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Social Capital: A Missing Link to Disaster Recovery

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Post-disaster recovery processes should be considered as opportunities for development, by revitalizing the local economy and upgrading livelihoods and living conditions. Social capital, which is defined as a function of trust, social norms, participation, and network, can play an important role in recovery. This paper examines the role of social capital in the post earthquake rehabilitation and reconstruction programs in two cases: Kobe, Japan and Gujarat, India. The Kobe case study shows that the community with social capital and with a tradition of community activities can pro-actively participate in the reconstruction program, and thereby can make a successful and speedy recovery. A model for bonding, bridging and linking social capital was developed from the Kobe experience, and was applied to Gujarat in four different communities. It was observed that the community with social capital records the highest satisfaction rate for the new town planning and has the speediest recovery rate. The role of community leaders has been prominent in utilizing social capital in the recovery process, and facilitating collective decision-making. Thus, although the two case studies differ in socio-economic and cultural contexts, the community's social capital and leadership are found to be the most effective elements in both cases in enhancing collective actions and disaster recovery.
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International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
March 2004, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 5-34
Social Capital: A Missing Link to Disaster Recovery
Yuko Nakagawa and Rajib Shaw
United Nations Center for Regional Development (UNCRD)
Kobe, Japan
nakagawa@hyogo.uncrd.or.jp
shaw@hyogo.uncrd.or.jp
Post-disaster recovery processes should be considered as opportunities for
development, by revitalizing the local economy and upgrading livelihoods and living
conditions. Social capital, which is defined as a function of trust, social norms,
participation, and network, can play an important role in recovery. This paper
examines the role of social capital in the post earthquake rehabilitation and
reconstruction programs in two cases: Kobe, Japan and Gujarat, India. The Kobe case
study shows that the community with social capital and with a tradition of community
activities can pro-actively participate in the reconstruction program, and thereby can
make a successful and speedy recovery. A model for bonding, bridging and linking
social capital was developed from the Kobe experience, and was applied to Gujarat in
four different communities. It was observed that the community with social capital
records the highest satisfaction rate for the new town planning and has the speediest
recovery rate. The role of community leaders has been prominent in utilizing social
capital in the recovery process, and facilitating collective decision-making. Thus,
although the two case studies differ in socio-economic and cultural contexts, the
community’s social capital and leadership are found to be the most effective elements in
both cases in enhancing collective actions and disaster recovery.
Introduction
Natural events like earthquakes, floods, cyclones, or droughts occur within the various
processes of nature, however these events become disasters when they affect human lives and
livelihoods. In recent years, natural disasters have changed their characteristics and the risk of
being affected by natural disasters has significantly increased especially in the developing
countries. The numbers of major events increased dramatically from the 1960s, and in the
1990s, the number almost doubled from the previous decade (Data Book 2002). However,
what has been witnessed in the last decade can be termed as “man-made” disasters, which
occurred as the consequence of human activities (see Blaikie et al (1994), George (1992),
Brown and Starke (1996), Twigg and Bhatt ,1998).
For developing countries, these natural disasters have constituted a heavy drag on
development. One major disaster can be a setback to healthy economic growth for years. To
mitigate such natural disasters, various efforts have been made at different levels. During the
United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (UN IDNDR, 1990-
1999), a paradigm shift was observed from post-disaster relief and rescue to pre-disaster
mitigation and preparedness efforts. Another focus area was empowerment of the local
governments, and involvement of the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and civil
societies in the decision-making process. As more research on development has been
conducted in various fields in recent years, the approach to disaster mitigation is becoming
more and more community-based (Blaikie et.al (1994), Twigg and Bhatt (1998), Quarantelli
2 International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
(1989), Mileti (2001), Shaw and Okazaki 2003), and much more effort has been put into
incorporating disaster management aspects into the holistic development of communities. As
Maskrey (1989) rightly pointed out, disaster management should not be treated as one single
issue but should be incorporated into the socioeconomic activities of local people.
While there has been significant focus on the pre-disaster preparedness and mitigation
aspects, post-disaster reconstruction issues should not be discarded. Rehabilitation and
reconstruction programs are development opportunities, and therefore their sustainability is
an important issue. There are as many rehabilitation programs as there are numbers of natural
disasters. Each disaster has different characteristics and disasters like earthquakes can be
particularly destructive especially for lives and properties. Earthquakes affect all, including
rich, middle-class and poor. When they destroy an urban area, massive re-planning of the city
is required. Thus, the recovery process is a learning exercise on what is safe and sustainable
for the community. Governments (national, provincial, city or local) and NGOs (both
international and local) put tremendous efforts into reducing vulnerability and to enhancing
sustainability in the reconstruction and rehabilitation programs (Shaw, Gupta, and Sharma
2003). However, the key question is: even though lots of effort is put into disaster recovery
programs, why have some communities carried out faster (in terms of time frame) and more
satisfying (in terms of holistic and participatory) recovery programs while others have not?
Where do such differences come from? There is possibly no straightforward answer, since it
is a complex mixture of social, economic, religious, political and other issues. However, in
this paper, an attempt has been made by using social capital as a measure to find an answer to
this question. A comparative study was undertaken in Kobe in Japan and Gujarat in India to
analyze the post-earthquake recovery process, and to find the common elements to ensure
sustainability.
Social Capital: Emergence of the Concept
Social capital, in general, refers to the trust, social norms, and networks which affect
social and economic activities. Although it is not a new idea that trust and networks help
reduce transaction costs and make things easier, the recent argument concerning trust is quite
sensational. Supporters of this new concept believe that the level of trust, social norms and
networks can be measured and a high accumulation of such capital contributes significantly
to social, political and even economic performance, for better or worse. The term “social
capital” has become quite popular both in the field of social science disciplines and in
international development.
Coleman (1988), one of the founders of the term used in the current manner
1
sees that,
“social capital is defined by its function. It is not a single entity but a variety of different
entities, with two elements in common: they all consist of some aspect of social structures,
and they facilitate certain actions of actors-whether persons or corporate actors-within the
structure.” In his analysis of the educational performance of high school students, Coleman
(1988, 1990) argued that obligations and expectations, information, and norms accompanied
by sanctions are the three forms of social capital, which are needed both inside and outside
the family for a better outcome. It was also noted that the “closure” of the social network
(vertical hierarchical bond between parents and children, horizontal network of children and
more importantly, horizontal ties among parents of those children) was crucial for
educational performance. In general, he tried to account for different outputs of individuals
and mechanisms of collective action by focusing on the motivation of rational individuals.
Putnam, Leonardi and Nanetti (1993) provided another idea of social capital. Comparing
the northern and southern parts of Italy, they concluded that “civic-ness”, which had
accumulated during the long history of the regions, was the most important aspect for
Nakagawa and Shaw: Social Capital: Missing Link to Disaster Recovery 3
government performance and the level of civic-ness is consequently reflected in economic
performance. They were of the view that social capital is the set of horizontal associations,
including norms and civic engagements, which they measured using four indicators:
newspaper readership, number of sports and cultural clubs, turnout in referendums, and
incidence of preference voting. Serageldin and Grootaert (2000) stated that the Putnam type
of social capital was the narrowest type of social capital, which was focusing only on
horizontal networks. On the other hand, Coleman’s concept was regarded as a broader
concept since vertical hierarchical relations in addition to horizontal networks were also
important in his theory. Serageldin and Grootaert (2000) further added the formal institutions
of law, government and courts as social capital, and this was regarded as the broadest
category of social capital.
