Presented by Dr Jorge Diaz and Ms Sayaka Yoda, MSc this workshop will consider new insights from lessons learnt in the aftermath of disasters and its relation to building resilience (2000-2020). Best practices from Japan and Chile will be revised.

Dr Diaz has been involved during the response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness stages in Chile (2010-2013) while Ms Yoda has been engaged in different projects in Japan and Nepal related to DRM.

In a world that is being buffeted by turbulence and uncertainty, enhancing city resilience has become a major area of focus. A key challenge lies in the forward-looking nature of risks and vulnerability. That is, risk and vulnerability assessment need to take into account those factors and processes that may not yet have become evident in past disaster situations.

Resilience should focus on people, especially the poor, elderly and the vulnerable. A closer look reveals that crises are not even-handed as far as the impact on people is concerned.

Target audience

This workshop is aimed at all those who are engaged in the decision-making process towards building resilience of cities.

Who should attend:

  • Central & Local Government Officials
  • Leaders of Development Organizations
  • Humanitarian Aid Staff

Course Programme


Day 1 - The Change Management Process: Resilience Enablers

Each city is a specific case, with building resilience there is not a “one-size fits all approach” it will depend on the development stage that a particular city has, and how resilience enablers have been managed and prioritized. Underlying Vulnerability is also a key consideration to assess the starting point to embed the process.

    • Raising Public Awareness
    • Stakeholders Engagement
    • Building Partnerships & Agreements
    • Capacity Building
    • Pilot-Testing
    • Monitoring & Evaluation & Learning

Day 2 – Setting a Tailored Route

We will review and discuss the need to bridge key gaps and ignited opportunities to shift current trends.

    • Building a Common Vision in the Long-Term

Building resilience demands a shared and agreed vision that goes beyond a government term, political agenda, sectoral program, or biased interest. We need to embed systemic risk as a core paradigm. Governance means also transparency, accountability, it builds trust and social cohesion.

    • Providing Science-Based evidence as a key input for Decision-Making

There has been a historical gap in most developing countries to facilitate useful knowledge and tools for policy-makers. Most staff at local government jurisdictions lack the capabilities and skills to integrate science-based analysis in policies, programs, plans and projects.

    • Getting on Board a Variety of Stakeholders having Local Community as an indispensable role player

Local Communities, especially people at the highest risk, are the majority in developing countries, they should be the target population within any policy, program, plan or project related to building resilience Community-Based Planning and Design processes, should be understood as a social reconstruction amidst social segregation, economic inequalities, internal displacements, re-settlement processes, migration, etc., that tend to trigger social crises. At the same time, volunteering plays a key role in building resilience.

    • Providing Funding Tools for Resilience Building and Risk Transfer

From crowd-funding, micro-financing, insurances, private sponsors, public-private partnerships, tax incentives, and bi-lateral mechanisms, to traditional banking and government resources. Any of these are opportunities that must have a binding legal framework behind.

    • Linking Humanitarian Aid and Relief to Development Agendas

Overlapping programs and a lack of vision in the long-term have been undermining the opportunities to break an endless cycle of expensive re-construction programs, a huge death toll in the aftermath of disasters, increasing poverty, social disruption, and a sense of generalized chaos.

Day 2 – Learning from Best Practices: Japan and Chile

We will review and discuss the outcomes, achievements and prevailing gaps in these two case-studies.

  • Underlying Issues that undermine resilience building
    • From cultural background and normalized informality to corruption and poor governance
  • Response and Recovery: Early Warning Systems and the Tripod Scheme
    • Self Help, Mutual Help, Public Help
  • Mitigation: From High-Tech to Soft-Tech solutions
    • Coastal Infrastructure
    • Tsunami-Proof Housing
  • Preparedness: Building Codes and Land Development
    • Re-Settlement Processes after a Disaster
    • Building Back Better
    • Livelihood Restoration Programs


Dr Jorge Diaz holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture, a master’s in Urban Planning, a PhD in Urban Studies and three post doctorates in Disaster Risk management (Canada, Chile and Poland). His career spans America, Europe and Africa over thirty years of research, technical support and policy-making, and his professional career embraces: Urban & Transport Planning, Disaster Risk Management, and Climate Change. Dr Diaz is a former consultant of different United Nations agencies, Medecins Sans Frontieres, HOPE-Worldwide, amongst the main organizations. Dr Jorge Diaz Tejada 

Ms Sayaka Yoda holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a master’s in Town Planning. Her career spans America and Asia over more than ten years. She has provided technical assistance on DRM at CITYNET-Japan, and has also been an expert at the World Bank-GFDRR at the office in Tokyo.


 Sayaka Yoda



new forestThe New Forest is one of the UK's most popular tourist destinations and offers many attractions all year round, including picturesque forest villages as well as beautiful scenery. It is located in Southern England, spreading over 150 square miles of Hampshire. The New Forest was established as a royal hunting ground by King William I, and by the 14th century, the land was being used to produce timber for the shipbuilding industry on the south coast. Today, after nearly 1000 years, the forest is still Crown property and is administered by the Forestry Commission. Since the reign of King William I commoners have been given the right to graze their livestock, normally ponies, cattle and pigs, on Forest land where they wander freely. In the New Forest, the well-being of the animals and the special needs of the countryside are a priority. The Forest is unarguably recognised as one of the most unique and important wilderness areas in Western Europe and, because of this, it is now a National Park.

Venue and Accommodation

The course will take place at the Wessex Institute at Ashurst Lodge located in the New Forest, an outstanding National Park that borders the South Coast. Ashurst Lodge is an ideal venue for conferences, courses and seminars. The participants can benefit from an excellent standard of accommodation in various hotels or bed and breakfasts in the area. The surroundings are equally appealing to those who enjoy walking, horse riding, cycling, sailing and fine landscapes.

For more information on how to find Ashurst Lodge and to arrange accommodation during the courses please use the information provided on the Contact Us page.

Ashurst Lodge panorama