Online Course - Crisis and Risk Communication in Emergencies and Disasters

(Last Updated on 27 May 2021)

Registration for the new cohort opens until 30 September 2022. Upon registration, students are allowed to study the course until 31 October 2022 at their own pace. 

Course Overview

During a crisis it is critical for good communication to be practiced if there is to be an effective response. In such circumstances communication needs to be both effective and sensitive to the human condition, making best use of relationships and communication resources that are available; and to engage all stakeholders and partners, including the press and media.

Good communication must also be clear and timely. Often there will only be one chance to get the message across. Calls to action must be realistic given the extraordinary circumstances – the actions themselves both achievable in conditions that may be highly stressful. Good communication planning should allow for actors to be proactive, and not reliant on specific instruction.

Communication is central to the study of disaster and humanitarian relief and that over time and with experience communications models have been defined, refined and improved.

Course Features

Let us begin by asking ourselves, as we embark on the course, a few foundational questions:

Question:         What do we understand to be crisis and emergency risk communication?

Question:         What are its constituent parts?

Question:         What is its purpose?

Question:         Why is it important?

Question:         Why is it so important to you that you wish to learn about it?

During this course we will be answering the first four of these questions.  The final question only you can answer, which we hope you will be able to answer with confidence by the end of the course.

The Learning Objectives and Outcomes of this course are:

Target Audience

This online course will be available to anyone in the world. Target audience includes those who are working in the field of disaster and humanitarian relief, or those who are studying subjects like communication, public health, NGO and development management or other relevant disciplines.


As part of CCOUC’s knowledge transfer endeavour, this course is offered free of charge. There is limited quota for enrolment on a first-come-first-served basis.

Course Structure and Delivery Format

The course involves a total of 7 lessons, 4 short quizzes (after lectures 2-5) and one final assessment (after lecture 6). Each lesson requires about 1.5 to 2 hours of study. All assessments are in the form of multiple-choice questions to be completed online with unlimited attempts. To progress through the course, students must obtain 80% or above in each short quiz. Students enrolled in the course may access all learning materials and go through all learning activities online within a maximum period of 18 months. Topics covered in the course are as follows:

Course Completion and Certification

Students who obtain 60% or above in the final assessment will be issued a printable certificate in recognition of completing the course.


To start studying the course now, please visit the course website at

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