustrate the theories and to study their usefulness for practice. 

Risk and Crisis Communication

The MDM program combines a wide range of relevant issues that are relevant to manage disaster. Risk & crisis communication is an important element during the preparedness phase and during the response phase. Risk and crisis communication is one of the most important issues in order to prepare the population and to respond to emergencies and disasters. This course will deal with risk & crisis communication at the preparedness and response phase. This course will also include a workshop of preparing and conducting an interview.

Course objectives:
To expose the students to the field of risk & crisis communication, and provide basic tools & terms. At the end of the course, the students will be able to prepare messages and deliver them to the media, and to understand how to use effectively crisis communication during a disaster.
 

Who is the Master of Disaster? Responses from Democracies, Hybrid Regimes and Autocracies

Course Topics:
Political systems play a significant role in managing disasters through preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery. However, disaster management, as well as vulnerability, often derive from a country’s political conditions, its institutions, actors, culture and norms. Therefore, depending on the type of political system (e.g. democracy, autocracy, or hybrid regime), governments react differently to specific events - in particular to disasters, emergency situations and crises.
The course analyzes the intersection of politics, policy and differing management capabilities and actions during a crisis. Thus, we aim to answer questions such as “What is the relationship between political systems and disaster management? How do political systems - its institutions, actors, norms and values - impact the occurrence, mitigation and management crises and disasters? What role does leadership play? Do democracies handle crises in a more efficient way than autocracies or hybrid regimes? Is there such a thing as “good” or “bad” disaster management from a political science perspective?
To answer these questions, the course is divided into three parts. At first, we lay the theoretical and empirical foundations of the sessions by focusing on the characteristics of political systems. How do democratic, autocratic states and hybrid regimes differ from each other? How do specific institutions work? How can the quality of a political system be measured and ranked and can these assessments be connected to disaster responses? The second part analyses various disasters in specific countries and regions around the world to compare and contrast the management qualities of different political regimes. Lastly, we have a look at the consequences of “good” and “bad” disaster management from a political science perspective. For affected citizens, a crisis or disaster may provide an opportunity to express dissatisfaction and discontent by protesting the perceived inadequate and insufficient efforts for relief or reconstruction (e.g. demonstrations, protests, the rise of right-wing populism, mistrust in political institutions). Therefore, a look at the actions by civil societies, non-governmental actors as well as political opposition during or in the aftermath of a severe crisis is warranted and may provide a learning opportunity for future crisis management.
 

Course objectives:
The course will enable students to understand the characteristics and differences between political systems by comparing and evaluating the disaster management skills and resources of democracies, hybrid regimes and autocracies. Students will also learn what kind of consequences “good” or “bad” disaster management can have on the political system itself (feedback loop).

Legal and Ethical Aspects in Emergency & Disaster Situations

Incorporating legal standards, regulations and laws into all phases of disaster preparedness and management is fundamental to an effective response, but the complexity of implementing these various tools is often challenging. The course will introduce the legal and policy frameworks that have been applied in the last decades in an effort to mitigate and combat the impact of natural disasters, pandemics and man-made conflicts. Domestic and international laws will be analyzed to expose the students to their strengths and weaknesses.

Course objectives:

This course will introduce students to a broad spectrum of legal issues related to disaster management and humanitarian action. The role of local, state and federal governments in an emergency or disaster response will be examined in light of the laws and regulations which have been instated by national or international bodies. The response to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and public health outbreaks will be analysed in relation to the legal mechanisms which are in place. Legal issues covered will include public health legal preparedness, legal aspects of safety and well-being of civilian populations under crises, legal tools for dealing with pandemics, management of refugees and preservation of human rights even under emergency situations. 

