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Disaster Risk Governance in Indonesia and Myanmar: The Practice of Co-Governance

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Abstract

This article discusses the discourse and practice of co-governance in disaster risk reduction (DRR). It is based on an extensive ethnographic study of DRR at global level and in two disaster-prone countries in Southeast Asia: Indonesia and Myanmar. These country cases were selected not only because of their similarly high vulnerability to disasters, but also because the overlaps and differences between them in disaster governance allowed for a comparative study of the impacts of co-governance in DRR. Indonesia is characterised by a longer history with democratic governance institutions and a largely national-led response to disasters; Myanmar has only started to develop DRR in the last 10 years, and its policies are still largely led by international actors. In both countries, disaster response has shifted from being top-down and state-centred to following a co-governance approach. This reflects a worldwide trend in DRR, the idea being that co-governance, where different state and non-state stakeholders are involved in governance networks, will lead to more inclusive and effective DRR. Our findings suggest that, in Myanmar and Indonesia, DRR has indeed become more inclusive. However, at the same time, we find that DRR in both countries has remained highly hierarchical and state-centred. Although the possible gains of encouraging future initiatives among different actors negotiating disaster response is under-explored, we find that, to date, the multiplication of actors involved in DRR, especially within the state, has led to an increasingly complex, competitive system that negatively affects the ability to conduct DRR.
Politics and Governance (ISSN: 2183–2463)
2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 180–189
DOI: 10.17645/pag.v6i3.1598
Article
Disaster Risk Governance in Indonesia and Myanmar: The Practice
of Co-Governance
Annisa Gita Srikandini 1,*, Roanne Van Voorst 2and Dorothea Hilhorst 2
1Department of International Relations, Gadjah Mada University, 55284 Yogyakarta, Indonesia;
E-Mail: annisagita@ugm.ac.id
2Institute of International Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2518 AX The Hague, The Netherlands;
E-Mail: vanvoorst@iss.nl
* Corresponding author
Submitted: 5 June 2018 | Accepted: 7 September 2018 | Published: 28 September 2018
Abstract
This article discusses the discourse and practice of co-governance in disaster risk reduction (DRR). It is based on an ex-
tensive ethnographic study of DRR at global level and in two disaster-prone countries in Southeast Asia: Indonesia and
Myanmar. These country cases were selected not only because of their similarly high vulnerability to disasters, but also
because the overlaps and differences between them in disaster governance allowed for a comparative study of the im-
pacts of co-governance in DRR. Indonesia is characterised by a longer history with democratic governance institutions and
a largely national-led response to disasters; Myanmar has only started to develop DRR in the last 10 years, and its policies
are still largely led by international actors. In both countries, disaster response has shifted from being top-down and state-
centred to following a co-governance approach. This reflects a worldwide trend in DRR, the idea being that co-governance,
where different state and non-state stakeholders are involved in governance networks, will lead to more inclusive and
effective DRR. Our findings suggest that, in Myanmar and Indonesia, DRR has indeed become more inclusive. However, at
the same time, we find that DRR in both countries has remained highly hierarchical and state-centred. Although the possi-
ble gains of encouraging future initiatives among different actors negotiating disaster response is under-explored, we find
that, to date, the multiplication of actors involved in DRR, especially within the state, has led to an increasingly complex,
competitive system that negatively affects the ability to conduct DRR.
Keywords
disaster risk reduction; Indonesia; governance; Myanmar; Sendai Framework
Issue
This article is part of the ‘Multidisciplinary Studies’ issue in Politics and Governance.
© 2018 by the authors; licensee Cogitatio (Lisbon, Portugal). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribu-
tion 4.0 International License (CC BY).
1. Introduction
For decades, disaster risk reduction (DRR) has been or-
ganised around an emergency style of top-down, state-
centred policies and institutions. But the past three
decades have seen a global development shifting disas-
ter response from reactive to proactive, from singular
to more holistic with a focus on DRR, and from a state-
centred model to forms of co-governance that recog-
nise the importance of non-state actor involvement in
disaster governance and of community-based initiatives
and resilience.
This emphasis on the need for inclusive co-
governance of disaster in global and national policies
is partly related to the recognition that disasters are
in many places growing in number and that recurring
events may have disastrous impacts but are at the same
time largely predictable and part of normality. ‘Living
with the floods’ is one of the catchphrases of this new
way of thinking, reflecting a change from an earlier per-
Politics and Governance, 2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 180–189 180
spective that considered floods to be abnormal risk-
events that were addressed by technical measures. In the
‘living with the floods’ era, the focus of disaster risk gov-
ernance (DRG) has shifted away from top-down emer-
gency response measures to softer measures, such as
improving the ways in which vulnerable populations and
their governments deal with recurrent floods and other
hazardous events. This also implies a shift in governance
away from top-down disaster management and towards
co-governed forms of response that involve different seg-
ments and levels of the state, as well as societal actors.
The international community has converged on the
principle of ‘inclusive DRR’, which denotes ‘the collabo-
ration of a wide array of stakeholders operating across
different scales’ (Gaillard & Mercer, 2012, p. 95). In poli-
cies and meetings, the global DRR community has con-
sistently repeated the expected advantages of inclusive
DRR governance, stressing that it will lead to more inclu-
sive and effective disaster governance (Djalante, 2012).
To achieve inclusive DRR, it is necessary to strengthen
and alter the ways in which countries and institutions
govern disaster. It is now widely believed that effective
DRG requires the strong engagement of multiple actors
involved in DRR in a country.
The United Nations International Strategy for Disas-
ter Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has claimed that ‘good gov-
ernance’ of disasters should be shared by multiple state
and non-state actors in a country to ‘elevate disaster risk
reduction into a policy priority, allocate the necessary re-
sources to it, ensure and enforce its implementation and
assign accountability for failures, as well as facilitate par-
ticipation by all relevant stakeholders’ (UNISDR, 2004).
Governance networks are widely expected to con-
tribute to more effective DRG (UNISDR, 2013; Warner,
Waalewijn, & Hilhorst, 2002, p. 2). Moreover, the report
of the Hyogo Framework for Action claimed that multi-
stakeholder platforms would contribute significantly to
‘integrating DRR into sustainable development policies
and supporting less developed countries in implement-
ing the HFA [Hyogo Framework for Action]’ (Djalante,
2012, p. 2924). It is also believed throughout the global
disaster community that this and other governance net-
works could stimulate learning and innovation (Djalante,
2012, p. 2932).