The analysis of Putnam et al. (1993) provoked controversy among many social scientists
especially in the field of development and studies on social capital have proliferated since
then, and the theory has been applied to different disciplines. The World Bank has listed
eleven topics in social capital: crime and violence, economics and trade, education,
environment, finance, health, nutrition, and population, information technology, poverty and
economic development, rural development, urban development, water supply and sanitation
(World Bank 2003). On the other hand, Woolcock (1998) attempted to categorize social
capital into seven areas: social theory and economic development, families and youth
behavior, schooling and education, community life, work and organization,
democracy/governance, and more general collective action problems.
While much supportive and detailed research has been completed through an analysis of
social capital, strong criticisms have also been directed at the theory, especially the vague
definitions of the concept. For economists, the idea of measuring trust and of naming it as
“capital” like other “ordinary” capital is unacceptable. Arrow (2000) argues that there are
three requirements to be called “capital”: 1) extension in time, 2) deliberate sacrifice in the
present for future benefit, and 3) alienability. He particularly believes that social capital fails
to fulfill the second requirement, saying that, “the motives of interaction are not economic”.
On the other hand, sociologists question the methodology of data collection for analyzing
social capital (see Levi 1996, Fox 1996, Tarrow 1996). One community seldom consists of a
homogeneous group of people and sampling data might not represent the true picture of the
community. Fine and Green (2000) criticize the fact that the impact of class conflict is hardly
seen in the discussion of the theory. Its “over-versatility” is also a common target of the
criticism (see Schuller, Baron, and Field 2000, Fine and Green 2000). With the rapid
proliferation of the literature on different areas of social capital, it might be reasonable to
question whether the theory really is such a “cure-all” concept. Opponents of the theory are
particularly concerned with the recent trend of heated and fascinating arguments on social
capital among researchers with little constructive criticism, focusing mainly on the positive
side of the theory while even its definition is not clearly stated or discussed (Schuller, Baron
and Field 2000, Fine and Green 2000).
Like Coleman (1988, 1990) and Putnam et al. (1993), many of these studies incline to the
beneficial and positive aspects of social capital and there has been a tendency to neglect the
dark-side of the theory (Portes and Landolt 1996). The very elements of trust and networks
could be a cause of exclusion of others, restriction on individuals of a particular group or
community, and the fostering of socially unwanted groups such as gangs and mafia (Portes
and Landolt 1996). An empirical study on negative social capital has been conducted by
Browing, Dietz and Feinberg (2000) focusing on urban crime. Based on the fact that
offenders are often residents of the neighborhood community, they argue that while social
networks may increase the bonding of neighbors, they also increase social capital to offenders.
Consequently, such a community might end up with a need for more aggressive social control.
4 International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
Many critics, of course do not totally deny the theory itself. As human capital was not
recognized as capital until recently, more time is needed to make it more concrete and
acceptable as a concept. Many empirical studies have been conducted to shape the concept
and the methodology. For instance, a recent work of Krishna (2002a) tried to analyze levels
of participation of democracy using social capital in Indian rural communities. Instead of
sports/cultural associations or voluntary groups which were used for the research of Putnam
et al. (1993) but are rarely found in the Indian rural areas, Krishna (2002a) measured social
capital using six local activities and found that social capital influence is more prominent at
the level of groups or small communities. He concluded that by enhancing bonding at
community level, higher social capital could be obtained. Also, in his agency hypothesis,
Krishna argues that social capital provides “glue”, and can “gear” collective action for
democracy, although capable agencies are also required (Krishna 2002a, 2002b).
As more detailed analysis has been conducted, several categorizations of social capital
have emerged. Woolcock (2000) defined three categories: 1) Bonding social capital (ties
between immediate family members, neighbors, close friends, and business associates
sharing similar demographic characteristics), 2) Bridging social capital (ties among people
from different ethnic, geographical, and occupational backgrounds but with similar economic
status and political influence), and 3) Linking social capital (ties between community and
those in positions of influence in formal organizations such as banks, agricultural extension
offices, schools, housing authorities, or the police). He observes that poor people tend to have
strong bonding social capital and some level of bridging social capital, but little linking social
capital, which is the most important for betterment of the economic environment. For
instance, during natural disasters or crop failure resulting from sudden climate change,
bonding and bridging social capital might work as a very fragile safety-net. However, to
eliminate vulnerability of livelihood and make a safer and sustainable environment, linking
social capital plays a critical role.
Another important categorization was made by Uphoff (2000), who observed two
categories in social capital: structural and cognitive. Included in the structural social capital
are “roles, rules, precedents and procedures as well as a wide variety of networks that
contribute to cooperation, and specifically to mutually beneficial collective action”. The
cognitive category refers to “mental processes and resulting ideas, reinforced by culture and
ideology, specifically norms, values, attitudes, and beliefs that contribute to cooperative
behavior and mutually beneficial collective action”.
In the above-described scenario, it is difficult to choose the right definition of social
capital. In our analysis, we define social capital as the function of mutual trust, social
networks of both individuals and groups, and social norms such as obligation and willingness
toward mutually beneficial collective action, which is, in this paper, the post-disaster
recovery process. This social capital will be facilitated and/or enforced by trust for
community leaders and also by the political maturity of the community. Political maturity
means that the community is accustomed to consensus building by having meetings and
discussions among community members.
Social Capital and Disaster Management
A review of activities of international organizations indicates that the World Bank, with
tremendous research data on the topic, has conducted various projects on enhancing social
capital for better performance of its projects. The Department for International Development
of UK (DFID 1997 and 2000) has been also very active using social capital. The Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently formed a special working group on social
capital to study the theory and possible implications for JICA projects. In its study report, the
Nakagawa and Shaw: Social Capital: Missing Link to Disaster Recovery 5
group suggested the importance of creating synergy between community and government for
sustainable development (JICA 2002).
Incorporation of social capital in disaster management has been rare. Until recently in
Japan, earthquake disaster management has been considered as an engineering issue, and
solutions were sought in a technical direction. However, the Great Hanshin-Awaji
Earthquake (popularly known as the Kobe Earthquake) of 1995 has indicated that solutions
should be multi-disciplinary, and there should be clear links between technological solutions
and social solutions. In this regard, the challenge for the developed and developing countries
is shared: how to incorporate people and communities in the process of pre-disaster
mitigation and/or post-disaster recovery initiatives.
Arya (2003) has divided disaster management issues into two parts: Mitigation (Risk
Analysis, Prevention and Preparedness) and Response (search and rescue, humanitarian
assistance and rehabilitation and reconstruction). Risk Analysis includes hazard and
vulnerability assessment and risk assessment; Prevention includes both structural and non-
structural measures; and Preparedness includes warning, planning and policy etc. All these
elements are reflected in the cyclic process, popularly known as the Disaster Cycle. Disaster
Management Policy, as observed in many countries (e.g., NDRP 2001), focuses mainly on
the physical part of the vulnerability, and social aspects are often missing. Consequently, the
reconstruction plans following major disasters focus mostly on the physical recovery and
more visible impacts, and the plans often lack attention to social recovery. Analysis of
community initiatives in six countries in Asia has shown that people as individuals, and
communities as a whole, are the leading actors for vulnerability assessment (Shaw and
Okazaki 2003). Since the VCA (Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment) process needs local
information and context, especially on socio-economic issues, an analysis of social capital
focusing on social dynamics will help in understanding the essential elements of the
community, and thereby linking these with the policies and plans. This is not only
appropriate to the local and national plans and policies, but also relevant to international
interventions.
