Part I: Post-disaster management
Crawford, L., Langston, C., & Bajracharya, B. (2013). Participatory project management for improved disaster resilience. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 4(3), 317-333.
This study contributes to understanding of disaster management relative to project and stakeholder management. Placing value in participatory project management approaches, the study aims to contribute to improved disaster resilience opportunities. Summative content analysis (qualitative) of project management in disaster management discourse is used based on two sets of text from institutionalized discourse (e.g., policies) and the inquiry report from the 2011 Queensland Floods Commission. Limitations were identified as a narrow analysis – a wider range of textual analysis is necessary. The study critiques the traditional approach to project management. More systemic, participatory and context sensitive approaches may augment disaster resilience through community involvement and effective management in regard to disaster management. Findings revealed that project and stakeholder engagement are inadequate in disaster management discourse. Risk management was better organized relative to disaster response. More innovative and participatory approaches that can predict, respond and recover from environmental calamities is needed, as are multiple stakeholder perspectives.
NEW ADDITION: Pearces, L. (2003). Disaster management and community planning, and public participation: How to achieve sustainable hazard mitigation. Natural Hazards, 28(2-3), 211-228.
The paper offers a comparative account between approaches to disaster management from Australia and the United States. The question posed is: How have disaster management techniques evolved in recent times? The method used was document analyses of historical and contemporary literatures. Limitations to this study are the attempt to make generalizations in light of the range of disasters that may require highly contextualized approaches or responses.
Results revealed that the United States and Australia have shifted from response and recovery as main foci to hazard mitigation. Community planning was found to be as central to this shift in approach as disaster management planning. Community planning requires local input in terms of defining the most important problems and to raise public awareness about potential preparation for any catastrophic event. The case studies reviewed in the investigation reflect the successful outcome of hazard mitigation as a result of deliberative and participatory involvement.
Naseer, S. (2014). Disaster management in Pakistan: A case study. New Horizons, 8(2), 107 120.
Naseer (2014) critiques the organization and efforts of Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority. The focus is on mobilizing local governments to organize and disburse supplies to affected areas with the following question posed: What is needed in terms of capacity building to cope with natural disasters (p.111)? The research design is qualitative and provides an historical document analysis of government efforts to address natural disasters. Limitations are in the number of sources used. Analyses stem from this historical overview. The historical context reveals a sequence of political uncertainty and varying attempts by the head of state to gain legitimacy. Devolution of power to the local level has consequently see-sawed. Essential to ensuring better preparation and response efforts is to hold local elections, a process that has been neglected by federal and provincial governments. The inherent assumption is that locals, particularly in areas recently subjected to earthquakes and floods, hold disaster management as a priority issue.
Piotrowski, C (2010). Earthquake in Haiti: A failure in crisis management? Organization Development Journal, 28(1), 107-112.
Piotrowski (2010) explores the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti and poses the question: Was this “A failure in crisis management?” The aim of the article is to critique the lack of crisis management factors (e.g., coordination, planning) that limit preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation of major natural disasters in the literature, rather than in the relief effort in Haiti, itself (p.107). The limitations of this study are the absence of information or data from primary resources, such as officials, or statistical data. The existing literature, Piotrowski argues, is too “academic or didactic” or scholarly” (p.108). This qualitative account of shortcomings in the literature reveal that bridging theory to practice is a gap that, in its present form, is far too wide. Relative to Haiti, disaster management is disorganized across levels of government, poor international leadership and inter-agency coordination. The science of crisis management, he concludes “has its limitations” (p.111).
Asari, M., Sakai, S. I., Yoshioka, T., Tojo, Y., Tasaki, T., Takigami, H., & Watanabe, K. (2013). Strategy for separation and treatment of disaster waste: a manual for earthquake and tsunami disaster waste management in Japan.Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 15(3), 290-299.
This paper analyzes Japan’s manual for disaster waste management in the aftermath of the Tsunami of 2011. The research provides an overview of the manual, “Strategy for separation and treatment of disaster waste,” and identifies user guidelines potentially applicable to other country contexts where domestic guidelines are scarce. The document analysis is expanded to include other guidelines from bodies such as the United Nations, OXFAM and the US Federal Emergency Management Agency. The limitations are that the guidelines are not juxtaposed with empirical evidence of the resultant treatment of disaster waste. Results reveal an analysis of eight guidelines that comprise the manual. Main areas of focus include: temporary storage, recycle and reuse, intermediate treatment (crushing and shredding), incineration (intermediate and temporary) and final disposal. Hazardous waste, it is recommended, be mixed in with disaster waste (p. 297). The research contributes to knowledge about separation and subsequent treatment of disaster waste.