DRR platforms have now become common in most
disaster-prone countries. Since 1987, United Nations
(UN) member states have been invited to establish
‘national committees’—co-governance platforms that
should consist of multiple actors involved in DRR, includ-
ing representatives of governments, international organ-
isations, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and the
scientific community. UNISDR has actively encouraged
the establishment of national governance networks’ to
provide and mobilise knowledge, skills and resources
required for mainstreaming DRR into development poli-
cies, planning and programmes’ (UNISDR, 2007). Data
from UNISDR indicate that around 93 national platforms
on DRR had developed worldwide as of 2016 (UNISDR,
2017). Both Myanmar and Indonesia have established
such a platform.
Several scholars have studied disaster management
networks in Asia. For instance, Djalante (2012) studied
adaptive governance and multi-stakeholder platforms in
Indonesia using a multi-stakeholder approach; Raju and
Niekerk (2013) discussed multi-organisational coordina-
tion for disaster recovery in India; and Chui, Feng and
Jordan (2014) used the same lens to explore advocacy
coalition frameworks in the context of policy change
in Taiwan. These authors have all related the principle
of governance network to a disaster-related context in
Asia. Djalante (2012, p. 2923) advocated the concept
of adaptive governance as an ‘alternative’ in governing
disaster management and placed multi-stakeholder plat-
forms at the heart of this approach, arguing that multi-
stakeholder platforms offer a way to manage problems
with flexible and adjustable governance systems. Raju re-
ferred to ‘coordination structures’ to describe the net-
work arena of disaster recovery. He argued that effective
DRR politics requires clarity on rules, a willingness to co-
ordinate, strong leadership and deliberative command.
Finally, Chui et al. (2014) addressed advocacy within
the groundwork of ‘advocacy coalition framework[s]’. In
their study, they argued that the success of advocacy
through coalitions and alliances is mainly determined by
stakeholders’ social engagement and common commit-
ment to work on collective action.
Despite the recognised importance of co-governance
of disaster, no academic research has specifically stud-
ied the internal dynamics among actors in DRR gover-
nance networks. Therefore, this article examines the dis-
courses and practices of different governance networks
that were established to reduce disaster risk in Indonesia
and Myanmar. Our article is based on extensive ethno-
graphic fieldwork conducted in two country case studies
and among a global-level DRG-governance network.
Our research aimed to understand to what extent
DRR in Indonesia and Myanmar is indeed inclusive and
co-governed by multiple state and non-state actors. Al-
though it has often been suggested in the literature and
in policy reports that inclusive DRR and effective DRG
face challenges (Djalante, 2012, p. 2925; Raju & Niekerk,
2013, p. 92), not much is known about the daily prac-
tices, problems and experiences of state and non-state
actors involved in DRR. Looking beyond the policy com-
mitments on expected inclusiveness and other positive
outcomes, this article investigates the realities of the ac-
tual practice of inclusive DRR in DRG in Indonesia and
Myanmar and asks how the principle of inclusiveness
works in practice. Has it lived up to its promise to achieve
common objectives and resolve conflicts? To what extent
are states willing to negotiate the power arrangements in
their partnerships with non-state actors?
Politics and Governance, 2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 180–189 181
2. Conceptual Frameworks
2.1. Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Risk
Governance
In the academic and policy literature, DRR is defined as
a means of ‘preventing new and reducing existing dis-
aster risk to strengthen resilience’ (UNISDR, 2007). Be-
yond this definition, DRR has been understood as a ‘con-
ceptual framework to minimise vulnerabilities and dis-
aster risks, to avoid (prevention) and to limit (mitiga-
tion and preparedness) the adverse impacts of hazards’
(UNISDR, 2008). In the context of DRR, the concept of
DRG has been used as a frame to explain structural ar-
rangements and multifaceted interactions among actors
working with the objective of reducing risk.
The phrase ‘disaster risk governance’ has been used
extensively in policy practice. UNISDR refers to DRG as
‘the system of institutions, mechanisms, policy and le-
gal frameworks and other arrangements to guide, coor-
dinate and oversee disaster risk reduction and related
areas of policy’ (UNISDR, 2007). In the DRR global pol-
icy setting, the Guiding Principles of the Sendai Frame-
work for Action 2015–2030 explicitly states that ‘dis-
aster risk reduction requires an all-of-society engage-
ment and partnership’. It requires empowerment and in-
clusive, accessible and non-discriminatory participation,
paying special attention to people disproportionately af-
fected by disasters, especially those belonging to the
poorest groups in society. Inclusiveness in DRR is strongly
related to the involvement of all actors in collective ac-
tion on DRR.
DRG, in contrast to disaster governance, aims to ap-
proach the complex dynamics of institutional settings,
power relations and policy advocacy in the specific con-
text of reducing risk. DRG concerns the entire structure
of the phases of disaster management (preparedness,
response, recovery and rehabilitation). However, many
authors use the phrases ‘disaster risk governance’ and
‘disaster governance’ interchangeably, and a substantial
number of well-written journal articles using the phrase
‘disaster governance’ may be seen to speak about DRG
(Ahrens & Rudolph, 2006; Cho, 2014; Enia, 2013; Gerber,
2007; Lassa, 2010; Lindsay, 2014; Moe, 2010; Niekerk,
2015; Seng, 2010; Tierney, 2012).
2.2. Disaster Risk Governance
‘Governance’ is different from ‘government’. Whereas
government is associated with the ‘authoritative expres-
sion of the state’ that is ‘usually thought to dictate to
and control other state bodies’ (Heywood, 2004, p. 77),
governance denotes ‘interorganizational networks’ that
‘complement markets and hierarchies as governing struc-
tures’ (Rhodes, 1996, p. 652). More specifically, the con-
cept of governance is defined as ‘a complex set of val-
ues, norms, processes and institutions used by a society
to manage its development and resolve conflict’ (Kohler-
Koch, 2005). Governance is a way of steering and gov-
erning by engaging non-state actors in the policy pro-
cess (Ewalt, 2001; Peters & Pierre, 1998; Rhodes, 1996;
Stoker, 1998; van Leeuwen & van Tatenhove, 2010). Gov-
ernance aims to challenge the traditional policy process,
where the state stands as the core entity. Governance
networks are considered to be ‘self-organising’ when ac-
tors develop and regulate their interactions using rules
of the game that are ‘negotiated and agreed’ by the
participants, rather than following the dictates of the
state (Rhodes, 1996). Governance scholars frequently
use terms such as ‘coordination, cooperation, partner-
ship, joint-working, alliance, collaboration, and network’
(Mardiah, Lovett, & Evanty, 2017, p. 58). Governance net-
works emphasise the work of multiple actors who act
autonomously but relate interdependently within the in-
stitutionalised framework of the policy-making process
(Torfing, Peters, Pierre, & Sørensen, 2012).
