Academic Programs


  • Postgraduate Academic Programs:

    • Msc in Disaster Risk management and Sustainable Development
    • Msc livelihood and food security 
    • Msc Clamate change and development 









Disasters are a major challenge for all households, community, and countries in their effort to achieve better livelihood outcomes. Disasters set back development by destructing years of development efforts. But historically, the impacts of disasters are particularly devastating for developing countries and poor people. Ethiopia is one of the developing countries that have been challenged by number of disaster events. Based on the country’s deep-rooted history of disasters and the past disaster management experience, the transitional government of Ethiopia established  the National Policy on Disaster Prevention and Management (NPDPM) in 1993 andrestructured the existing response oriented disaster management system into a more proactive disaster management system.

The NPDPM led the shift in thinking from relief and response to development that provides an opportunity for the integration of disaster risk management and sustainable development initiatives in higher education and research institutions. As a response to the identified policy gap in human capacity skill and research, Bahir Dar University has established  the Department of Disaster Risk Management and Sustainable Development undergraduate program in 2005  and the Disaster Risk Science post graduate program in 2007. Currently the department is promoted to an institute called Institute of Disaster Risk Management & Food Security Studies (IDRMFSS).

Through its formal (B.Sc and MSc) and short course programs IDRMFSS aims to tackle the issue in disaster risk management from a developmental perspective. This is so by offering practice based multidisciplinary courses that enables students to acquire skills and knowledge required to integrate risk management plans with government and non-government development plans in ensuring sustainable development. The ultimate outcome is to reduce the risk of loss of life and livelihood as well as property loss using information and research based practices in respect of hazards and underlying vulnerability conditions within the society.


  1.  Objectives of the Department
  2. ·      Running both under-graduate and post graduate  programs in DRMSD and others
  3. ·    Conducting  basic , applied , evidence based and action  researches;
  4. ·      Offering short term courses and  trainings  to enhance capacity building among Disaster risk management and development practitioners and professionals
  5. ·   Undertake , lead and facilitate community outreach services; Organize disaster risk management  and food security related national, regional and international seminars, symposiums, workshops and  policy dialogues; Strengthen academic links, cooperation, and exchanges between Universities and research institutes of different countries;
  6. ·   Establish Data base and information management center: working on early warning, risk mapping, vulnerability mapping and shall also be responsible to release evidence based forecasting and prediction on the principal basis of GIS and Remote Sensing. Moreover, the center will offer short term trainings as part of the institute.
  7. ·   Offer advisory and Consultancy works in DRMSD and climate change
  9.  Academic Programs
  10. The institute currently provides undergraduate degree in regular, extension, summer and distance programs with duration of three, four, five and four years, respectively. The institute has also post-graduate studies in regular and summer programs. Besides, the institute is offering MSc training for students from Somalia Region in DRMSD.
  11. The program consists of a blend of academic and skills-based disciplines to produce well equipped expertise in DRMSD  that are expected to serve as professionals in a wider spectrum of areas related to the management of disaster risks.
  12. Existing Programs
  13. ·      BSc in DRMSD
  14. ·         MSc in DRMSD
  15. ·         MSc in Climate Change and Development
  16. ·   MSc in Livelihoods and Food Security
  17. PhD Programs
  18. ·PhD in Disaster Risk Science 
  19. Training Centre
  20. ·Fire, Safety and Emergency Management
  22.  Short term Courses
  23. ·Occupational Health and Safety
  24. ·Fire Management: Fire fighters Training
  25. ·Fire Management: Basics training
  26. ·Emergency Preparedness and response (EMS)
  27. ·Agriculture Risk Management (ARM)
  28. ·Food Security
  30. The Research Thematic Area
  32. The institute has identified four major thematic research areas:
  34. I.     Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
  36. a.                           Hazards, disasters/risks and Vulnerability/Resilience
  37. b.                            Risk/emergency management and resilience governance
  39. II.Livelihoods, Food Security, Disaster and Development
  40. a.                            Livelihoods security
  41. b.                            Food Security & Insecurity
  42. c.                             Poverty
  43. d.                            Resilience 
  44. e.                             Resilience to Food/Livelihood Insecurity 
  45. f.                             Shock impacts and coping strategies
  46. g.                             Relief and Development
  48. III.    Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
  49. a.    Climate variability/change and adapting options; 
  50. b.    Agro-ecosystem based vulnerability mapping and land use planning;
  51. c.     Early warning system for enhancing agricultural production; &
  52. d.    GIS and remote sensing technologies for climate science and development.  
  53. e.     Drought monitoring and analysis and disaster reductionthrough weather index based crop insurance.
  55. Cross cutting issues
  57. a.Migration and internal displacement
  58. b.Health environment and DRR
  59. c.  Conflict prevention and management
  60. d.Gender, disaster and development
  61. e.  Special needs(vulnerable groups in DRR)
  62. f.  Emerging social issues/traffic accident ,corruption, crime, terrorism
  64. Strategic Engagement (partnership)
  65.       The institute has established links with the following institutions to undertake the education and research activities:
  66. *      BDU/USAID Internship Program Support
  67. *      The PERI PERI U Consortium, 10 African University
  68. *      National Management System (NIMS)-USAID/MOPAD-DRMFSS, US
  69. *      National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC)
  70. *      THE World Food Program: Adapting the 3PA to Urban Settings
  71. *      Addis Ababa Fire Preparedness and Rescue Authority
  72. *      Industrial Parks Development Corporation
  73. *      Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Risk Reductions (GNDR)
  74. *      Ethiopian Red Cross 
  76. *       Mitigating disaster risks
  77. o    Enhancing livelihoods of the community
  78. o    Solid waste management
  79. o    Road traffic accidents