In recent years, disaster management has become closely connected to various fields such
as environment, city planning, and community participation. Natural disasters not only cause
life and economic losses, but in many cases create social divisions within communities (e.g.,
Aeta after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, the Philippines in 1991, as noted by Tsuda and
Tamaki 2001) and sometimes even create political upheaval (e.g., the famine in Bangladesh
in 1974 triggered by flood, as noted by Sen 1981, 1999). As a recent argument of the
importance of civil society for community development explains, safety of a community
should be the issue, which is discussed and determined by the community, since ultimately
the community and/or individuals should be responsible for their own safety. As witnessed in
Kobe, the government has limited capacity during times of crisis like an earthquake (Shaw
and Goda 2004). It was individuals and their neighbors, who saved most of the victims right
after the earthquake. And it was the community which determined whether each member was
satisfied by the rehabilitation. But in order to meet such community needs, individual effort is
essential. Disaster recovery is not only about building houses but the reconstruction of the
whole community as a safer place. To mobilize each member of the community in this
collective action (community development), social capital is a crucial need.
Methodology
In this study, the first step was data collection and analysis in Kobe, Japan on the
rehabilitation program following the Kobe Earthquake. Multiple methods were used for data
collection—from primary as well as secondary sources. Primary data was collected through
6 International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
questionnaire survey and interviews with key stakeholders. Secondary data was collected
from official records, previously conducted studies, books, publications, journal articles,
reports, the Internet, and other relevant documents. Based on the data analysis, a model was
developed focusing on the role of social capital in the recovery program. This model was then
applied to the earthquake-affected area of Gujarat, India, and its applicability was studied in
order to reach a conclusion. Two neighborhoods were selected, one from Kobe and the other
from the city of Bhuj in Gujarat. Criteria for selection of the neighborhoods were: 1) similar
type of hazard, 2) urban scenario, 3) representation from developed and developing countries,
4) relatively higher effects of damage, and 5) categorization as a special zoning area in the
reconstruction plan. Accordingly, Mano neighborhood from Kobe, and the Old Town of Bhuj
were selected as case study areas.
For the Kobe case study, mainly secondary data sources were used. In addition, interviews
were conducted with academicians, NGOs, private consulting firms, and residents in the local
communities. For the Gujarat case study, both primary and secondary data were used equally.
The authors made several visits (eight times) to the affected areas in Gujarat during the
research period. In the initial visits, a series of discussions were held with the local
government officials, and nongovernment agencies. These discussions were used as the
process for the formulation of a research strategy and preparation of the questionnaires. Also,
these initial visits were useful to identify the key communities for questionnaire surveys and
key stakeholders for interviews. During the period from April to November 2002, interviews
were conducted in Gujarat with government officials, NGOs, academicians, consulting firms,
community leaders, residents, and the local media, aiming to collect data for analysis. The
first author conducted a social capital questionnaire survey in a chosen case study location in
Bhuj. The questionnaires on social capital were formulated using “Integrated Questionnaires
for the Measurement of Social Capital” (World Bank SCTG, 2002), with reference to the
work of Krishna (2002a) and Yamagishi (1998). The disaster perspective was applied using
the model developed from the Kobe case study. The questionnaire’s local contexts were
ensured through discussions with the local NGO network called Kutch Nav Nirman Abhiyan
(KNNA). With the help of KNNA, the questionnaires were translated into the local language,
and the samples were collected with the help of four volunteers. Random sampling in the
field was applied since no community-scale official data existed in Bhuj and also many
people had already left their previous residence and it was impossible to trace them.
Questionnaire inputs were analyzed along with the results of the interviews, and the model
developed from Kobe was applied to determine the common elements of the recovery process
in both the case study sites.
Kobe Earthquake: Emerging Social Issues
The Kobe earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale, and with a depth of 16
km hit the city of Kobe and its surrounding areas in Hyogo Prefecture on 17 January 1995 at
5:46am. The total number of casualties exceeded 6,400, with numerous injuries and victims
of other collateral damages. Buildings and infrastructure were severely damaged, and more
than 200,000 people had to find temporary shelter in different parts of the city. Within Kobe
city administrative area alone, 70,000 buildings completely collapsed, and 55,000 were
seriously damaged. Public facilities like city offices, schools and hospitals were also damaged
extensively, which rendered the city services paralyzed for several days. Utility services were
also interrupted: electricity services were out of order in the entire metropolitan area, 25% of
the telephone services did not work, water and gas services were disrupted throughout the
entire city. At several locations, severe fires broke out, and 7,000 buildings were completely
burned, resulting in more than 800,000 sq m. of burnt areas. The damage to social and
Nakagawa and Shaw: Social Capital: Missing Link to Disaster Recovery 7
industrial capital stock was estimated at 7 trillion JPY within Kobe city. Secondary and
tertiary losses in the city and other parts of the prefecture were much higher.
The rehabilitation of Kobe started on 17 March 1995 with the announcement from the
Hyogo Governor on “Designation of Land Readjustment and Redevelopment Areas” (Toshi
Keikaku Kettei in Japanese). The designation was open to public inspection for two weeks
and residents and concerned persons could object to the plan via written documents. The City
of Kobe designated six readjustment and two re-development areas but soon after the
announcement many heated arguments arose among the residents from those designated areas
in the plan. The designation was in many ways controversial. The decision was made without
any consultation with the residents. Although it was open to public inspection, little
flexibility was seen on the city/prefecture administration side regarding any changes to the
plan. Naturally, the negotiation between residents and the administration became bogged
down in some areas and the rehabilitation was delayed.
In the earthquake-affected areas, those designated for land readjustment and
redevelopment were termed as “black zones” and other areas were called “white zones” by
the stakeholders (Nakagawa 2003). The division depended on the level of commitment and
involvement of public agencies toward the rehabilitation. Thus, there were many differences
in official support for the rehabilitation in these two zones. In “black zones”, property owners
needed to make sacrifices for land adjustment or redevelopment to proceed, however, the
government provided the physical rehabilitation such as building wider roads and parks; and
normally the environment was improved incorporating disaster management aspects. But in
“white zones”, narrow roads remained narrow and some illegal construction during the
confused period made the environment even worse than before. Also, the government
provided practically no financial support. In addition, some special preferences were given to
“black zones”, for instance in the sale of land up to 50,000,000 yen (1 US$ = 100 Yen in
1995) and the exchange of land were tax-exempted (Kinmokusei 1999).
However, the most important difference was that in every “black zone”, “Machizukuri
(Town Development) organizations were formed. A machizukuri organization is an
organization consisting of residents, private agencies and others with an interest in the area’s
restoration. In Kobe, most of the machizukuri organizations were formed based on the
existing community organizations such as neighbors’ associations.
2
Machizukuri
organizations provide very important “opportunities” for community members to discuss
future city planning and this was the first step to community participatory rehabilitation.
Machizukuri organizations also acted as the interface with city officials and city planning
consultants. Consultants and advisors also played a big role in the rehabilitation process.
Consultants were dispatched to each machizukuri organization and provided technical and
professional knowledge on city planning. In contrast, in the “white zones”, the forming of
machizukuri organizations was not mandatory since the areas were not designated as the
official project locations. In spite of many difficulties, several machizukuri organizations
were formed in the “white zones”, but many were not officially recognized under the
ordinance. There were areas called “gray zones” where these machizukuri organizations had
existed before the earthquake for different development projects in the urban areas. However,
as in the “white zones”, “gray zones” were not entitled to the special preference mentioned
earlier for “black zones”, this resulted in similar situations as those in the “white zones”
(Kinmokusei 1999). Every machizukuri organization faced various difficulties in the
reconstruction process, and there were obvious differences in the speed and the degree of
people’s involvement among the communities. In some areas, negotiation between residents
and government was prolonged on issues such as the amount of land that owners in land-
readjustment districts should contribute for public improvement which resulted in an even
split of machizukuri organization into several residents groups.
