Bournemouth University’s Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC) assists governments and organisations worldwide to prepare for the worst.
By combining research, consultancy and bespoke training BUDMC helps international aid agencies, and multi-national businesses, to plan so that they can handle any kind of crisis.
Established in 2001; BUDMC is now globally recognised for its interactive “in-country” training programmes tackling disaster and crisis management issues - from providing training on handling the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone to simulating a plane crash in Ghana.
The experienced teaching and research team is made up of international experts working in partnership with organisations such as United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Their aim is to develop cohesion between government departments, emergency services and the military, with wider stakeholders such as tourism, aid agencies, locally based community organisations, the media and many more, in order to reduce risks, facilitate a swift and appropriate response to, and recover quickly from, a crisis.
In 2015 the team worked on the development of a strategic national response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. BUDMC staff deployed to train and mentor the Office of National Security to help prepare them to take over the handling of the Ebola crisis from larger organizations such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), WHO and UN. The final week included a national test exercise with a presidential briefing.
BUDMC have also recently worked with the Ghanaian government and emergency management agency to produce a unique ‘national training policy’ for disaster management. The aim of the workshops was to ensure common approaches to training across multiple agencies to prevent confusion arising from differing training provided by donor countries and agencies. The training policy has since been adopted and used as a model for other countries in the region.
In the UK, BUDMC have been providing bespoke executive seminars in best practice for disaster management for a number of overseas government, military and emergency service chiefs.
All of the work the BUDMC team undertakes is underpinned by research and this is reflected in the number of new PhD students in the department and the appointment of a post-doctoral researcher. The reach and research of the BUDMC is constantly expanding to meet demand, with Professor Lee Miles appointed in 2015 to develop his research focus on entrepreneurial resilience in crisis and how a multi-agency approach can get disaster-hit areas back on their feet quicker.
Director of the BUDMC Richard Gordon said: “We have had the privilege of passing on knowledge to help manage crisis in real situations. The work that we do is vital in helping governments and organisations to prepare well for disaster, and work in an integrated way to minimise impact and aid in the recovery of a region or situation.”
The team are currently preparing to start work in Qatar and Bahrain with future projects planned for Nepal and Venezuela. In addition BUDMC continues to provide their flagship two-week International Disaster Management Course. To find out more about the work that BUDMC are doing, visit their webpages.