3. Methods and Case Selection
This article is based on an ethnographic study conducted
by the first author. The co-authors guided the study and
participated in the analysis and writing. At the global
level, the first author participated in the World Confer-
ence on DRR, in Sendai, 2015, and the Asian Ministerial
Conference on DRR, in Bangkok, 2014. At the latter con-
ference, the first author attended a high-level ministe-
rial meeting as an observer. The research was primar-
ily conducted through long-term fieldwork and participa-
tory observation in DRG-governance networks in Myan-
mar and Indonesia.
Indonesia and Myanmar were selected as cases for
the study because they offer relevant, contrasting po-
litical contexts: Indonesia has a longer history with
democratic governance institutions, as well as a largely
national-led response to disasters. Myanmar, in contrast,
has only started to develop DRG over the past 10 years,
and policies are still largely led by international actors.
Both countries are also extremely vulnerable to dis-
asters, making disaster response a particularly relevant
topic of study. Asia has the highest number of disas-
ter events in the world. Data from the Asian Disaster
Reduction Centre show that 44.4% of the world’s disas-
ter events have occurred in Asia. The hazardous profile
corresponds to 82% of the people killed, 94% of those
affected and 88.7% of the total economic damage from
disaster events worldwide being in Asia (Asian Disaster
Reduction Center, 2011). Within Southeast Asia, Indone-
sia and Myanmar have the highest levels of vulnerability,
based on the indicator of the average annual number of
casualties per one million residents (UNISDR, 2010). The
enormous number of people killed in the 2004 tsunami
mega-disaster and in cyclone Nargis in 2008 showed
both countries’ high level of susceptibility to disasters.
The research design involved the use of multiple qual-
itative methods of data collection for each of the case
studies: (1) desk study to review and analyse policy docu-
Politics and Governance, 2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 180–189 182
ments and the basic conceptual framework of the politics
of DRG, global frameworks on DRR, global norms, politi-
cal changes and decentralisation; (2) semi-structured in-
terviews with government officials and non-state actors
from both international organisations and NGOs; (3) fo-
cus group discussions in which various community groups
at the village level were interviewed to study community
perspectives towards risk, the DRR project, NGOs and the
roles of the government; (4) a qualitative impact study
to observe the implementation of a DRR project at the
community level by an alliance of NGOs; and (5) partic-
ipant observation in focus group discussions, reviewing
minutes of meetings and observations from national and
international conferences/workshops, and participation
in an internship programme at a UN agency in Myanmar.
The field research was conducted over a time span
of 18 months. A total of 129 people in Indonesia and
78 in Myanmar participated in this research through
semi-structured interviews or focus group discussions.
These participants included both government officials
and non-state actors (working for international disaster-
governance organisations or NGOs). The researchers
used purposive sampling to select the interviewees by
identifying and selecting participants based on their in-
volvement in DRG.
The interviews addressed four topics: the role of ac-
tors, the agenda, interaction with other stakeholders
and the articulation of interests (power relations). In In-
donesia, the interviews were conducted in the local lan-
guage, Bahasa Indonesia. In Myanmar, both English and
Burmese were used, with the aid of an interpreter.
4. Research Findings
4.1. Political Changes in Indonesia and Myanmar
Influence the Strengthening of Inclusive Disaster Risk
Governance
4.1.1. Decentralised Disaster Risk Governance
in Indonesia
Indonesia offers a strong example of how political
changes influence DRG, on both the national and the
local level. In 1998, Indonesian political reforms com-
prehensively introduced decentralisation. This decentral-
isation has inspired the architecture of DRG in Indone-
sia, where provincial and regency1governments have
been made entirely responsible for the implementation
of the DRR policy agenda. The Disaster Management Law
No 24, 2007 mandates the central and regency govern-
ments to share responsibility and authority for disaster
management. At the national level, referring to the Law
No 24, 2007, Article 12, the Indonesian National Agency
for Disaster Management (Badan Nasional Penanggulan-
gan Bencana [BNPB]) was established to provide guid-
ance, direction, standards and requirements for disaster
management (Law No 24, 2007, Article 12).
From 2010 to 2013, Indonesian Regional Agencies
for Disaster Management (Badan Penanggulangan Ben-
cana Daerah [BPBD]) were introduced. BPBDs were es-
tablished in almost 90% of the provinces and regions
in Indonesia (BNPB, 2014). In addition, the growth of
democratisation beginning in 1998 has led to the increas-
ing influence of non-state actors and community initia-
tives. Freedom of speech is one of the pillars of politi-
cal reform in Indonesia, and it appears that many non-
state actors want to have a voice in DRR politics. In-
donesian civil society actively engages in DRR through
several multi-stakeholder platforms that are indepen-
dent of the government: the National Platform (Platform
Nasional [PLANAS]), Indonesian Civil Society for Disaster
Management (Masyarakat Peduli Bencana Indonesia),
Indonesian Expertise on Disaster Management (Ikatan
Ahli Bencana Indonesia), the University Forum (Forum
Universitas), the Region DRR Forum (Forum Peduli Ben-
cana Daerah) and the Village DRR Forum (Forum Peduli
Bencana Desa).
However, in practice, we found that the co-gov-
ernance of disaster appeared complex and frustrating for
many of the actors involved. Even when interviewees the-
oretically supported the idea of co-governance, indicat-
ing that it would make disaster management more ef-
fective through empowering local actors, they also high-
lighted many practical problems with its implementation.
The head of BNPB, the Indonesian National Agency
for Disaster Management, considered the independence
of local government to be one of the indicators of na-
tional resilience. ‘Local government acts as the frontline
in formulating local policy’, he said in an interview, ‘ar-
ranging resources and building community capacity’. This
idea was articulated in a similar way by multiple staff
members working at the national level. It echoes the
idea of ‘empowering’ local government to govern dis-
aster management without depending on the hierarchy
of a top-down control mechanism. A mid-level Ministry
of Home Affairs officer emphasised that, as long as the
provincial and regency levels can perform disaster man-
agement, the main responsibility of the central govern-
ment is mostly to provide guidance, assistance and ca-
pacity building:
Like children who first learn to walk, if they [the
provincial/regency governments] fall, let it be; it’s part
of the learning process. However, if they walk and
stagger unsteadily, we [the central government] will
be there to help them. (interview with a male Ministry
of Home Affairs officer, 1 November 2015)
In contrast, at the local level, BPBD staff members spoke
of ‘decentralised disaster risk governance’ in a negative
tone. They mentioned the lack of budget, human re-
sources and capacity as factors hampering their work in
the region. For example, one of the BPBD heads claimed
that ‘It’s better to work in a vertical structure with BNPB
1The term ‘regency’ in the Indonesian context refers to a sub-national level of government.
Politics and Governance, 2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 180–189 183
because the budget from the regency level is limited’ (in-
terview with a male BPBD head in Nusa Tenggara Timor,
28 July 2014).
The same informant also explained that staff capacity
had degraded because of decentralisation:
In bureaucracy, you will not get promoted if you’re
not moving to a different office [function]; at mini-
mum, you would be rotated to two different functions.