8 International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
Case Study of Mano: A Successful Example of “Gray Zone” Rehabilitation
Mano is located around 5 km west of downtown Kobe, and is a small neighborhood of
2,500 people. It is a typical inner city area where factories, residences, and small shops exist
together. In 1995, 20% of the population of Mano were over 65 years of age. This was much
higher than that of the average for Kobe city. The neighborhood also had a housing problem.
Population density of the residential area was very high and many buildings were old wooden
houses. Mano had a long history of community development, which started back in the 1960s.
Amid the high-growth period of the Japanese economy, people of Mano suffered from
environmental pollution, which came from factories in the area. Residents launched protest
movements against it and succeeded in removing some polluting factories. This movement
gradually changed its character to one focusing on community betterment, health care of the
elderly, voluntary services, and livelihood issues. Due to the environmental pollution issue,
the youth population began decreasing in the Mano area from 1976 onward, leaving behind
an aging community. In 1977, based on such community development activities, the Mano
Machizukuri organization was formed, and in 1981, Mano was designated as the first district
under Kobe City Machizukuri Ordinance, although community activities had begun long
before that.
The earthquake resulted in 19 casualties in Mano area, with 23 percent of housing
completely collapsed or burnt, and 44 percent of houses partially collapsed. Immediately after
the earthquake about 1,400 people were forced to stay in emergency shelters. From the very
beginning of the occurrence of the earthquake, many activities were conducted by Mano
community. One of the most remarkable activities carried out by the community was
extinguishing fires with the help of community and local firms. This was in visible contrast to
the adjoining Chitose neighborhood, where the fire destroyed the entire area (Morizaki 1995).
Rescue efforts were also intensive in Mano immediately after the earthquake. Following
rescue operations, the evacuation to nearby schools, establishment of a community kitchen,
and provision of night guards were some of the immediate activities conducted by the local
community in Mano neighborhoods. During the post-relief phase, Mano community came up
with a building inspection survey, publication of a weekly community newsletter
incorporating essential information, management of shelters, and retrofitting of damaged
houses, etc. In the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase, the important activities undertaken
by Mano Machizukuri Organization were: establishment of Mano Rehabilitation Machizukuri
office, construction of Machizukuri center, establishment of “Manokko (private limited
company)” for community development, signature collection campaign for construction of
public houses for disaster affected people, lobbying for special houses for elderly,
construction of a model house as collective housing, preparing joint housing project
proposals, and running a day-care center. It should be noted that Mano belongs to a “Gray
zone” and unless the community members motivate themselves and carry out action on their
own initiative, no public support can be obtained. As mentioned earlier, in many communities
in the “white zones”, it was quite difficult to even form community organizations to discuss
rehabilitation issues. In many communities where there were no daily communications
among residents, and no community groups (such as neighbors’ associations) had existed or
functioned prior to the earthquake, hardly any activities for helping community members
were conducted in the early stage of the post-disaster period.
Nakagawa and Shaw: Social Capital: Missing Link to Disaster Recovery 9
Figure 1. Mano community networks showing
different community groups
Social Workers
Association
Parent
T
eacher
Association
Children’s
Association
Elderly
Association
Juvenile Problem
Council
W
omen’s
Association
Social Protection
Group
Middle Aged
Groups
Neighbor’s
Association
Mano
Machizukuri
Promotion
Or
g
anizations
Furemachi
Association
Kobe City
Administration
The success in Mano owes much to its people’s efforts, the web of community groups and
local leadership. A community group is defined as a group formed and maintained by
community members for their mutual benefit. There are many community groups in Mano
(Figure 1), namely neighborhood associations, women’s association, elderly association,
local welfare/ social worker association, middle-aged association (social gatherings),
children’s association, anticrime activists’ groups, community-based firemen’s team, juvenile
problem council, PTA (Parent-Teacher-Association), Baseball clubs, Youth clubs, Welfare
volunteer groups, etc. Some of these groups had already adopted a democratic system for
decision-making and selection of leaders by introducing a direct voting system from as early
as their inception, sometimes as far back as 1966. The election of the group
chairman was
conducted every two years at a community meeting.
3
As an executing agency of different
community development activities, Mano Machizukuri Promotion Organization consisted of
all residents (including land/property owners) and there were about 60-70 board members
consisting of representatives of each block’s neighborhood association, a representative from
other community based groups, and a representative from private firms. Secretariat members
of Machizukuri Organizations are at the same time members of other existing community
groups. It is interesting to note that 11 out of 13 secretariat members are former middle-aged
group members. The middle-aged group has existed largely for “get-together” purposes. But
this informal network of people has considerable influence on many official operations of the
organization. This loosely connected alliance made it possible to plan and implement
community development projects or to conduct various activities quite flexibly and quickly,
immediately after the earthquake.
The other characteristic feature of Mano was its community leadership. The first
community leader of Mano influenced the neighborhood in many ways. His earliest
leadership experience was in leading community members during anti-pollution activities in
the 1960s against some polluting companies in the area. He succeeded in organizing the
movement and mobilizing many residents, and he was successful in introducing the direct
10 International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
election and voting system in the community for decision-making. After the successful
environmental movement, he continued in mobilizing residents’ involvement in community
development for the reuse of the vacant plots of companies. He also assumed a crucial role
when negotiating with Kobe city administration by going directly to the city office, instead of
using indirect means. Another success story was the creation of a new generation of leaders.
In the course of more than 30 years of community activities with this outstanding leader,
many new leaders have been generated. It is these new leaders who are currently involved in
rehabilitation and community development programs. According to the survey conducted by
Konno (2001), it was found that many of these leaders have been members of several
community-based groups and are actively involved in their activities.
Social Capital in Earthquake Rehabilitation
The local community has different roles to play in different stages of the disaster cycle:
from rescue to relief to rehabilitation to preparedness (Shaw 2003). Rescue and relief
activities are relatively quickly conducted in the communities and in most parts of the world.
However, things change during the rehabilitation period where individual interests in their
own property are at stake. As mentioned earlier, rehabilitation should take the disaster
mitigation aspects into consideration, in addition to environmental issues. To achieve this, the
property owners have to restrain their individual interests for community safety.
Mano, as explained earlier, had vast varieties and numbers of active community groups
and they were closely connected to each other. This can be cited as a typical example of the
strength of weak ties, as described by Granovettor (1973). Also, through their long history of
community development, Mano had interacted with various organizations and/or
professionals, such as academicians, city planning consultants, local government bureaucrats,
and civic organizations in other areas. The experience of interacting with the Kobe
administration, in particular, should have given special knowledge of how to deal and
negotiate with government officials during a time of rehabilitation. People of Mano had a
considerable amount of trust among community members through social interaction mainly
originating from community programs such as recreation or sports programs or local festivals.
Community leaders had strong ties among each other through their community activities.
Thus, the social capital in Mano can be explained as follows:
Bonding Social Capital:
Trust: Sustained trust in the leader and among community members
Social norm: Accustomed to democratic decision-making (by direct voting,
majority vote)
Participation: High level of participation of people in community activities and
collective decision making through frequent community meetings
Network: Various community based groups and their formal and informal networks
Bridging Social Capital
Multidisciplinary: Interaction with various stakeholders such as town-planning
consultants, academicians, other community activity groups, other neighbors
associations, etc.