Internship program

Internships are an effective way to gain work experience, increase employment opportunities, and be a stepping-stone to a desired industry and sector. They provide opportunities to learn and gain hands-on experience related to individual career goals and fields of interest.
Successful completion of an internship makes a job candidate more attractive to employers who prefer to hire individuals who possess better work habits, soft skills, technical understanding, and industry skills. Participating in an internship will broaden your knowledge and open the door to novel opportunities as you develop new connections and expand your professional network.
The internship program in the Master of Disaster Management (M.DM.) is designed to expose the students to the realm of disaster preparedness and humanitarian aid, by interning in one of the entities that focus on these areas. Students will have the unique opportunity to view the practices as they evolve in the field versus the theories learned in the academic program.

 

The internship program is an annual course which awards four credit points. A student must complete the course in its entirety to receive the 4 credits. Partial credit is not available.
The cancellation of this course is possible until the first day of the second semester (both for regular and research tracks).

 

Introduction to Cyber Events Readiness and Response

Is the world ready for Digital Information Warfare? Can countries face a digital attack on national, public, security, and business information systems? Are countries prepared to prevent and contain a variety of cyber threats in a way that will allow for the continuation of proper conduct of life systems in the country? Will ‘digital terrorism’ replace physical terror in the future? Can our new ‘digital global village’ survive a cyber warfare attack?
The above questions present little of the various scenarios that the cyber threat includes. The concept of cyber threats began to appear about 3 decades ago. It began at the end of the 1980s, shortly after the appearance of the first PC in the world, and it rose with the birth of the Internet to the world in the mid-1990s. Over the past 2 decades, the cyber threat has taken on an entirely new dimension and is now attributed as one of the most critical threats in the world. It includes all types of information infrastructures, social networks, national information assets, financial industries and commerce, business and commercial entities, security information assets and any entity that holds various types of information, including the private individual who currently holds significant digital information for his personal needs.
Today, our world experiences daily cyber-attacks on many information infrastructures for various purposes which can and do significantly harm countries in every sector. In our growing digital world, the cyber threat will increase and its power presents a particularly significant challenge for understanding and addressing.
The Israeli national cyber headquarters was established in 2010 by government mandate and for the last 10 years has become a model of quality and reputation and an example for other advanced western countries.   
This course aims to emphasize the cyber-security issues, international relations dilemmas, policy initiatives and emerging doctrines. We encourage the students to develop new thoughts and develop new ideas using different national and international cases, such as: cyber-deterrence, the offense-defense balance public-private security-economic ecosystems, ‘fake news’ and more.

 

Course Objectives:
The goals of this course are to provide the students with the understanding of definitions and meanings of the Cyber Strategy, Perception and Threat-Risk management in the cyber arena, the Israeli National Cyber Model and other western country models. In addition, we will cover a broad spectrum of the cyber threat development, including a description and analysis of the implications to the future in the global economic sectors, social, commercial, national security aspects, national critical infrastructures and the commercial-business arena.

Final Project Seminar (for regular track only)

Topics:

Writing the final paper for the program is a challenging process. Development of a scientific idea and incorporating it into an actual research question or research course can be quite difficult. This course is intended to allow students to engage in a discourse among themselves in supervision of the lecturer. These discussion will allow a smoother process of research development and adaptation to the requirements of the final project.

 

Goals:

This course will serve as a colloquium (a discourse stage) to facilitate the process of the final paper development.

Research seminar (thesis track only)

Topics:

Writing the thesis' research proposal is a challenging process. Development of a scientific idea and incorporating it into an actual research question or research course can be quite difficult. This course is intended to allow students to engage in a discourse among themselves in supervision of the lecturer. These discussions will allow a smoother process of research development and adaptation to the requirements of the research proposal.

Goals:

This course will serve as a colloquium (a discourse stage) to facilitate the process of the development of the research proposal for the final thesis.

Public Policy

Public Policy is both formally and in practice the prerogative of government authorities. In a democratic system the role of government is both to formulate policy for the public and to be responsible for its successful and effective implementation. However, the responsibility and authority of the government does not exclude non-governmental entities from involvement in this process. Various interest groups such as financial Tycoons needs of business sectors, lobbyists, non-profit organizations, foreign governments and even trans-national organizations, all may be involved in formulation of public policy. Hence, public policy is not merely a matter of the policy maker?s ability to weigh and factor different data and forecasts, but his or her ability to navigate between the interests of the diverse actors and to implement the policy in the field.