Thus, on the previous DRR Day held in Bengkulu, we—
all the heads of BPBD—wanted to have centralisation
with BNPB. [Centralisation] would make the rotation
of human resources rest on the responsibility of BNPB,
and it would no longer be part of the authority of the
Head of Regency. Here, we have often received new
staff from different functions that have nothing to do
with disaster management—for instance, the rotation
of staff from the Department of Agriculture—so every
year we received new staff who understand nothing.
(interview with a male head of BPBD in Nusa Tenggara
Timur, 28 July 2014)
Similar complaints were made by several of this infor-
mant’s colleagues. These complaints were often related
to the regency office’s financial situation. At the meeting
of the Indonesian delegation for the World Conference
on DRR, a high-ranking BNPB officer noted that, for the
five-year period from 2015 to 2019, the central agency
of BNPB received IDR 8.7 trillion (equal to EUR 580 mil-
lion). This is extremely high compared with the budget of
BPBD at the regency level in NTT (IDR 6.5 billion, equal to
EUR 433,000). Although BNPB is allocated approximately
IDR 1.2 billion–2.4 billion yearly for each province, some
BPBD personnel said that they never received the fund-
ing. A head of BPBD explained what happens in reality:
We received financial assistance from BNPB during a
disaster response in the aftermath of a volcanic erup-
tion; aside from that, we don’t receive anything. (In-
terview with a male BPBD head in NTT, 28 July 2014)
Furthermore, it became clear from the interviews that
BPBD had insufficient funds to deliver services on DRR-
specific agendas. Our analysis of the BPBD budget docu-
ment showed that budget allocations for DRR are equal
to the operations budget (e.g., staff expenses, business
trips, accommodations, transportation, consultancy and
meals); hence, there are no funds set aside for activities
at community level or investments in DRR. Poor capacity
also leads to weak budget absorption at the local level.
The national system obliges government bodies to return
unspent funds to the Ministry of Finance at the end of
fiscal year, and, because of the obstacles described here,
the funds were often received too late, at the end of the
fiscal year:
Most of the budget was returned to Jakarta [at the
end of the fiscal year] because some BPBD [agencies]
did not know how to use it and the budget came
too late. (Interview with a male BNPB staff member,
17 November 2014)
In addition to a lack of financial resources, there were
also problems concerning human resources. Decentral-
isation has shifted political gravity to the subnational
level. In practice, this leads to a situation where the
promotion and rotation of government officials happens
within and between local administrative bodies, which
hampers specialisation.
During an interview, a head of BPBD noted that BPBD
is perceived as a new player in the bureaucracy arena
at the regency level, and as ‘hardly powerful, unpopular
and an outcast’. He also explained that BPBD suffers from
high rotation among its officials, who have insufficient
backgrounds and competencies because the agency de-
pends on staff allocated to them by the mayor and the
governor, who have no special interest in DRR:
Every time we trained BPBD staff, the government of-
ficers who came to Jakarta were new staff members.
Decentralisation has [led to] a high and dynamic ro-
tation for government officers. I spoke in front of the
mayor at a meeting and asked whether the head of
BPBD could be exempted from bureaucratic rotation.
But they [the mayor] said, ‘it’s a decentralisation era;
we [the mayors] are the ones who know who have the
potential to lead [BPBD]’. (Interview with a male BNPB
staff member, 17 November 2014)
Another informant said that ‘Bureaucratic rotation
in BPBD is also our problem, but we can’t push
more because it’s a decentralisation era’ (interview on
1 November 2015). The high rotation of officials hin-
ders the sustainability of BPBD’s programme and is detri-
mental to the process of knowledge transfer within
the organisation.
In conclusion, although actors at both the national
and the local level support the idea of co-governance in
theory, they face challenges in daily practice. In particu-
lar, BPBD suffers from insufficient human resource capac-
ity caused by a premature decentralisation process and
strong local politics, resulting in government officials not
being adequately qualified based on merit.
4.1.2. Disaster Risk Governance in Transitional Myanmar
In 2008, cyclone Nargis created momentum for Myan-
mar to open up to the international community. The
cyclone was the worst disaster in Myanmar’s history,
claiming the lives of an estimated 138,000 people. Nar-
gis turned out to be a game changer in the policy arena
of DRR. In the national arena, the government of Myan-
mar has been working closely with the Disaster Risk Re-
duction Working Group (DRR WG), which aims to assist
the government in achieving a ‘resilient country’ environ-
ment. Since its establishment after Nargis in 2008, the
Politics and Governance, 2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 180–189 184
DRR WG has transformed into a multi-stakeholder net-
work. Its members include auxiliary government bodies
(e.g., Myanmar Red Cross); international organisations
(United Nations Development Programme and others);
international and national NGOs; donor agencies (e.g.,
Japan International Cooperation Agency, Caritas Switzer-
land); professional societies (e.g., Myanmar Engineering
Society) and academic organisations (e.g., Yangon Tech-
nological University, University of Yangon). The DRR WG
is the platform to discuss, formulate and implement the
DRR agenda. Although the government is one of the ac-
tors in this network, this working group is positioned out-
side the government structure on disaster management.
The DRR WG has been involved in policy consultations,
providing technical support to the government on pol-
icy development and report preparation, including de-
veloping a draft note for Myanmar’s 2015 ‘Action Plan
for DRR’.
In a transitional setting such as Myanmar, the change
process is mostly felt in urban areas like Yangon. The fol-
lowing interview extracts show that, at the local level (dis-
trict, township, village-tract), the status quo has predom-
inantly been maintained, and international actors in par-
ticular described a lack of translation of policy to lower
levels of governance:
The top level of the government changes, but the mid-
dle level and the lower level is not [changing] as fast
as the top level. (interview with a female UN agency
programme coordinator, 17 October 2014)
The middle–low bureaucratic staff have poor knowl-
edge/capacity on disaster management and do not
always understand the reality on the ground. (Inter-
view with a female UN agency staff member, 17 Octo-
ber 2014)
But problems were not felt only at local levels. From the
interviews with national-level actors involved in disaster
management, it became clear that the new practice of
the governance network has exposed the national gov-
ernment to a new way of governing. This is challenging.
It is a daily experience for government decision-makers
in Myanmar to receive requests to establish cooperation
and partnership from International Organizations, NGOs
and the private sector. Consequently, the ongoing transi-
tion pushes the government to reform almost all aspects
of policy. The government is occupied with this reform
process, including new partnership arrangements from
various initiatives. This situation often leads to long de-
lays in the decision-making process.
