The Course

According to the Emergency Events database EM-DAT, from 2000-2012, around 2.9 billion people were adversely affected by disasters caused by natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, floods, storms etc.). Another 1.5 billion people are living in countries afflicted with civil strife and violent conflicts, states the World Development Report of 2011. The resultant damage and loss to life and property, including those to cultural heritage, are rising.

For communities ripped apart by such catastrophes, cultural heritage has the potential to bridge communal divides and provide sense of continuity as well as identity during an unfolding humanitarian crisis. Yet, is it possible to safeguard cultural heritage while humanitarian aid and security operations are underway? When is the right time to intervene? How could we ensure that cultural recovery becomes a force for stabilization and building back better?

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis aims to equip participants with necessary skills and knowledge to provide timely response in emergency situations. The training identifies areas of joint programming between culture and humanitarian sectors to make certain that the affected communities participate in their own recovery. Developing cost effective strategies for risk reduction and disaster preparedness of cultural heritage forms a core component of the training.

The hands-on approach to topics such as damage assessment, salvage and first aid measures for sites and collections, helps participants in making informed decisions under pressure. The overall pedagogy relies on participants’ experience and knowledge for building a sensitive and inclusive approach to cultural protection during emergency situations.

Post-training, participants will be invited to submit proposals to carry out projects in their respective countries and the selected proposals will get seed grants from the Cultural Emergency Response Programme of the Prince Claus Fund, the Netherlands. The aim will be to use knowledge obtained from this course to strengthen capacities for disaster response to cultural heritage at national or regional level.


The training will be both practical and participatory including group discussions, role plays, demonstrations, interactive lectures etc. Site visits and case studies will be used to improve the participant learning experience. Soft skills such as working in a team or negotiating for protecting cultural heritage in tense situations are progressively enhanced using simulated emergency situations throughout the course. The training will also include an online component.

Teaching team

The multi-disciplinary and international teaching team will include professionals who have been working in emergency situations for protecting cultural heritage and providing humanitarian assistance.

Working language: English

Dates: 30 March-24 April 2015; four-week course

Application deadline: 22 September 2014

FAC 15
Collections Unit – ICCROM
Via di San Michele, 13
Fax: +39 06 58553349