Damage and reconstruction needs assessment (online course)

National Institute of Disaster Management (India)
World Bank Institute

The Damage and Reconstruction Needs Assessment course is a joint offering of National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi and World Bank Institute, Washington. It is part of the Comprehensive Natural Disaster Risk Management Program developed by the World Bank Institute with support from WB Hazard Management Unit and ProVention Consortium. The course aims at enhancing participants’ understanding and capacity in assessing the social, economic and environmental effects of natural disasters. It reviews methodologies and instruments used to quantify direct damages and indirect losses and the overall macroeconomic consequences of catastrophic events, in order to determine the damages and the reconstruction needs.

This course offers a set of diagnostic tools to measure the type and extent of damage and losses caused by a specific disaster. It can be used immediately after the emergency stage to assess the direct and indirect effects of a catastrophic event, and its implications for the social well-being and economic performance of the affected area. This comprehensive methodology covers the broad range of effects and their cross implications for the economic and social sectors, physical infrastructure, and environmental assets. Based on its estimates, it is possible to determine the reconstruction requirements and identify appropriate reconstruction programs and projects.

The course is based on the Handbook developed by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean. It incorporates both the conceptual and methodological aspects of measuring the damage caused by disasters to capital stocks, losses in the flows of goods and services, and temporary effects on the main macroeconomic variables. The presented methodology can be also used to estimate whether there is a sufficient domestic capacity for dealing with reconstruction tasks, or whether international cooperation is required.


The course introduces basic tools that can be used to assess the damages and losses caused by natural disasters. The accompanying analysis provides guidance for long-term policy decisions that aim at reducing disaster risk and vulnerability.

The course provides a better understanding of:

  • The concept of disaster valuation,
  • Links between disasters, post-crisis management and development,
  • Tools for socioeconomic and environmental valuation of disasters and
  • Disaster assessment process in developing countries

Course format:

The course consists of self-paced modules, discussion forums, exercises, readings, case studies, tests and learning via interaction with program faculty and peers. Moreover, for each module there are 2 to 3 audio sessions of expert lectures for 40–45 minutes each. The Course materials shall be provided in a CD to each participant.

Course expectations:

  • Participants are expected to commit 8–10 hours per week in order to gain the most out of this course in addition to:
  • Complete the required reading assignments.
  • Participate in all online activities. Participation involves posting a minimum of two messages per week that are substantive in nature. The message can be either a new topic or a reply to someone else's message.
  • Participants are encouraged to post more often than twice a week in order to be involved more deeply into topics.
  • Participate in videoconferencing and asynchronous chat sessions (if applicable)
  • Complete assignments and end of course project
  • Complete course evaluation at the end of the course


Joint certificate from NIDM and WBI shall be issued to all successful participants of the course.

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