UMass Boston, Indonesian Doctors Working Together on Disaster Recovery Education
July 06, 2012
The University of Massachusetts Boston today announced a collaboration between University College, the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters (CRSCAD) and the faculty of medicine at Universitas Airlangga in Indonesia to explore study-abroad programs and research in post-disaster reconstruction.
The memorandum of understanding establishes an agreement for CRSCAD and Universitas Airlangga to investigate the potential for study-abroad programs and to promote cooperative applied research initiatives in Indonesia and the United States in post-disaster reconstruction. In addition, CRSCAD and Universitas Airlangga will conduct research in the area of sustainable development, promote the exchange of academic research-related information, and will promote various collaborations on third party-funded educational and research activities.
The agreement comes after a 10-day intensive course on disaster management in Indonesia that was jointly organized by CRSCAD and Universitas Airlangga. “The course, consisting of interactive lectures, seminars, workshop and plenary discussions, began the process of formally integrating disaster risk reduction into medical education and practice in Indonesia,” said CRSCAD Director Adenrele Awotona, who also led two workshops.
“We examined the roles of government, nongovernmental organization, humanitarian and development agencies, multilateral establishments, and the private sector in the complex process of post-disaster reconstruction,” Awotona said. “These workshops addressed the need for the development of culturally appropriate laws, standards and community-based strategic plans for reconstruction and the role of social, traditional and cultural practices,” he added. “There is much local wisdom in the building and sustaining of community and individual resiliency in Indonesia that we should tap into.”
Included in the course work were a series of lectures on the economic benefits of environmental protection and water and food security, delivered by Jennifer Clifford, a CRSCAD team member. She also addressed the issues of the costs of deforestation and environmental degradation as well as the environmental and health impacts of climate change on Indonesia.
“We have laid the groundwork to help Indonesia now prepare for post-disaster recovery on many, many levels,” Awotona said. “We look forward to being able to foster this relationship to promote online projects and to help train the medical practitioners, educators, government officials and other disaster professionals.”
About University College
University College is dedicated to meeting the needs of adult learners by providing a wide range of programs ranging from focused short-term, noncredit training to wide-ranging, longterm academic undergraduate and graduate professional degrees.
The Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters (CRSCAD), housed at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is the only institution of its kind dedicated to raising awareness and possessing the expertise necessary for longterm sustainable reconstruction, encompassing a multidisciplinary approach to sustainability and disaster relief.
About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex urban issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.