Karunasena, G., Amaratunga, D., Haigh, R., & Lill, I. (2009). Post disaster waste management strategies in developing countries: Case of Sri Lanka. International Journal of Strategic Property Management, 13(2), 171-190.
The paper addresses post disaster waste management strategies in developing countries and the relevance of best practices. Sampling included a literature review, survey of Sri Lankan national institutes and semi-structured interviews. Limitations included the absence of field surveys from other countries. The theoretical framework is couched in existing steps, or best practices that center on post disaster waste management strategies. These include: control generation of waste, collecting waste, transporting waste to appropriate locations, processing of waste, disposing of waste (p.177-178). Survey results revealed that amidst national level policies no provisions exist for disaster waste management. Lack of means to address waste management was prevalent across two major bodies: the Disaster Management Council and the Central Environmental Authority. The absence of legal enforceability or mode for compliance was problematic. A lack of funding and technical support is partially to blame, yet the absence of any institutional framework, coordination, and political will are also barriers.
Lixin, Y., Lingling, G., Dong, Z., Junxue, Z., & Zhanwu, G. (2012). An analysis on disasters management system in China. Natural hazards, 60(2), 295-309.
The investigation analyzes disaster management in China. The paper introduces the institutional framework, legal context, planning, response, and post-disaster strategies. The qualitative literature review relies on document analyses, and compares strategies in the United States and Japan. Limitations are of country contexts similar to China to draw comparisons. The results reveal a highly integrated institutional framework that is locally run and supplemented by the central government (p.296). Ministries are responsible for planning of particular disasters. Recovery and reconstruction is bestowed on various levels of government. The legal system is complex; 100+ laws and decrees exist on prevention and mitigation (p.301). The goals of effective and timely response are organizationally different than the US and Japan. They rely on national departments to respond to disasters, compared to specific factions in China. The innumerable laws in China add complexity. Financial reserves of the Chinese government are far less than the US and Japan. Better coordination across levels of government is recommended.
Cigler, B. A. (2010). Introduction to the forum: Overview of post-Katrina emergency. The Public Manager, 39(2), 24-37.
Emergency management reforms have been highly scrutinized in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Cigler (2010) aims to analyze the restoration effort five years after the catastrophe. Using document analysis, she reviews the literature, including government documents and policies to provide a synopsis of current policies, lessons learned and the status and preparedness of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Limitations include the absence of primary research from government officials. The results reveal that the recovery effort has been uneven. Since resources and capacity vary, some neighborhoods have implemented better participatory land-use decisions. Others look as though the disaster occurred yesterday (p.26). The analysis of two reports (Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, Bottom-Up Review) divert from the standard stages of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Instead, the reports rely on resilience as a mantra on how to deal with disasters, each of which is highly contextual and therefore requires a unique approach (p.26).
NEW ADDITION: McEntire, D. (2002). Coordinating multi-organisational responses to disaster: Lessons from the March 28, 2000, Fort Worth tornado. Disaster Prevention and Management, 11(5), 369-379.
The study investigates coordination among responders to the Fort Worth Tornado of 2000. The aim of the paper is to identify factors that advance and inhibit coordination among disaster-related organizations. The methods for the study include document analyses from media sources and non-random interviews of individuals from government departments and other agencies. Limitations of the study include the absence of a broader sampling of individuals who could offer a wider range of perspectives than from those only involved as professionals in disaster management. Results revealed a highly organized effort that included: Warning and evacuation, emergency medical response, search and rescue, damage assessment, public safety, debris removal, sheltering, donations management, utility restoration, and business resumption. Constraining factors were poor communication across agencies and discerning hierarchy relative to authority. Contributing factors were political support, preparedness, technology, and experience. The author concludes that the response effort is an exemplary example of response coordination.
Adamy, A., & Bakar, A. H. A. (2011). Asset evaluation for post-disaster project built by central government in Banda Aceh Indonesia. Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management, 3(4), 405-423.
The tsunami in 2004 in western Indonesia mobilized the international community in unprecedented terms. The question posed is: Where are the results (assets or buildings) of the rehabilitation and reconstruction projects? The aim of the study is to determine perceptions of these projects as perceived by locals. The study is quantitative and uses random-cluster and simple sampling. Descriptive statistics were the primary method of analysis. The limitations of the study are in the sample – a sample larger than 24 would provide stronger evidence to the claims that there were a limited number of assets that were assessed. The results reveal that buildings were not in the physical condition intended after reconstruction; assets are being utilized, and that documentation of legal and structural status of buildings was incomplete. The implications provide a series of lessons for the national and local government including the importance of the handover process ensuring that documents are complete and legitimate.