Government departments in this transition period—
they are very, very busy. And then, they are not that
clear what is the direction, so there were many confu-
sions. In the past, they needed to listen to only the su-
pervisor, only the head of department. Now they have
to listen to [the] media while they also have to listen
to civil society also; then sometimes [they] take deci-
sions very slowly. (interview with a female UN agency
staff member, 17 October 2014)
[Working with the government] is like [a] double[-
edged] sword; now they are open, but everybody
now works with them. [There is a] lack of capac-
ity to coordinate [and] the demand is really high,
[but] the staffing, training people is the same quan-
tity. They don’t have a lot of capacity. They have to
build the capacity. Because it’s evolving with [a] differ-
ent structure—working groups, different ministries.
There are so many groups—how do they talk to each
other and link to each other? It has been a challenge
for the government and also for us. (Interview with
a male international NGO programme coordinator,
4 October 2014)
These interview extracts show how the government’s
exposure to the new practice of inclusiveness has also
had an impact on other actors in the governance net-
work. The delay of responses to the initiatives from
non-state actors is only one of the effects. There are
also implicit problems that endanger the commitment
to the governance network. In the heavily bureaucratic
government setting of Myanmar, some NGOs admitted
that it is difficult to get access to the highest levels
of government.
4.2. Heavy Organisational Set-Up of Disaster Risk
Governance
In both countries examined here, a striking feature of
DRG is its heavy organisational set-up. The implementa-
tion of ‘decentralised DRR’ in Indonesia remains prob-
lematic because of the complexity of power sharing be-
tween the central and local governments and because
of bureaucratic heaviness. In the present organisational
structure, BNPB and BPBD are connected by a ‘coordi-
nation line’ rather than a ‘command line’. The head of
BNPB applauded the independence of local government
as one of the indicators of national resilience. Local gov-
ernment acts as the frontline in formulating local policy,
he said, arranging resources and building community ca-
pacity. However, staff members of the regency body of
BPBD mentioned the aforementioned lack of budget, hu-
man resources and capacity as factors hampering their
work in the region.
In addition, intra-government coordination remains
a major issue for DRG in Indonesia, where approximately
22 ministries and government agencies work on DRR-
related issues. Inter-ministerial meetings were mostly
conducted ad hoc around programmes or events, with
no specific mechanism for regular coordination; for ex-
ample, in 2014, several ministries tried to work together
to integrate disaster management under the Rancangan
Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Nasional, with Badan
Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional coordinating.
Politics and Governance, 2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 180–189 185
As the following comment by a research participant
suggests, such coordination of the bureaucracy-heavy or-
ganisation at the national level appeared to be a real chal-
lenge for DRG in Indonesia:
Coordination is easy to say but difficult to implement.
Each ministry has their own DRR movement, which
sometimes is not synergised and integrated. We aim
to control the planning, which before was the domain
of BAPPENAS and the Ministry of Finance. Now, all
programmes are brought to us before passing it to
BAPPENAS. (interview with a male Coordinating Min-
istry of Human Development and Culture staff mem-
ber, 4 November 2015)
In Myanmar, information exchange processes became
a real challenge for inter-ministerial coordination. The
coordination mechanisms among the ministries failed
to fill the information gap with other related ministries.
The Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement,
through the Relief and Resettlement Department, is
a key government body tasked with disaster manage-
ment. Other relevant ministries working intensely on
DRR-related issues include the Ministry of Environment
and Conservation of Forestry, the Ministry of Health, the
Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Construction, and
Myanmar Safer Settlement and Urban Research. In a
dam construction project, the Relief and Resettlement
Department asserted that they had not been fully in-
formed about the construction process, although it was
crucial for them to ensure the construction was not tak-
ing place in ‘disaster-prone areas’: ‘We lacked complete
information on what and how they do it [the project]’.
Many informants expressed the view that, while the
transfiguration to open and engaging practice is ongo-
ing, the old bureaucratic culture, which mostly promoted
a closed and command-driven hierarchy, continues to
exist. The highly bureaucratic command structure that
characterises Myanmar’s historical and political context
has also shaped the political culture of current govern-
ment officials, who have lived under decades of authori-
tarian leadership:
They [the government] were in the command sys-
tem for many years, they were trained to listen [to
the higher command]. It’s really difficult to change
the mind-set of the government department person-
nel…to have that interactive discussion, to have con-
sultation, to find the consensus….In the past, they
didn’t talk to people and people didn’t talk to gov-
ernment departments. People never think that if we
interact with government departments they will re-
spond….It’s not easy to talk together, to find the way
together. If we think that it will work, it is just a story.
It would not work in this short period. We need some
time to bridge through that situation. (interview with
a female UN agency staff member, 17 October 2014)
This statement illustrates a tendency that was also men-
tioned in many other interviews: the heavy bureaucratic
structure continuously demanding a hierarchical and top-
down decision-making process. Within this procedural
structure, there are many potential pitfalls for achiev-
ing effective decision-making processes. Although there
have been some changes introduced, the old practice
of directing decision-making processes to higher author-
ities remains tangibly real.
4.3. Government Dominance in Disaster Risk
Governance
Another major issue found in the two countries con-
cerned the dominance of the government. In Indonesia,
the institutionalisation of DRR followed a co-governance
approach through the work of PLANAS, the National
Platform. This platform is a multi-stakeholder forum for
DRR in Indonesia in which the government is one of
the members. During interviews and focus group discus-
sions, both government and non-state actors acknowl-
edged the important role of each party and affirmed the
‘good partnership’. But, although on paper (and in for-
mal interviews with outsiders such as the first author)
civil society–government advocacy channels appear to
be relatively open, we found that, in practice, the re-
lations between government and non-state actors re-
mained highly asymmetrical. Representatives of PLANAS
revealed that parties work together to ‘a limited level’.
The government engages PLANAS only at the final stage
of policy evaluations. In interviews, members of the net-
work expressed demands for a more comprehensive en-
gagement. For example, PLANAS was not fully involved
in the formulation of DRR national planning and action
through the RPJMN or the National Action Plan on DRR
(Rencana Aksi Nasional), which serve as the primary ref-
erences for Indonesia’s national programme on DRR. In
other words, the government determines and controls
the policy process.
In Myanmar, interview with the DRR WG claimed to
be the ‘government-led model of DRR Coordination’ This
explicitly placed the government in a central position in
the network, which was reflected in the DRR WG strate-
gic framework, where three of six outcomes for the DRR
WG were directed at meeting government needs (i.e., in-
clusive policy and a legal framework on DRR [outcome 1];
increased government capacity at all levels [outcome 2];
and the government being provided with tools, experi-
ences and capacities [outcome 3]). Additionally, the net-
work has very clearly been heading further in the direc-
tion of a ‘government-led’ platform. Although there was
room for negotiation with the government, the power re-
lations between state and non-state actors were built on
an asymmetrical foundation with mutual benefits. The
government works closely with the DRR WG to achieve
the government’s agenda-setting goals, and the relation-
ship between the government and the DRR WG mem-
bers is crucial for achieving the group’s organisational
Politics and Governance, 2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 180–189 186
mandates. However, the partnership initiative was un-
dertaken predominantly to fill the government’s needs
(demand-driven).