Networks: Individual network and community network with adjoining
neighborhoods
Linking Social Capital:
Formal collaboration: Interaction with government officials through community
development activities
Figure 2 incorporates the experiences of Mano in conceptual form, and describes what
kind of social capital worked during the rehabilitation and how it worked. It should be noted
Nakagawa and Shaw: Social Capital: Missing Link to Disaster Recovery 11
that social capital alone does not lead to successful rehabilitation. Social capital constitutes a
very important seed but to facilitate it and make it grow into a beautiful flower, the existence
of other factors is essential. Krishna (2002a) used ‘agency hypothesis’ for his analysis of the
collective action for democratic movements. From the Mano case study, it can be seen that
leadership is the most important in gearing and facilitating the movement. In Mano, people
had the ability to cooperate as well as to create a better environment for the community
through a long history of community development.
Figure 2. Conceptual diagram showing different aspects of social capital: bonding,
bridging and linking. Trust, norm, network and participation are shown as elements
for bonding social capital. Bridging social capital might be with different stakeholders
like other communities, NGO, and university. Linking social capital is usually with
local administration.
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12 International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
Urban Rehabilitation and Major Community Groups in Gujarat
The Gujarat Earthquake of 2001 devastated the entire state of Gujarat in western India,
causing extensive damage to lives and properties. Details of the damages are described
elsewhere (Shaw et al., 2001; Shaw and Sinha 2003; Shaw et al. 2003). In this section, the
urban issues, especially focusing on the old town of Bhuj are discussed. Immediately after the
earthquake, in February 2001, the Gujarat state government established the Gujarat State
Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) to coordinate a comprehensive rehabilitation
program. GSDMA initiated 28 rehabilitation packages for housing, rural artisans, handicraft
artisans, agriculture, tourism, capacity buildings, orphans and women, and industries and
services. For the housing program, there were five special packages, which varied by
geographical areas, extent of damage, and structural types of houses (GOG 2001). The
package aimed to enhance owner-driven reconstructions and this program was quite
successful in the rural areas where massive reconstruction was conducted through the efforts
of the government, private sector (including NGOs) and international organizations.
The situation was different in the urban areas, which needed rezoning and redevelopment,
and Bhuj was one of the four rezoning towns in Kuchchh district. Bhuj is the district-
headquarters, and had a population of more than 150,000. The Old Town (also known as the
Walled City) of Bhuj was a historical place, full of heritage buildings, and high-density
residential and commercial buildings. Like other old cities, it had narrow roads, few vacant
places, and consequently the casualty rate was extremely high within the walled city. In Bhuj,
the town planning has been discussed and coordinated among Bhuj Area Development
Authority (BHADA), district office, consultants, the community and NGOs. Due to its
complexity, NGO involvement in the urban rehabilitation has been limited compared to its
massive involvement in rural areas. Figure 3 shows the non-governmental groups that have
been involved in the urban rehabilitation of Bhuj.
Figure 3. Schematic diagram of community participation in the
urban area of Bhuj, Gujarat. Samaj groups refer to different
caste and religious groups.
Samaj
Groups
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Groups
Local
NGOs
Voluntary
Networks
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Nakagawa and Shaw: Social Capital: Missing Link to Disaster Recovery 13
There are about 25 small groups representing different religions and castes in Bhuj and
they were actively involved during the relief period and also in provision of temporary and
permanent houses. There are also groups formed by citizens, primarily professionals, which
are involved in the development of the city. One such group in Bhuj is called “Bhuj
Development Council (BDC)”. BDC was a dormant organization established in 1992, which
was basically a social get-together group, consisting of retired engineers before the
earthquake. However, after the disaster, BDC has become the mediator between community
and government officials, and coordinated various community meetings with community
members, government officials and consultants. In addition to intensive involvement in the
efforts of community participation and information dissemination, BDC also engages in the
rehabilitation of slums and the informal sector.
In the Walled City, people with the same occupation, caste or community basically lived
together in the same area. In Bhuj, there are nearly 20 such community groups who have
lived in the Walled City, namely Lohana, Jain, Kadwa Patel, Kayashtha, Mochi, Sai Suthar,
Soni, Rajgor, Brahmin, Nagar, Gurjar, Khatriya, Khatri, Khstritya, Samasta Brahma samaj,
Ahir, Lewa, Patel etc. Among these communities, four communities, namely Lohana, Khatri,
Soni, and Rajput, were selected for the study of social capital and to analyze its importance
for rehabilitation.
Lohanas form the important business community of the area, and have the largest
population in the walled city. The Lohana community came to the rescue of the erstwhile
rulers several times during droughts and famines (Menon 1999). Among 1,500 families of
Lohana in the walled city, 1,300 people were killed and 500 were seriously injured by the
earthquake. Most of their damaged houses were categorized as G5 (highest level of
destruction) and G4 (Arya 2002). Lohana has a very well organized community committee,
which forms networks at ward and district levels. In the Lohana, women can equally join the
committee. The leader of the committee is chosen by vote among committee members. The
operation of the committee is very transparent so that the accounts are published and
distributed to the members every year. Besides the committee, Lohana has youth and
women’s groups
, which worked actively during natural calamities like earthquakes.
Khatris are basically craftsmen and artists. There were about 170 houses of Khatri before
the earthquake in the walled city and out of those, 90 houses were severely damaged.
Casualties accounted for 44 and 20 people were seriously injured. Khatri also has its own
community committee. The chairman of the committee is selected by vote among committee
members. It has been active after the earthquake for relief operations and has provided
temporary shelters.
Soni is a community of silversmiths and goldsmiths. Around 250 households were living
in the Walled City, among which more than 80% were engaged as goldsmiths, in the jewelry
business and as blacksmiths, and 20% were engaged in government jobs. The earthquake
resulted in 57 deaths, 100 houses completely collapsed, and 150 houses were severely
damaged. Soni community also has a well-organized committee. The committee has a three-
tier system at ward, district and national levels. The members are selected by voting every
three years. It holds general meetings every six months and board meetings every two months.
Community festivals are conducted three times a year supported by the committee. There are
also youth groups in Soni community. After the earthquake the committee provided various
supports for the community such as financial support for suffering families, temporary shelter,
livelihood kits, medicines, etc. It is interesting to note that Soni also received financial and
material support from the business sectors which were not directly related to Soni
community’s network. Through their jewelry business, the community had interaction with
various organizations throughout the country.
14 International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
Rajput (originally meaning warrior), Koli and certain Islamic groups were the ruling elites
of many small areas in Kuchchh until the beginning of 19
th
century. During several wars
before and after the independence of the country, there were mixtures among different castes,
and it is now difficult to distinguish pure Rajput and self-designated Rajput (Shinoda 1995).
In the walled city, there are 934 families of the Rajput community. Many of them have jobs
in government offices or in private sectors. Total deaths from the earthquake amounted to
107, with 269 house categorized as G5 and 331 houses as G4. Temporary shelters and a
community kitchen were provided although these were organized through the government,
not by community effort.
Results of the Questionnaires Survey
The questionnaire survey was conducted with intentions to gather information on trust,
networks, and social norms of each community member and also on trust for community
leaders. Total sample numbers were 128, among those, 28% were Lohana, 26% Khatri, 27%
Rajput, and 19% Soni community. Different age groups were chosen in different
communities to observe the different viewpoints about the reconstruction process (Table 1).