Part II: Natural Disasters and Vulnerability: Economic and Social Context
Olteanu A, Arnberger R, Grant R, Abramson D, & Asola J (2011). Persistence of mental health needs among children in New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina four years later. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 26(1), 3-6.
In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, social ills remain. The impact on mental health is the cause for this investigation with focus on children in New Orleans. The question posed is: How have children with mental health issues fared since Katrina in 2005? Charts of mental health patients were reviewed from 2007 to 2009 with a total of 296 charts examined. This qualitative study focused on demographic characteristics, diagnoses and accounts of the traumatic experience of hurricane Katrina. The limitations of the study were that there was little data of the status of individuals’ mental health status prior to the catastrophe. Results reveal that post-2005, there was a spike in referrals for disruptive behavior disorder. Too many children were classified as having missed early identification. Further, cases four years since, have shown no sign of stagnating or declining. The critique is that there is a need for sustained and ongoing support for these children.
Rabindra, O. (2004). Forms of community participation and agencies' role for the implementation of water-induced disaster management: Protecting and enhancing the poor. Disaster Prevention and Management, 13(1), 6-12.
The study aims to understanding the extent of community participation and capacity building to cope with post-disaster recovery efforts with a focus on the impoverished in South Asia. The aim of the paper was to devise more effective and appropriate strategies to engage local participation with reference to sustainability (post donor resources) and poverty reduction (p.7). The method used was document analyses of existing literature. Limitations to the study are an absence of primary research from the population under investigation, particularly impoverished individuals located in South Asia. Results reveal that community participation often occurs in the form of initial participation as prompted by external donors or officials, but that this participation is not sustained. Community-initiated participation, whereby community members lead analysis and decision-making, and external agencies play a facilitating role is presented. The latter approach has proven to be far more successful for long-term positive impact post-disaster.
Phifer, J. F. (1990). Psychological distress and somatic symptoms after natural disaster: Differential vulnerability among older adults. Psychology and aging,5(3), 412.
Phifer’s study (1990) examines the psychological distress and somatic symptoms on adults in the aftermath of a natural disaster (flooding) in southeastern Kentucky in 1984. The aim of the study was to determine, quantitatively, if factors were dependent on varying demographic variables such as age, sex, and education level. Limitations of the study were the sample size (200) and the method of analyses. Results indicated that the natural disaster was a determining cause of depression and anxiety 18 months after the catastrophe. Older male adults with lower occupational status and males and females 55 or older showed a greater risk of psychological problems. The implications of the study are targeted towards older adults who are victims of natural disasters. In particular, early identification and crisis intervention to mitigate more chronic psychological ailments is recommended as this segment of the population is considered as less inclined to seek help for psychological issues.
Ichinosawa, J. (2006). Reputational disaster in Phuket: The secondary impact of the tsunami on inbound tourism. Disaster Prevention and Management, 15(1), 111-123.
The purpose of this investigation was to provide empirical evidence to determine the decline in the tourism industry of Phuket in the wake of the tsunami in 2004. The qualitative study assesses the reputational disaster of Phuket through semi-structured interviews with Thai and Japanese workers in hotels, restaurants and tour operator companies. The limitations of the study are the absence of quantitative data and analyses. The findings revealed that there has been significant negative impact on the local economy fueled by perceptions of risk and other vulnerabilities that persist in the local society. The implications of this research are for local and national governments that experience a natural disaster to devise strategies to limit or reverse the negative stigma held by prospective tourists to an area that has succumbed to a natural disaster. Investment, by way of tourism and marketing should be one of several motivating factors to engage in such a campaign.
Bird, M., Cowie, S., Hawkes, A., & Horton, B. (2007). Indian Ocean tsunamis: Environmental and socio-economic impacts in Langkawi, Malaysia. The Geographical Journal, 173(2), 103-117.
The environmental and socio-economic impact on Langkawi, Malaysia in the aftermath of the India Ocean tsunamis of 2004 are the focus of this investigation. A quantitative investigation aims to understand how the local economy and environment were impacted. Limitations of the study include a singular focus on water damage, as compared to other factors such as risk stigma and tourism. The results revealed that wave damage reached in-shore as far as 1000 meters, yet structural damage did not exceed more than 150 meters in land. Areas where most damage occurred were in poorly engineered coastlines. Although investment in hard coastal defenses minimized damage, the breakwaters likely localized some damage. Emergency response was determined to be highly effective, yet could have been enhanced with more reliable advanced warning mechanisms. Because of the comparatively limited damage to Langkawi, residents and businesses located along the coastline have quickly recovered and developed a ‘Tsunami-earthquake emergency action plan’ (p.117).