OPINION: How do we reduce disaster risks for the conflict-affected?

Making Room for Emergency Management and DRR Platforms

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I mentioned this issue in one of my posts yesterday, and now I find an opinion piece on the same topic today. That is good to see, and maybe we can begin to have a larger discussion on the role of EM in post-conflict operations. 

"It is not yet the norm for disaster risk reduction (DRR) to be systematically integrated into post-conflict resettlement or reconstruction processes. That means that if risk creation continues, those living in post-conflict situations will remain vulnerable to the impacts of future natural hazards."

The article goes a bit further and states that there are opportunities to combine the preparedness for conflict with that of DRR. Where those opportunities do exist we need to take advantage of them and discuss how to begin the integration of EM and DRR. Unfortunately, as I have said and as confirmed in this op-ed, this is just not an institutional belief (yet).


The “Four Cs”: What CBI Brings to the Table

The “Four Cs”: What CBI Brings to the Table

The “Four Cs”: What CBI Brings to the Table

Over the course of my career, it’s been interesting when people have found out that I am a professor. Almost everyone responds, “Oh! So you teach.” (That’s true, though there is more to the job than that.) If the conversation continues, it gets really interesting to address what this means. Of course, professors can get thin-skinned when people assume you “only” work when you’re in class (not true) or that it’s pretty easy (definitely not true). Yet as much as I’ve heard faculty grumble about this, it’s occurred to me those in the profession haven’t done a very good job of outlining what it is we do.

The disabled community is the world’s third-largest economic power

The disabled community is the world’s third-largest economic power

This is a fascinating topic for a number of reasons. First, as the article points out, "According to one study, the total disposable income of the community tops $8 trillion per year. For context, that makes the community third-largest in the world in terms of purchasing power, after the US and China."

Professional Development in Study Abroad

How do you address professional development in your study abroad programs?

For us, it's a challenge as skills in conflict studies can extend beyond borders and specific job skills. For programs in crisis or emergency management, they're largely national in form, but need to be delivered internationally.

While a bit dated, this report links the employers expectations to the perceptions of higher education study abroad programs. The EQ or CQ skills development is becoming more critical. We've integrated these skills, and have gone even further in partnership with NATO and IAEM to accelerate student development and prepare for their career immediately post-graduation.

"While this report is not focused on study abroad per se, it is important data that provides the context of what employers seek, value, and expect in today's graduates."

"This report indicates that U.S. employers do not rate study abroad highly in seeking job candidates. Yet when asked what skills are important, they point to a number of transferable skills that are often reported are the result of an international experience."

International standards for disaster management agencies?

International standards for disaster management agencies?

Where I like to get into the debate is what is the "best" way to develop agency capabilities. It's more of "How?" rather than "Why". As we've learned in security assistance programs, advisors have a role on the ground and are far more effective than training or courses that occur once a quarter. We can learn a lot from the way the military has used SFA and capacity building to increase national capabilities. And that usually starts with direct and daily contact on the ground, followed by the application of funding, equipment and training.

Is it worth it? Challenges for study abroad (and Higher Education)

Is it worth it? Challenges for study abroad (and Higher Education)

Recently, I was talking with the head of an international studies program who mentioned that participation in study abroad has declined noticeably in recent years. We noted a number of reasons why. For students, the cost was a big deterrent; many see the price tag as especially high. Furthermore, many are very concerned with graduating “on time” and worry that a study abroad experience will not “fit in” with their schedule and delay graduation. Moreover, they are career-focused, and perceive that study abroad will not advance them professionally. Another problem is engaging faculty. They find planning study abroad experiences quite onerous. Both institutional resources and the pool of students is quite limited, making it hard to launch and sustain study abroad initiatives. In sum, for both students and faculty, when it comes to studying abroad, they are asking: is it worth it?

New Partnership Agreement

New Partnership Agreement

Capacity Building International is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Through this unique partnership both CBI and IAEM will work to further develop the Emergency Management Profession. CBI will continue to work in coordination with international organizations such as NATO, EU, UN, and OSCE to bring unique programs to universities and academia in the United States. In addition, CBI will be working with IAEM to identify, develop, and implement international projects.

Is it time to reform Education Admissions in the United States?

