The Social Policy Analysis and Research Center (SPARC), Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo in partnership with the University of Copenhagen organized a three-week field course for the students following the Masters Programme in Disaster Management at University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Assistant Professor Emmanuel Raju, the course leader of the masters programme and Ms. Mariel Britanico Program Coordinator accompanied the students in the excursion.
The students stayed in Sri Lanka for a period of three weeks. In the first week students were given an introduction to Sri Lanka including historical, political, social, economic and geographic perspectives by local specialists. In the second week, the students visited two field locations in Anuradhapura district -Ruwanmaduwa village and Kiwulekada village – affected by a series of natural disasters including floods, droughts and wild elephant attacks. Students conducted field work in these sites using multiple research tools such as transect walks, seasonal, spatial and disaster maps, seasonal calendars, historical timelines and social network analysis. In the third and the final week, the SPARC organized multiple interactive discussion sessions with the local government and Non–governmental organizations working in the field of disaster management such as the Disaster Management Center, Department of Meteorology, National Building Research Organization, UNDP, UNHABITAT and Child Fund. By comparing field work experience with policy making, students were able to get a better understanding of the ground reality of the disaster risk management in Sri Lanka.
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