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An expected event, but unprecedented damage: Structure and gaps of large-scale response coordination of the 2011 Thailand floods

Jungwon Yeo (School of Public Administration, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Louise K. Comfort (Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 7 August 2017



The purpose of this paper is to focus on the large-scale flood response coordination across sectors and jurisdictions, investigating the characteristics and gaps of the 2011 Thailand flood response operations.


The large-scale flood response coordination was measured as an inter-organizational network. An extensive content analysis of news reports was conducted to identify the participating organizations and relationships among them that emerged during the initial flood response operations. Social network analysis was used to examine the patterns and gaps of coordination among the organizations.


The research identified three major gaps that might weaken the response coordination. First, the coordination structure was highly fragmented with many isolated actors. Second, the benefit of inter-sector relationships was not well leveraged in the system due to weak reciprocal relationships across sectors. Third, provincial level organizations did not serve as a strong liaison between local actors (cities) and national actors.

Practical implications

Based on the findings, the research offers suggestions to improve the performance of response coordination in recurring flood disasters.


This study is distinctive in its examination of structural characteristics of large-scale, inter-sector and multi-jurisdictional flood response coordination in Thailand. Previous studies have explored how citizens were organized and responded to flood disasters at the local level, and measured indicators or causes of response resilience at the provincial level system. Yet, studies examining the patterns of coordination structure among response organizations across all affected-jurisdictional authorities and sectors have been lacking.



Yeo, J. and K. Comfort, L. (2017), "An expected event, but unprecedented damage: Structure and gaps of large-scale response coordination of the 2011 Thailand floods", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 458-470.



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