Public Policy is a course that explores policy-making as both a problem-solving process and a political process. We look at policy-making from the perspective of different focal actors and institutions, including: administrative agencies, legislators, the mass public, interest groups, and the media. We examine the interplay between policy development and institutions, and review normative and empirical models of policy-making.
Exploring these issues will require us to address questions like: How and why does something come to be seen as a "public problem" requiring a governmental response, while others fail to get attention? Why do we need public policies? What determines the content and nature of public policies? Who decides public policy priorities? What can be identified as the actual governmental policy? Does public policy ever accomplish anything worthwhile?
The aim of this course is to provide the student with theoretical and practical knowledge on key public policy processes. The student will gain skills for critical analysis of public policy processes and their implementation, in order to enhance his/her capability to participate in and influence them

Business Continuity Management

Course description:
Information has become one of the most important resources for organizations (governmental, business, and private). In recent years, we have heard that "Information is the new oil" and concepts such as big data and the digital age are often used. Simultaneously, through ad-vanced technologies and developed communications we are connected and exposed to more people and information. In organizations, this technological connectivity enables their exist-ence and continued growth, and therefore it is vital to maintain this capability. Along with the growing connectivity and networking, our dependence on these technologies increases, which on the one hand enable organizations to grow, but on the other hand increases their vulnerabil-ity.
Organizations are exposed to many threats, including natural and man-made emergencies, but also to internal and external cyber threats. Therefore, organizations must build preparedness programs to cope with various emergency situations in order to ensure that they can continue to function after the event. One of the most important components in this preparedness is shortening the response time and technological recovery so that the organization can continue to function and maintain the same functional continuity.

Course objectives:
The students will learn the principles and importance of building recovery plans and business continuity programs. In addition, students will understand the importance of integrating tech-nology recovery alongside preparation of programs for staff and managers in the organization. Managing response to emergency events is important for an organization's ability to survive crises and continue to function and serve its customers. As current and future emergency managers, students will also study, along with theoretical studies, Israeli and international standards for business continuity, how to assess business impact, manage emergency commu-nication and coordinate between stakeholders and managements.

On Debriefing and Organizational Learning

Improving international humanitarian aid: monitoring, evaluation and lessons learned

A significant factor in meeting humanitarian needs and objectives is the capacity of international humanitarian organizations to engage in meaningful learning processes. It is also through these processes that aid organizations hope to maximize their chances to administer aid efficiently and ethically, in disaster situations, as well as in politically induced humanitarian crises.

Students in this course will analyze how international humanitarian aid organizations learn, monitor and evaluate their programs and emergency interventions. This includes simulations and the development of critical analysis of the significant political, organizational and personal challenges that humanitarian aid organizations face as they apply their diverse learning models.

 

Disaster Economics

Course description:
The rapid expansion of the number of humanitarian actors in recent years, working for or with governments at all levels and often in complex situations, makes humanitarian diplomacy increasingly important. Humanitarian diplomacy is persuading decision makers and opinion leaders to act, at all times, in the interests of vulnerable people, and with full respect for fundamental humanitarian principles.
Humanitarian diplomacy aims to mobilise public and governmental support and resources for humanitarian operations and programmes in the field, and to facilitate effective partnerships for responding to the needs of vulnerable people. Humanitarian diplomacy includes advocacy, negotiation, communication, formal agreements, and other measures. It is a field with many players, including governments, militaries, non-governmental armed groups, international organisations, NGOs, the private sector, and private individuals.

Course objectives:
Students in this course will develop an in-depth understanding of the current best practices in humanitarian diplomacy; at the theoretical as well as at the operational field level. The course will also provide the tools necessary for critical reflection, analysis, and debate on the humanitarian diplomatic approaches of international humanitarian aid actors in complex humanitarian emergencies (political and man-made) as well as in natural disasters. 

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