Table 1 summarizes the sample attributes.
Table 1: Attributes of samples
Lohana Khatri Rajiput Soni
Total
Male 13% 12% 14% 10% 49%
Sex
Female 15% 14% 13% 9% 51%
Age (20s) 6% 6% 8% 6% 26%
Age (30s) 12% 7% 7% 4% 30%
Age (40s) 4% 4% 6% 5% 19%
Age (50s) 4% 5% 3% 2% 14%
Age
Age (over 60s) 2% 4% 3% 2% 11%
Education (Primary) 8% 9% 6% 4% 27%
Education (Secondary) 14% 10% 16% 11% 51%
Education
Education (Higher) 6% 7% 5% 4% 22%
Income
Average Annual
Income (US$) 1164 1000 780 764
Family members
Average Numbers of Persons in
Family
4.4 3.5 4.6 4.0
Questionnaires were designed to focus on the following aspects: satisfaction for town
planning, collective actions, trust (general trust, trust for various sectors, trust in community
leaders), networks, and norms.
Nakagawa and Shaw: Social Capital: Missing Link to Disaster Recovery 15
Table 2: Topics of the contents of the Questionnaires
Number of Groups one belongs to
Democratic way of decision making*
Democratic way of selecting leader**
Whether the Groups one belongs to have interaction with others
N
umber of close friends
N
umber of close relatives
Networks
Whether having someone to request financial help
General Trust
Mutual Trust
Possibility of partnership with neighbors
Trust in State Government
Trust in District Government
Trust in Community Leader
Trust in NGOs
Trust in Relatives
Trust
Trust in Neighbors
Whether criticized if do not participate in community activities
Likelihood of other community members’ participation
Whether community members are helpful to others
Responsibilities for correcting children’s behavior in the community
Social norms
Feeling of togetherness of community
Care for the community by the leader compared to his/her family
Community
Leader
Trust in Community Leader
Participation in community activities
Participation in community meeting for rehabilitation
Collective Action
Who would approach for the petition in case of emergency***
* Q: When there is a decision to be made in the group, how does this usually come about?
A: 1: Decision is imposed from outside; 2: The leader decides and informs the other group
members; 3: The leader asks group members what they think and then decides; 4: The group
members hold a discussion and decide together; 5: Other (specify); 6: Don’t know/not sure;
7: Not applicable.
**Q: How are leaders in this group selected?
A: 1: By an outside person or entity; 2: Each leader chooses his/her successor; 3: By a small
group of members; 4: By decision/vote of all members; 5:Other (specify;)6: Don’t know / not
sure; 7: Not applicable.
***Q: In case of emergency (e.g. crop failure or natural disasters), who would approach to
the local authority for the petition?
A: 1: No one, 2: Community leaders, 3: Neighbors, 4: Same tribe/caste group, 5: The entire
village collectively.
16 International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
Table 2 lists the topics of the questionnaires. Details of the questionnaire survey are
discussed in Nakagawa (2003). Analyzing the questionnaires, and applying the Mano model
to Gujarat, the results can be summarized as follows (Figure 4):
Bonding Social Capital:
Trust: It was observed that Soni has the highest trust in community members and
their leaders, while Lohana has the lowest trust. General trust is relatively higher in
other groups also.
Social norms: Most of the members of Lohana and Soni belong to groups whose
decision-making process is done through discussion and meeting. Although only
small numbers of Lohana people belong to groups, these groups seem to have the
most democratic system (consensus building by meeting and discussion or voting)
in selecting leaders and decision-making. Social norm inside the community aiming
to facilitate collective action is relatively high among Soni.
Participation: Soni and Khatri have the highest participation rate for collective
action. Khatri has the highest preference for business partnership, and Soni comes
next. For community participation, Soni has the highest participation level.
Networks:
4
Soni has the highest community business network, while Khatri has the
highest individual network. Networking is found to be lowest in Rajput. Khatris are
connected to larger numbers of groups/associations. However, they seem to belong
to groups based on individual interest. Soni community members are also
connected to many groups.
Bridging Social Capital:
Multidisciplinary: Soni and Lohana have the highest involvement in multidisciplinary
actions.
Networks: Soni and Lohana have the highest number of networks outside their own
communities. It was observed that while Khatri had the highest number of individual
networks, however, when it is related to inter-community networks, they have
relatively lower numbers.
Linking Social Capital:
Soni and Lohana have the highest formal collaboration with the government sectors
through their leaders.
The field survey and interviews with the stakeholders indicate that Soni has been the fastest
recovering community in Bhuj city, in spite of their lower income level, compared to other
groups. The questionnaire survey suggests that speedy recovery and satisfaction rate for the
reconstruction plan of Soni is attributed to its social capital. In contrast, Lohana has relatively
lower rate of participation in community activities, in spite of the highest economic levels
within the chosen communities. In Lohana, there are top-level businessmen such as hotel
owners as well as lower economic class people who depend on their livelihood as vendors.
Lohana community is mainly organized and operated by the rich people, who offered
resources for the construction of temporary housing outside the city. However, those
resources do not seem to be fully utilized, as evidenced from the vacant shelters constructed
by the Lohana community. Rajput, on the other hand, is constrained by both financial capital
and social capital and is suffering from severe recovery problems. Therefore, it can be said
that mere financial resources cannot solve the recovery issues; social capital plays a critical
role.
Nakagawa and Shaw: Social Capital: Missing Link to Disaster Recovery 17
Social Capita
l
Soni
Khatri
Lohana
Rajput
T
rust
Social Norm
Participation
Bonding
Network
Multidisciplinar
y
Bridging
Network
Linking
Collaboration
Figure 4. Results of questionnaire survey of social capital in the
Walled City of Bhuj. The shades indicate intensity of
respective elements, with darkest one with highest impact.
It shows that Soni has the highest social capital.
The questionnaire results also show that Lohana has the largest percentage of people who
are dissatisfied with the town planning, in contrast to Soni, which has the highest satisfaction
rate (Figure 5). This is possibly attributed to their collective decision-making, trust in their
leaders, and the numbers of networks with government agencies. The same elements were
found to the useful in Mano in terms of speed and satisfaction of rehabilitation.
Figure 5. Data showing satisfaction for town planning among
different groups in the Walled City of Bhuj
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Soni
Khatri
Rajput
Lohana
Very Satisfied Satisfied More or less satisfied Not satisfied
18 International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
Conclusion: Application of Social Capital to Disaster Recovery
Two case studies of Kobe and Gujarat Earthquakes show that although the local socio-
economic and cultural backgrounds are different in these two areas, the recovery process of
urban areas is quite similar. At every stage of the disaster cycle (rescue, relief and
rehabilitation), the communities played the most important roles among other concerned
stakeholders. In both cases, the communities with social capital are found to be efficient in
rescue and relief. he most challenging part was during reconstruction, where town planning
and rezoning was applied, and collective decision-making was needed. In Hyogo, as
municipal governments submitted the town planning without any consultation with the local
community, it took from several months to a few years to finalize the reconstruction plans in
the “black zone” areas. In Bhuj, after finalizing the town planning in November 2002,
massive protests from the property owner against the plan took place. Reacting to that, people
who were living in temporary shelters and wished for the earliest reconstruction of the city
became frustrated at further delays and demonstrated strongly against those who were
opposed to the town planning (Iyenger 2003). As of December 2003, negotiations are still
ongoing in certain areas of the Walled City.
