The objective of the present study is to examine the history, activities, and relationships of a neighbourhood service cooperative, which evolved into a neighbourhood disaster management project that has been adopted by more than 100 neighbourhoods in the north western part of Turkey. In order to understand the core reasons for participation lethargy of the public in community based organizations (CBOs) for disaster preparedness, both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were employed. An active CBO, at the local level, is shown to have a positive influence on the trustworthiness and perception of responsibility of such organizations by the public. The respondents in this study seem to prefer autonomous and expert actors that formally belong to the centralized state system, such as universities, search and rescue teams, and the military, although they also attribute responsibility to CBOs for disaster related activities and expect some level of leadership from these organizations. The findings point to the direction of a cultural phenomenon, which results in high power distance and low future orientation, coupled with low levels of trust towards institutions and lack of public legitimacy of such organizations. This results in the public avoiding active engagement in preparedness initiatives and suggests the need for an initial leading group to mobilize the community in this area. A set of policy recommendations are provided that will contribute to increasing the effectiveness of CBOs and will allow them become stronger actors in the network of interactions regarding disaster related activities, especially in centralized state systems.
Inelmen, K., Iseri Say, A. and Kabasakal, H. (2004), "Participation lethargy in disaster preparedness organizations within the framework of a Turkish CBO", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 24 No. 10/11, pp. 130-158. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330410791082
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