5. Conclusions
This article has presented findings about the inner work-
ings of the co-governance of DRG in Indonesia and Myan-
mar. In both countries, we found that the global trend
towards a shift from a top-down disaster response to co-
governed, inclusive forms of DRG is visible in the poli-
cies and organisation of governance. There were differ-
ences between the two countries, especially in relation
to the role of the international community (strong in
Myanmar) and the role of civil society (better recognised
in Indonesia). However, in both countries, we found that,
on closer scrutiny, it remains to be seen to what extent
the ideal of co-governance will move beyond rhetoric, as
both countries exhibit a tendency for the state to retain
central power and marginalise non-state actors. The ad-
vocacy arena for NGOs and other non-state actors has
been widening, but this space is also shrinking, because
the decision-making process has failed to develop into a
real partnership and the government remains dominant
in policy processes.
However, we also found that, in both Indonesia and
Myanmar, advocacy through alliances and consortiums
is continuously developing: Improvements in capacity,
resources and strategy to build a robust advocacy pro-
file significantly strengthen credibility and bargaining po-
sition vis-à-vis the government. Although we found that
shared commitment—considered crucial by Chui et al.
(2014)—is important, we emphasise that the influence
of stakeholders is determined by both the network and
the positional power of the network vis-à-vis the govern-
ment, and the process of interactive governance requires
actors on both sides (government and non-state actors)
to play an active role.
The co-governance model of DRG, despite its global
popularity, may not rest on a shared commitment. In
particular in Indonesia, we found that actors at decen-
tralised local levels would have preferred a clearer hier-
archical system that would give them more leeway to de-
velop specialised DRR and a clear negotiation situation
to obtain more funds from the central level.
Our research also found that co-governance has led
to substantive implementation challenges. Far from clear
with respect to the rules and command structures that
Raju and Niekerk (2013) saw as key to DRG, we found that
the organisational structures in both countries are heavy
on bureaucracy and suffer from poorly integrated work,
coordination issues, and organisational ego and compe-
tition. Importantly, in both countries, we found that the
set-up of co-governance has not led to the strengthen-
ing of inclusive DRR at local levels. In Indonesia, decen-
tralised budgets leave no room for DRR programmes at
local level, and, in Myanmar, co-governance has not yet
been translated to the local level. Even though we find
that co-governance has led to more inclusion in policy
processes in both countries, the prospect of more effec-
tive and innovative DRR at the local level (Djalante, 2012)
remains elusive.
Acknowledgements
This study was undertaken as part of a PhD trajec-
tory in Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction at the In-
ternational Institute of International Studies (ISS), the
Netherlands. We are grateful to the Netherlands Univer-
sities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC)
to grant this project under the NUFFIC Fellowship Pro-
gramme (NFP). The article was also made possible by a
VICI grant of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific
Research NWO, grant number 453-14-013.
Conflict of Interests
The authors declare no conflict of interests.
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About the Authors
Annisa Gita Srikandini is a Lecturer in the Department of International Relations, Universitas Gadjah
Mada, Indonesia. Her research and engagement are on the area of humanitarian action and disaster
risk governance, particularly in Indonesia and Myanmar. Annisa is the author of the book Responsi-
bility to Protect in Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis (2011). Further, she wrote numbers of academic
articles on humanitarian diplomacy, humanitarian space in ASEAN, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in
Indonesia. In 2018, she completed her PhD from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the
Netherlands, with the dissertation ‘Politics of Disaster Risk Governance in Indonesia and Myanmar’.
Roanne van Voorst is a Post-Doctoral Researcher involved in the research project “When disaster
meets conflict. Disaster response of humanitarian aid and local state and non-state institutions in dif-
ferent conflict scenarios”, the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Netherlands. She has
a background in anthropology and development; her main research interests focus on natural hazard,
poverty and humanitarian aid. She has also done research on the social effects of climate changes
in Greenland. Furthermore, she has worked as a consultant for the Danish Institute of International
Studies (DIIS) on a research project on urbanization, governance and international development.
Dorothea Hilhorst is Professor of Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction at the International Institute
of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research concerns aid-society relations in
humanitarian crises and recovery. She has published widely in her domain. Her books include People,
Aid and Institutions in Socio-Economic Recovery. Facing Fragilities (with B. Weijs and G. van der Haar,
London, Earthscan/Routledge); and The Real World of NGOs: Discourse, Diversity and Development
(London, Zedbooks, 2003).
Politics and Governance, 2018, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 180–189 189
... As with any conceptualisation of 'governance', it denotes a governing process that includes a multiple and diverse array of actors and their coordination (Asselt & Renn, 2011;Bevir, 2012Bevir, , 2013Renn, 2008). By definition, the process portrays a shift 'from government to governance' and prescribes a varied set of institutions or systems of actors -including multi-level and multi-scale arenas of authority -who should interact in order to prevent disasters and reduce risks (Lassa, 2011;Meriläinen et al., 2019;Sandoval & Voss, 2016;Srikandini et al., 2018;Tierney, 2012;UNDRR, 2017b). Sociologist Kathleen Tierney defines disaster governance 9 as: ...
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In disaster response, collaboration facilitates interactions among actors, such as the government, the military, nongovernmental organizations, and civil society organizations. This study examined the longitudinal changes in collaborative governance in Myanmar’s disaster responses based on cases of flooding in 2015, 2016, and 2018. To examine the mechanisms underlying this dynamic network formation, the collaborative ties of the actors involved in search and rescue activities were converted into longitudinal relational data sets, and the evolution of collaborative governance was analyzed by relying on the assumptions of social capital, transaction cost, homophily, and resource dependency theories and using a longitudinal social network analysis method. The findings show that the collaborative networks of search and rescue processes in disaster response evolved and changed over time according to the hypothesized patterns of strong, weak, and preferential tie formations. The study also revealed that the collaborative governance system assumes the form of a hierarchy rather than a generalized exchange, and the actors’ reliance on military organizations is not obvious due to the emerging alternative non-military actors and diverse local actors observed in the cases.
... They also socialise and have strong partnerships with national disaster management organisations whose members do not advocate for gender equality as part of their normal order, and as Napapan's experience tells us, resistance is often overt. Some NGOs usually mirror state bureaucracies and adopt a state-centric design in their activities and programs, especially if their corporate identity, core operations and funding support are tied to their role as a service provider to states (Barnett, 2013;Srikandini et al., 2018). ...