As the Mano and Soni community cases show, even in the challenging situation of
rehabilitation, communities with social capital can perform well. But social capital is not the
sole factor determining speedy and satisfying recovery. As the Mano case indicated, strong
leadership inside the community is also essential for any collective action. Also, from various
interviews conducted during the field survey in Gujarat, many NGO members commented
that community leadership was the most essential aspect of the successful rehabilitation in
both urban and rural areas. The results of the questionnaires conducted in Bhuj also show that
the Soni community has the highest trust in its community leader. It is the trust of the
community in their leaders which helped Soni to take collective decisions in the time of
emergency. It should be re-emphasized that leadership is an important issue in any
community-based activity and in development projects, including post-disaster reconstruction.
Uphoff (2003) described three actions for social capital: recognize, preserve/conserve and
invest. These actions will lead to “mutually beneficial collective actions” and “shared
thinking” in the communities. Shaw and Sinha (2003) proposed a policy framework for a
four-tier system of community, local government, state government and central government
for effective decision-making under the Risk Management Framework. It is the responsibility
of the community and its leaders to increase their social capital and use it effectively for the
post disaster recovery process. However, at the policy level, it is required to recognize the
social capital of the communities as an asset. This will help in policy formulation from a
grass-roots perspective, and will enhance the recovery program.
Each country has its own cultural and socio-economic context. The importance of local
cultural issues has been emphasized over the last several years. However, community activity
is connected to certain basic issues and norms, which are widely applicable without any
geographic boundaries. The current study shows that social capital and leadership in the
community are the basic attributes, which are universal in nature, irrespective of the
development stages of the country. Needless to say, there are several other factors which
affect rehabilitation, such as government policy and intervention of NGOs or consultants,
which were quite different in Kobe and Gujarat. Further studies in this direction will help us
understand the increasing importance of social capital in the modern world.
Nakagawa and Shaw: Social Capital: Missing Link to Disaster Recovery 19
Notes
1. Bourdieu (1986) is also regarded as the founder by many while Fine (2001) sees that
G. Becker should be acknowledged as the one.
2. Jichikai (neighbors’ association) has its origin in the Edo-period as early as the 17th
Century. The purpose of the group back then was to control and secure the livelihood
of rural people by the administrator. Although its form has been changed from time to
time, it continued to exist until the end of World War II. Due to the democratic
atmosphere after the war, Jichikai was officially dissolved. However, it soon revived
since the government, as well as people, needed it for coordination between people
and the administration for activities such as ration distribution. Also, it was necessary
for keeping an eye on community safety. In Japan, Jichikai has existed as the safety
net for poor people.
3. It should be noted that in many community groups like neighbor organizations in
Japan, the board members and the chairman are usually decided by commendation or
rotate the post among board members. It is very unusual for this type of group to
introduce the democratic system for its operation.
4. In the questionnaires, networks are classified in eighteen groups: farmer/fisherman
group/ cooperative, other production group; traders/business associations;
professional associations; trade union/labor union; neighborhood/village committee;
religious/spiritual group; political group/movement; cultural association; festival
society; finance/credit/savings group; education group; health group; water and waster
management group; sports group; youth group; NGO/civic group; ethnic-based
community group; and others. Out of these, it is observed that Khatri has the highest
number of individual network (37%), followed by Soni (29%), followed by Lohana
(19%) and Rajput (15%).
Acknowledgements
This study was made possible with the generous guidance and assistance of Professor
Y. Katayama of Kobe University. For the survey in Japan, discussions were made with
Professor Y. Murosaki of Kobe University and Mr. M. Murai of NGOs Kobe. For the survey
in India, assistance from GSDMA (Mr. V. Thiruppugazh and Ms. N. Tewari) and Abhiyan
(Ms. S. Iyenger, Ms. M. Anand and their team) are highly appreciated. Special thanks are due
to Mr. James F. Goater of UNCRD Nagoya for editing support. Local people in both the case
study areas cooperated wholeheartedly during the questionnaire survey, interview and
discussion sessions.
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... Studies that adopted a cognitive approach have focused on people's level of trust in others as the core of social capital and disaster resilience; while studies that focused on behavioral manifestation of social capital utilized data on www.nature.com/scientificreports/ residents' participation in voluntary organizations such as religious, civic, or political organizations, that are related to disaster preparedness and resilience [28][29][30][31][32] . Social networks also serve as important indicators of behavioral social capital; studies have used survey questions to ask the respondents' number of friends and contacts so that they can discuss their problems 28 . ...
... residents' participation in voluntary organizations such as religious, civic, or political organizations, that are related to disaster preparedness and resilience [28][29][30][31][32] . Social networks also serve as important indicators of behavioral social capital; studies have used survey questions to ask the respondents' number of friends and contacts so that they can discuss their problems 28 . These behavioral and cognitive approaches are used to properly examine different aspects of social capital or compare disaster resilience of different regions 33 . ...
... The responses were coded using a five-point Likert scale: great progress, some progress, couldn't say, not so much progress, and no progress. Although these variables do not capture objective progress of recovery (such as physical infrastructure recovery, the reopening of medical facilities, etc.), past studies regularly relied on individuals' subjective evaluations including self-rating of their physical and mental health conditions and their satisfaction with recovery programs 28,34,35 . ...
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Evidence shows that communal resources, cohesion, and social infrastructure can mitigate shocks and enhance resilience. However, we know less about how specific social capital building interventions facilitate recovery in post-disaster environments. Using a survey of over 1000 residents of Ofunato, Japan after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, this study demonstrates that the individuals who actively participated in a community center—created for and led by neighborhood elders—reported higher levels of family and neighborhood recovery than similar individuals who did not participate. Results from ordinal logistic regression analyses, propensity score matching (PSM) and coarsened exact matching (CEM) show arguably stronger causal links between bottom-up, microlocal programs to boost connections in post-disaster areas and post-disaster outcomes. Community-based programs that strengthen social ties even among elderly residents can measurably improve their recoveries.
... Social capital, or value embedded within social structures (Woolcock and Narayan 2000), emerges as important for individuals and communities in the aftermath of natural disasters. Social capital influences economic and social activities after disasters as a function of the trust, norms, and relationships in networks (Nakagawa and Shaw 2004). The definition of social capital by Bourdieu (1985) addresses resources that result from a durable set of network relationships. ...
... Dimensions of support can also be differentiated by gender, with females being more likely to receive emotional and informational support (Lee et al. 2019). Similarly, findings indicate that informal support, or support originating from bonding ties that involve kin and friend relationships, are more likely to be experienced by people with low income and education (Marsden 1987;Nakagawa and Shaw 2004). ...
... If a multitude of research has found that meaningful and high-quality connections with others are one of the most reliable predictors of happiness, wellbeing, and health [17][18][19], people's social capital (i.e., the norms and ties among and between residents in communities [20]) seems even more important in times of crisis. People's social capital represents an important resilient factor to overcome periods of crisis [21][22][23], given that connections with others provide information, resources, moral support [24,25], and create more positive recovery processes [26]. This third point is of particular interest to us in this research. ...
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An emergent body of evidence shows the impact of exposure to nature on prosocial attitudes and interpersonal relationships. This study examines relationships between green space (GS) attendance, perceived beauty of the space, perceived crowdedness of the space, and prosocial behavior. A cross-sectional study with snowball sampling was conducted in April 2020. All participants (N = 1206) responded to an online survey that included a French version of the social value orientation slider measure (used as a proxy for prosocial behavior), questions about the lockdown, and their GS attendance. After retaining only participants who had visited a GS at least once since the beginning of their lockdown (N = 610), multiple linear regressions showed that social orientation scores demonstrated associations with the interaction between GS attendance and perceived crowdedness of the GS, suggesting that attending low crowded GS is linked to increasing prosociality. These results provide insight into the roles that GS can have during a health crisis and suggest some practical implications.
