Thayaparan, Menaha, Siriwardena, Mohan, Malalgoda, Chamindi, Amaratunga, Dilanthi, Kaklauskas, Arturas and Lill, Irene (2010) Reforming HEI to improve skills and knowledge on disaster resilience among construction professionals. In: COBRA 2010, 2-3 September 2010, Dauphine Universite, Paris, Framce.

The built environment is significantly affected by disasters. Firstly, built facilities are expected to withstand such situations. Secondly, the construction industry is expected to play a pivotal role in reconstruction of damaged property & infrastructure. Such responses also call for technological and managerial innovation. Therefore it is important that construction professionals receive continuous skill development to respond to disaster situations and to a disaster resilient built environment. BELLCURVE research project aims to promote the concept of ‘lifelong university’ in modernising Higher Education Institutes (HEI) to be more responsive to labour market skills needs. BELLCURVE focuses on the role HEIs play in continuous improvement of the skills and knowledge on disaster resilience among the construction professionals. In this paper an overview of the role of built environment professionals in the context of disaster is presented, and the related demand and supply side issues are discussed. The need to improve responsiveness of HEIs through modernisation of higher education to improve the quality and efficiency of education and training is further explained. Initial conceptual framework of the research is presented. Literature reviewed identified peculiarities of post-disaster reconstruction, justifying the need to provide sector and context specific skills and knowledge to the construction professional. The review also cover issues associated with education and training from HEIs to the construction professional, and also focus on integrating the construction labour market skills needs to the modernisation agenda of the HEIs. In this regard, modernisation of HEI through governance reform is highlighted. Disaster resilience is considered as a test case. The initial conceptual model with the methodology adopted to develop, refine and test the model is also briefed. This paper is expected to stimulate debate as well as be a supportive resource to towards improving skills and knowledge on disaster resilience among construction professionals.


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