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This book casts a light on the daily struggles and achievements of ‘gender experts’ working in environment and development organisations, where they are charged with advancing gender equality and social equity and aligning this with visions of sustainable development. Developed through a series of conversations convened by the book’s editors with leading practitioners from research, advocacy and donor organisations, this text explores the ways gender professionals – specialists and experts, researchers, organizational focal points – deal with personal, power-laden realities associated with navigating gender in everyday practice. In turn, wider questions of epistemology and hierarchies of situated knowledges are examined, where gender analysis is brought into fields defined as largely techno-scientific, positivist and managerialist. Drawing on insights from feminist political ecology and feminist science, technology and society studies, the authors and their collaborators reveal and reflect upon strategies that serve to mute epistemological boundaries and enable small changes to be carved out that on occasions open up promising and alternative pathways for an equitable future. This book will be of great relevance to scholars and practitioners with an interest in environment and development, science and technology, and gender and women’s studies more broadly.
... The study concluded that well-established collaboration was able to address problems in disaster risk reduction in this case communication problems. Annisa Gita Srikandini [11] conducted research on disaster risk reduction in Indonesia and in Myanmar and found that both countries have placed disaster risk reduction inclusively. ...
... They also socialise and have strong partnerships with national disaster management organisations whose members do not advocate for gender equality as part of their normal order, and as Napapan's experience tells us, resistance is often overt. Some NGOs usually mirror state bureaucracies and adopt a state-centric design in their activities and programs, especially if their corporate identity, core operations and funding support are tied to their role as a service provider to states (Barnett, 2013;Srikandini et al., 2018). ...
Book
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This book casts a light on the daily struggles and achievements of ‘gender experts’ working in environment and development organisations, where they are charged with advancing gender equality and social equity and aligning this with visions of sustainable development. Developed through a series of conversations convened by the book’s editors with leading practitioners from research, advocacy and donor organisations, this text explores the ways gender professionals – specialists and experts, researchers, organizational focal points – deal with personal, power-laden realities associated with navigating gender in everyday practice. In turn, wider questions of epistemology and hierarchies of situated knowledges are examined, where gender analysis is brought into fields defined as largely techno-scientific, positivist and managerialist. Drawing on insights from feminist political ecology and feminist science, technology and society studies, the authors and their collaborators reveal and reflect upon strategies that serve to mute epistemological boundaries and enable small changes to be carved out that on occasions open up promising and alternative pathways for an equitable future. This book will be of great relevance to scholars and practitioners with an interest in environment and development, science and technology, and gender and women’s studies more broadly.
... Current work focuses tightly on relief outcomes: shifting political power to subnational rather than national level authorities carries positive effects (Tselios and Tompkins 2017) as do instances of co-production between national and local authorities (Dollery, Kinoshita, and Yamazaki 2019). These shifts also make disaster response more complex and can inhibit positive results (Srikandini, Hilhorst, and Voorst 2018). ...
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An analysis of 2020 has been a year of interlocking crises, the like of which most of us have not known in our lifetime. The public health crisis of COVID-19 has impacted on the pre-existing crises of democratic stability and effective administration and governance, culminating in significant debate about the ability of developed democracies to respond effectively to emergencies confronting their citizens (see Allen et al 2020, Bermeo and Pontusson 2012, King and Le Gales 2017). These crises, much discussed in recent political science, have now been joined by a further crisis which both complicates and reinforces many of them: a migration crisis.
... Current work focuses tightly on relief outcomes: shifting political power to subnational rather than national level authorities carries positive effects (Tselios and Tompkins 2017) as do instances of co-production between national and local authorities (Dollery, Kinoshita, and Yamazaki 2019). These shifts also make disaster response more complex and can inhibit positive results (Srikandini, Hilhorst, and Voorst 2018). ...
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What is the relationship between economic crises and populism? Once almost exclusively the domain of Latin Americanists, the study of populism has emerged as a leading research agenda for scholars who study Europe and the US. However, researchers have hitherto failed to systematically account for the logic of economic populism and the fact that populists emanating from either the left or the right tend to converge on a similar political economic model: protectionism, crony capitalism, and inveterate rent seeking. We provide a framework to make sense of this pattern and explain the systematic, mutually reinforcing association between crises and populism. We also adduce supporting evidence from very different places, Argentina, Chile, Spain, Greece, and Italy, and across disparate time periods. We argue that populism almost always threatens both liberal democracy and welfare state capitalism and ushers in economic collapse. We posit that a key reason for this is that, rather than seeing economic interactions as “win-win” situations, populists are obsessed with zero-sum thinking. We also speculate about what might be in store for European politics in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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This PhD research addresses two central questions: How should institutional vulnerability that shapes disaster risks and disaster reduction policy be assessed? How does the quality of institutions and governance influence the level of disaster risk and disaster reduction policy? In this dissertation, institutional vulnerability at global and local levels is analyzed and an answer to such questions is pursued. General vulnerability assessment frameworks on the global scale and local scale have limitations in measuring how and to what extent institutions in all countries can reduce risks. This PhD dissertation is pioneering in that it assesses global institutional vulnerability using an index-based approach on a national/local scale by employing mixed methods such as social network analysis complemented by qualitative approaches (e.g. participant observation and literature reviews) and quantitative approaches (simple regression, scatter plots and simple descriptive statistics). In this dissertation, it is hypothesized that the countries with greater institutional quality tend to have better governance over disaster risks, which leads to a higher level of disaster risk resilience. Risk assessors have often overlooked institutions. In fact, when one assesses vulnerability, for example, social/human vulnerability (such as using health, education, human development indices), physical vulnerability (quality of physical housing and infrastructure), economic vulnerability (income, economic production), and environmental vulnerability (land degradation, environmental quality indicators), the assessor essentially measures the “outcomes” of the institutions rather than the institutions directly. Institutional vulnerability to disaster risk is defined here as both the context and the process by which formal institutions (regulations, rule of law, constitutions, codes, bureaucracy, etc.), informal institutions (culture, norms, traditions, etc.), and governance are either too weak to provide protection against disaster risk or are ignorant of their duty to provide safety and human security. Central to this argument is the concept that institutions are designed, among others, to reduce risks. In this research, the focus is on disaster risks. This suggests a hypothesis that nations will fail to reduce risks owing to institutional and governance factors that modify their vulnerabilities and resilience. The findings show that both qualitative and quantitative methods at different scales of governance can assess institutional vulnerability and the governance of disaster risk reduction. At a global level, a quantitative approach to measuring institutional quality and governance disaster risk reduction is possible thanks to recent global data on countries’ implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action; however, more efforts are required in the future. At the meso- and microlevels, this work describes the history of institutions for disaster risk management in Indonesia from the colonial period until the present challenges of decentralized governance. The main message is as follows: without considering institutions, institutional quality, and specific governance of disaster reduction at macro-, meso-. and microscales, disaster risk reduction will not be sustainably implemented.
