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Developing Degree Programs in Emergency Management: Ghana’s Experience

  • Mariama Yakubu EMAIL logo and Jessica Jensen


Training or Educating Emergency Management practitioners and academics are crucial to disaster risk reduction. However, not much is known about higher education program development, specifically, degree program development in Emergency Management. This paper seeks to find factors that help and or hinder Emergency Management higher education program development. An interpretive constructionist perspective method was used to analyze data collected through purposive and snowball sampling. Nineteen emergency management scholars and practitioners who have been involved with Ghana’s efforts, and additional six faculty members who have been involved with developing other new degree programs in four Ghanaian universities were also selected through snowball sampling for the purposes of comparison. Data was collected through in-depth semi-structured face-to-face and telephone interviews. The results suggest six main factors explain why Ghana has not yet established an Emergency Management degree program. The factors include institutional support, partnership, advocacy, funding, program marketing, and cultural factors. In addition to laying theoretical foundation for studies in this area, the relative novelty of Disaster/Emergency Management degree programs, make findings of this study, a checklist for institutions looking into establishing Disaster or Emergency Management degree programs in future.


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Published Online: 2019-01-26

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