Is it time to reform Education Admissions in the United States?

Is it time to reform the higher education admissions process? Maybe so, but let’s not throw out the entire system just yet. While there is always room for reform and updating the best practices, we would argue that this could be the work of over zealous parents, with a mix of unscrupulous university staff. And having said that, admissions would be only the first of many reforms needed in order to ensure that an independent and impartial system is in place.

Internship Opportunity

Interested in international relations and global affairs? How about gaining more insight into the inner workigns of the big international organizations such as NATO, UN, EU, and OSCE? Intern with us as we develop projects in what we call the "mission space" between crisis and development.

Job Description

Interested in international relations and global affairs? How about gaining more insight into the inner workigns of the big international organizations such as NATO, UN, EU, and OSCE? 

We are seeking a highly motivated business devleopment and marketing intern that will work directly with the CEO to perform a range of analytical tasks, documenting projects, and analyzing markets. Our projects range from establishing nonprofits, international projects, and experiential learning and education platforms for universities in the United States. We deal extensively in the international environment so cultural awareness and intelligence is a key skill requirement. 

You will be working remotely as part of a distributed team, and will participate in weekly conference calls and daily contact with CEO, our Academic Director, and COO. The position is limited to 12-15 hours per week. 

Our intern positions comply with the US Department of Labor standards and while this is an unpaid internship, we are offering to work with your acadmeic instituition, if you have one, to gain college credit for you time spent with CBI. 



Marketing, Market Research, Team Player, Highly Organized, Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Able to Work Independently, Analytical/Critical Thinking Skills, Remote Working

Interested? Please head over to Angel.co and apply here.

Welcome to 2019

Welcome to 2019!

As we begin moving into 2019, we are looking forward to a great year ahead. Much of 2018 has been a development period for us and one where we were researching, analyzing, discussing, and verifying our assumptions with regards to our portfolio. We’re happy to say that all the work behind the scenes has not only validated our assumptions but now allows us to move swiftly ahead and make great strides in 2019. We are truly excited for what we will be launching this year and the impact we will make.

Advisory Board Announcement


We are pleased to announce another appointment to the Advisory Board to Capacity Building International. LTC (Ret.) Mike Clements is an adaptable, resourceful and energetic programme manager and retired British Army officer.

Commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he served a full career in the Royal Tank Regiment and is a graduate of the British Army Staff Course and the Australian Command & Staff College. He commanded 3rd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, during the Northern Ireland Troubles.

He has accumulated diverse experience, delivering tough performance objectives, from several successful operational Command & Staff, Project Management and Defence Diplomacy appointments. He has had broad exposure to strategic, operational and tactical projects, including Disarmament, Demobilisation & Reintegration, Security Sector Reform and Change Management in a Post Conflict environment, gained through industrious service in the UK and International Defence & Security sectors.

He has four years of diplomatic experience from the Baltic States, assisting host nations with NATO & EU accession programmes and a further eight years experience in Kosovo developing the host nation’s civil protection, security and vetting agencies (Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), Kosovo Security Force (KSF) and Kosovo Vetting Agency (KVA).

New Addition to CBI Staff

We are pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Erik Benson to the Capacity Building International  team in the role of Academic Director. 

Before joining CBI, he most recently served as a professor of history for 13 years Cornerstone University (USA). He taught a wide variety of courses in American, European, and world history, as well as contemporary global affairs. His fields of study include the aviation history, American diplomatic history, modern American history, and 20thCentury Europe. In addition to his content field, he is an active scholar in the field of pedagogy. He has published one monograph, numerous journal articles, and several book reviews, and has presented at a variety of conferences. His is currently a member of the board for the Economic and Business History Society, and serves on the editorial team for its journal. He has been to Kosovo on numerous occasions, and had the opportunity to teach for a semester at the American University in Kosovo in 2015.

Advisory Board

We are pleased to announce that we will be establishing an Advisory Board for Capacity Building International in the near future. The role of this advisory board is to contribute to our strategic planning efforts, business development program, and provide more robust professional networking capability. Through this effort we will be promoting diverse opinions, robust challenges to conventional thinking, and ensuring that we have a concerted effort and staffing prior to making strategic decisions. 

The first member of our Advisory Board has been selected and will be announced shortly.