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Policies and strategies for disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Indonesia have been transformed politically and institutionally. Studies have shown that current progress for DRR in Indonesia has been largely focused at the national level. More efforts are needed to strengthen local institutions, increase focus on the community, and adopt a more integrated approach with development. This chapter highlights the need to assess regulatory and institutional frameworks from the standpoint of collaborative governance theories, which emphasize the inter-organizational arrangements to pursue the common goals of strengthening community resilience. The aim of this chapter is to examine current progress, identify challenges and propose strategies for more integrated, locally-based and community-focused DRR strategies. The objectives are threefold. First, to examine, review and identify legal gaps within current DRR regulations, using the Regulatory Mapping (RegMAP) method. Second, to investigate the institutional arrangements through Discourse Network Analysis (DNA). Third, to conduct a need-gap analysis as prelude to recommendations for a more comprehensive DRR policy.
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Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to provide a retrospective assessment of progress in disaster risk governance in Africa against the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) since 2000. This assessment of progress achieved in disaster risk governance in Africa aims to identify achievements, good practices, gaps and challenges against selected HFA indicators (in particular Priority 1). Design/methodology/approach – This study mainly followed a qualitative methodology although quantitative data were interpreted to achieve the research objectives. Available literature (scientific articles, research and technical reports) on disaster risk governance was used as primary research data. This research used a selected number of African countries as its basis for analysis (Burundi, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Swaziland and South Africa). By investigating literature on disaster risk governance an analytical framework was developed which guided the assessment of the achievements, good practices, gaps and challenges in implementing disaster risk governance on the African continent since the inception of the HFA in 2005. Findings – The research found that African countries have been making steady progress in implementing disaster risk governance against theoretical indicators. The continent contains a few international best practices which other nations can learn from. Certain gaps and challenges are, however, still hampering better progress in the reduction of disaster risks. There is the need for multi-layered ownership and understanding of disaster risks and their cross-sectoral nature, with strong community engagement. Originality/value – An assessment of progress in disaster risk governance in Africa can assist greatly in shaping future international and national policy, legislation and implementation. The research provided input to the Global Assessment Report for 2015 and identified opportunities in disaster risk governance beyond 2015.
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Post-disaster coordination is an essential aspect to achieve sustainable disaster recovery. However, to date, little attention has been paid to the subject of coordination in disaster recovery in comparison to response coordination. This study is an investigation into the factors affecting coordination for sustainable disaster recovery. It uses the case-study of Eden district Municipality in South Africa which has been continuously impacted by floods. The paper provides a background on disaster risk management, response and recovery in South Africa to understand the legal instruments available for coordination within the government. The study is structured around the theoretical themes of coordination within the public sector and sustainable disaster recovery. This paper also aims to make suggestions for coordinating sustainable disaster recovery. According to the respondents, the study highlights that (1) much attention paid to response oriented disaster risk management; (2) government departments working in independent silos; and (3) funding and political will are factors that affect coordination for sustainable disaster recovery. Though, the study is limited to a single case study, the results presented may be important considerations in other recovery settings.
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Disaster impacts are more frequent, deadly and costly. The social and environmental consequences are increasingly complex and intertwined. Systematic as well as innovated strategies are needed to manage the impacts. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is a systematic approach to manage disaster risks while adaptive governance (AG) is suggested as an alternative approach for governing complex problems such as disasters. The author proposes that the AG can be practicalised through a mechanism of multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs), interpreted as multiplicity of organisations at different scales of governance working towards more coordinated and integrated actions in DRR. Ten MSPs are selected at the global, regional, national and local level, focussing on the Indonesian MSPs. The literature reviews and in-depth interviews with key respondents in Indonesia show that the international and regional MSPs tend to have more human, technical and financial capacity than national and local MSPs. The author finds that most MSP roles focus on the coordination amongst multitudes of organisations. Only those MSPs that are able to generate new funding have the capacity to implement direct risk reduction activities. The development of the MSP is highly influenced by the UNISDR system operating at different levels. Particularly in Indonesia, MSP are also influenced by the operations of various UN and international organisations. Finally, the paper suggests the need for more provision of technical supports to local MSPs, more linkages with established networks in DRR and broader stakeholders involvement within the MSPs.
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Purpose – Following a natural disaster the cleanup process usually takes place before reconstruction or rebuild can actually be implemented. Effectiveness of cleanup process determines the possible level of speed for implementing rebuild and reconstruction process. This paper aims to focus on providing guidelines to help plan for future natural disaster management. Design/methodology/approach – This study analyses a cleanup process after Hurricane Katrina in terms of governing policy, implementing process, problems associated with process, priorities for cleanup, and politics. Findings – The study finds policies governing the cleanup process, problems associated with the cleanup process, priorities areas in the cleanup work and politics of the disasters. Research limitations/implications – The research focuses only on three states where Hurricane Katrina hit, namely Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Practical implications – This paper explains policies governing the cleanup, the process, the prioritized work areas, associated problems, and politics of disasters. The analyses of the study provide lessons which can be learned. They also provide grounds on which guidelines for effectively managing the cleanup process for future similar events can be generated and set. Originality/value – This paper provides guidelines on the process and politics of cleanup, which can be applied to future comprehensive plans for cleanup process.
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Using the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) first developed by Sabatier and Jenkins (1987, 1988) as a conceptual lens, this paper explores its usefulness in understanding policy changes in the context of disaster management in Taiwan. The 921 Alliance and the 88 Alliance formed in light of two natural disasters were subjects of analyses. Overall, the ACF is an effective tool in analyzing Taiwan's policy changes in response to natural disasters, especially regarding the importance of policy core beliefs in reinforcing the cohesiveness of coalitions and their drive to influence government's decisions. Yet, this paper argues that a critical attribution within the two coalitions was that of social capital, an aspect that the originally ACF as posited by Sabatier conceptually lacks. The impacts of 921 and 88 Alliances on Taiwan's civil society development are also discussed.
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Post-disaster governance is a popular discussion topic in disaster research, but in practice understanding of the issue is limited. This paper discusses recovery governance since the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, focusing on two dimensions: decentralisation and citizen participation in local governance. Regional Japan's socio-spatial vitality has been shrinking and weakening under the developmental state system. The 2011 disaster exposed vulnerabilities in the socio-political system. For a short time it appeared that local political space had been opened for alternative governance systems; however, only limited improvements have occurred in decentralisation reform and civic participation systems. Tsunami recovery was constrained and delayed by predisaster trajectories, although socio-spatial inequalities increased. The paper suggests the implications of this for the developmental state and argues that drastic action should be taken to rectify the faults of the socio-political system, to stop the disaster-affected area's decline, and to promote regional and community recovery.
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