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Indepth Research Services (IRES) -Training and Professional Consulting in GIS, Remote Sensing, and Emerging Technologies


Use of GIS and Remote Sensing in Disaster Risk Management
29.04.2013 - 02.05.2013
Sportsview Hotel Kasarani - Nairobi
GIS and Remote Sensing



Human population growth and rapid urbanization coupled with climate change are causing increased vulnerability of communities exposed to hazardous events all over the world.

Consequently, disasters are increasingly taking heavy loss of life and destruction of property. In Africa, and developing counties in general, unplanned growth and poor infrastructure both in urban and non-urban areas makes imperative that adequate preparation to reduce the impact of disasters be put in place. There is therefore great need to utilize disaster risk information in planning for effective coping mechanisms of disaster risk reduction. - Norman Kerle, ITC Netherlands, AIDA Conceptual

Disaster risk information is spatial in nature and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) play an important role in disaster risk assessment and management. For this reason, there is a significant need to create awareness among the disaster management professionals regarding the importance of GIS usage.

Equally important is creation of awareness on the use of Open Source software solutions, both for development and management use and for GIS work to improve accessibility for people, organizations and countries with lesser means of funding GIS implementation and use.

The main purpose of the course is to enhance the capabilities of executive managers and technical staff involved in disaster risk management by providing them with understanding on the use of spatial information in disaster risk management.

Participants acquire hands-on skills in application of Geographical Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) in disaster risk management interventions, and learn to work with, spatial data, satellite images and Public Participatory GIS tools, that are the key to a better understanding of hazard, vulnerability and risk.


The course is targeted at participants who require knowledge and skills on the use of GIS and RS in their organization for disaster risk management, disaster management, or disaster risk reduction, Early Warning. Prior knowledge of GIS and Remote Sensing is not a requirement but will be an added advantage.


The training is designed for participants who are reasonably proficient in English. It is an advantage, but not a prerequisite, that the participants have prior knowledge in Diasaster Risk Management and a basic working knowledge in GIS and Remote Sensing technologies. Applicants must live up to Indepth Research Services (IRES) admission criteria.


The class size is limited to 10 participants to ensure that each participants has the opportunity to interact with the facilitator, the GIS system and a GPS unit. The training may be cancelled if there are less than five participants.


4 Days


By completing this course, participants will be able to:-

  • Evaluate the spatial data requirements in disaster risk management
  • Use GIS and RS as a tools for hazard, vulnerability and risk (HVR) assessment
  • Use risk information in planning disaster reduction intervention through spatial multi-criteria analysis
  • Utilize existing sources of past disaster information and elements at risk data
  • Assess spatial data availability and understand the importance of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), for data sharing by organizations involved in disaster risk management
  • Apply GIS and RS for designing implementations of large scale early warning systems
  • Use participatory GIS (PGIS) at community level
  • Application of remote sensing data and image processing techniques to monitor hazardous events and assess damage
  • Damage assessments in order to generate information for recovery planning
  • Evaluate Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), for data sharing by organizations involved in disaster risk management
  • Design and implement their own GIS projects that integrate remote sensing data, GPS-based field information, and HVR models and analysis in a proper geospatial and cartographic framework


Module 1: Basic Information.

  • Basic GIS and RS concepts and terminologies in the context of disaster management
  • Introduction to spatial information
  • Spatial Reference Systems & data integration
  • GIS project design and setup
  • Handling spatial information I: (Using Quantum GIS Software)
  • Handling spatial information II: GPS-based mobile GIS for HV field data collection
  • Introduction to disaster risk Management concepts and frameworks

Module 2: Hazard, vulnerability and Risk assessment with GIS and RS (Pre-Disaster)

  • Hazard Assessment
  • Elements at risk and vulnerability assessment
  • Types and methods of risk assessment, risk evaluation, cost-benefit analysis
  • Use of GIS in disaster preparedness planning

Module 3: Application of risk information for Risk Reduction planning (Pre-Disaster)

  • Risk evaluation
  • Visualization of risk information (Using ILWIS Software)
  • Risk mapping and database generation
  • Disaster monitoring : satellite image processing techniques for change detection

Module 4: Introduction to Early warning systems and Information Networks (Pre-Disaster)

  • Early warning systems and Information Networks for major hazards

Module 5: Disaster Impact Analysis (Post Disaster)

  • The use of satellite imagery for disaster relief and recovery
  • Visit to a satellite data receiving and processing station.

Module 6: Public Participatory GIS and Disaster Risk Management (Pre and Post Disaster)

  • Participatory GIS
  • Mobile Data Gathering for Assessment and Surveys using Open Data Kit
  • Google Geospatial tools- Maps and Earth
  • SMS to Map for community crisis mapping - Using Ushahidi
  • Open StreetMaps
  • Other Global PPGIS Tools


The training is not aimed at any specific GIS and Remote Sensing software products, but will provide a practical, hands-on GIS problem solving, by making use of Free Open Source and commercial GIS Software such as ArcGIS, Quantum GIS, ILWIS,PCRaster, Google Earth, Google MapMaker and Open Data Kit (ODK).

The instructor led trainings are delivered using a blended learning approach and comprises of presentations, guided sessions of practical exercise, web based tutorials, group work and study visitsOur facilitators are seasoned industry experts with years of experience, working as professional and trainers in these fields.


All facilitation and course materials will be offered in English. The participants should be reasonably proficient in English.


Upon successful completion of this training, participants will be issued with an Indepth Research Services (IRES) certificate.


The training is residential, and will be held at Sportsview Hotel, Kasarani. Applicants are highly encouraged to stay at the hotel where the training is held. 


The standard course fee is KES 55,000, or US$ 799. This covers the course tuition, training materials, two break refreshments, lunch, and study visits.


Accommodation is arranged upon request. For reservations contact the outreach manager.

 Email:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

Mob: +254 721 440 526, +254 715 077 817


To apply for this course kindly register online in our website before C.O.B. 15th April 2013. For more details contact: The Manager - Training Department Indepth Research Services Mobile: (254) 721 440 526 Tel: (+254) 0202113814 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Payment should be transferred to IRES account through bank on or before 22nd April 2013. Otherwise, your participation will be cancelled. Kindly send proof of payment to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Payment for the all courses includes a registration fee, which is non-refundable, and equals 15% of the total sum of the course fee.

  1. Participants may cancel attendance 14 days or more prior to the training commencement date.
  2. No refunds will be made 14 days or less to the training commencement date. However, participants who are unable to attend may opt to attend a similar training at a later date, or send a substitute participant provided the participation criteria have been met.

This scheduled course can also be tailored for your organisation. To find out how our tailor-made training can help your organisation, call our team on +254 721 440 526.

Please Note: The program content shown here is for guidance purposes only. Our continuous course improvement process may lead to changes in topics and course structure.


Sportsview Hotel Kasarani


Situated 12 km north of Nairobi, the "city in the sun", Sportsview hotel has the unique blend of the tranquility of a Country Inn and all the modern amenities of an International City Hotel. Set out in flowery well-manicured spacious gardens, it is an especially enticing venue for business firms and professional organizations who wish to host seminars, workshops, conferences or tour groups seeking to itinerate accommodation with a different but tranquil atmosphere.
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