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Urban market fire disasters in recent times are becoming rampant, rendering many homeless and loss of livelihood. This study examines response and recovery measures to market fires in Lagos metropolis using market fire data from the Lagos State Fire Service and questionnaire from traders who are victims of fire disaster in the area. In this study, questionnaire was administered to two hundred and fifty market traders in twenty-five markets of sixteen local government area where fire disaster occurred. Interview was also conducted for market stakeholders and government officials. Findings from the analysis show that in a seven year period market fires have affected over 50 markets in Lagos metropolis. Traders reported that response to fire calls has been poor from emergency responders who, more often than not, arrive late and ill-equipped at fire scenes. Traders have also often been helpless resorting to crude and less effective means of firefight-ing like pouring water and detergent solution on the fire. It also shows that 68.6% of the market fires were caused by electrical faults. The Chi-square analysis revealed an observed difference in the recovery duration amongst markets affected with a chi-square coefficient of 0.000, in which biasness was observed in the distribution of relief materials amongst the different local government involved with a chi-square coefficient of 0.000. The study reveals that the rate and duration amongst markets affected varied with wealth of the traders and the type of wares sold. Some traders never returned after the incident. It also appears from the field study that markets in the affected areas were not designed or prepared to combat fire eventualities due to their inac-cessibility to fire fighting vehicles. Some others were far from the available water hydrants and lacked enough fire extinguishers. The study concluded that Lagos market fire outbreaks are avoidable incidences. However, it would remain recurrent if the markets vulnerable are not restructured for safety. The researchers recommend that governments at all levels should strengthen the capacity and revitalise emergency management agencies towards urban market fire disaster preparedness and mitigation.
... Dickey (2003) stated that post-crisis relief efforts are far more complex than just jumping onto the next flight and pitching in food and clothes. Rather than just an event that victims hold and remember for the sad situations they experienced, post disaster recovery processes should be considered as opportunities for development, by revitalizing the local economy and upgrading livelihoods and living conditions (Nakagawa & Shaw, 2004;Ma, Shu, Shen, Song, Li, & Liu, 2014). Victoria (2007:0) reported that "within the last decade, parallel efforts in various regions of the world called for a paradigm shift from the prevailing emergency management framework to disaster risk reduction to reverse the increasing trend in disaster occurrence and loss, especially from small and medium scale disasters". ...
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Urban market fire disasters in recent times are becoming rampant, rendering many homeless and loss of livelihood. This study examines response and recovery measures to market fires in Lagos metropolis using market fire data from the Lagos State Fire Service and questionnaire from traders who are victims of fire disaster in the area. In this study, questionnaire was administered to two hundred and fifty market traders in twenty-five markets of sixteen local government area where fire disaster occurred. Interview was also conducted for market stakeholders and government officials. Findings from the analysis show that in a seven year period market fires have affected over 50 markets in Lagos metropolis. Traders reported that response to fire calls has been poor from emergency responders who, more often than not, arrive late and ill-equipped at fire scenes. Traders have also often been helpless resorting to crude and less effective means of firefighting like pouring water and detergent solution on the fire. It also shows that 68.6% of the market fires were caused by electrical faults. The Chi-square analysis revealed an observed difference in the recovery duration amongst markets affected with a chi-square coefficient of 0.000, in which biasness was observed in the distribution of relief materials amongst the different local government involved with a chi-square coefficient of 0.000. The study reveals that the rate and duration amongst markets affected varied with wealth of the traders and the type of wares sold. Some traders never returned after the incident. It also appears from the field study that markets in the affected areas were not designed or prepared to combat fire eventualities due to their inaccessibility to fire fighting vehicles. Some others were far from the available water hydrants and lacked enough fire extinguishers. The study concluded that Lagos market fire outbreaks are avoidable incidences. However, it would remain recurrent if the markets vulnerable are not restructured for safety. The researchers recommend that governments at all levels should strengthen the capacity and revitalise emergency management agencies towards urban market fire disaster preparedness and mitigation.
... Community social capital has been a key ingredient that has a salient impact on people and society in Japan. The quick recovery from the massive earthquake was made possible by local neighborhood associations in the affected communities [20]. Social capital shared among the members of a residential area has a preventive effect against committing suicides [21,22]. ...
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Background Effective strategies to develop dementia-friendly communities (DFCs) are needed in aging societies. We aimed to propose a strategy to develop DFCs from a Japanese perspective and to evaluate an intervention program that adopted the strategy. Methods This study implemented a multi-level intervention that emphasized nurturing community social capital in a large apartment complex in the Tokyo metropolitan area in 2017. We offered an inclusive café that was open for extended hours as a place to socialize and a center for activities that included monthly public lectures. Individual consultation on daily life issues was also available for free at the café. Postal surveys were sent out to all older residents aged 70 years and older in 2016 and 2019. With a one-group pre-test and post-test design, we assessed changes in the proportion of older residents who had social interaction with friends and those who were confident about living in the community, even if they were living with dementia. Results Totals of 2633 and 2696 residents completed the pre and post-intervention surveys, respectively. The mean age of the pre-intervention respondents was 77.4 years; 45.7% lived alone and 7.7% reported living with impaired cognitive function. The proportion of men who had regular social interaction and were confident about living in their community with dementia increased significantly from 38.8 to 44.5% (p = 0.0080) and from 34.1 to 38.3% (p = 0.045), respectively. Similar significant increases were observed in the subgroup of men living with impaired cognitive function, but not in the same subgroup for women. Conclusions The intervention benefitted male residents who were less likely to be involved in the community’s web of social networks at baseline. A strategy to create DFCs that emphasizes nurturing community social capital can form a foundation for DFCs. Trial registration This study was retrospectively registered in the University hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN) Clinical Trial Registry (registry number: UMIN000038193, date of registration: Oct 3, 2019).
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The involvement of NGOs in earthquake disaster management is most critical, where occurrences are not as frequent as in other disasters. NGOs can play a very vital and responsible role at every stage of the disaster cycle. Search and rescue operations need technical skills, relief needs coordination, rehabilitation needs commitment, and preparedness needs cooperation. But the most important element is that it should be a multidisciplinary action, involving different stakeholders. Addressing the needs of people, cooperation with government sectors, linking the efforts to development practices, and professionalism and motivation are all key issues for the sustainability efforts of NGO involvement.
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Political scientists are becoming more self-conscious about how they connect quantitative and qualitative data in social science and about the role of systematic country studies in comparative research. As the most striking example of both practices in recent years, Robert Putnam and his collaborators' Making Democracy Work deserves more serious criticism than it as received. While Putnam's original project aimed at a precise goal-studying how a new administrative reform is institutionalized-his ultimate project aimed at nothing less than examining how differently democracy works in different sociopolitical contexts, operationalized cross-sectionally in southern and northern Italy. The sources of these differences he found in the two regions' histories, which led him to employ the quantitative interregional data he had collected for one purpose to support a model of historical development of North and South. This historical reconstruction rests largely on qualitative data; but it also rests on a set of comparative inferences about individual values and community cohesiveness in the two regions that is of questionable historical validity and innocent of structural grounding. This article applauds Putnam's joining qualitative and quantitative data but attack his reconstruction of Italian history to fit his model of social capital.
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