This paper aims to examine how government continuity planning contributes to strengthening the public sector's emergency preparedness, resulting in enhanced resilience of the public sector. Government continuity plans (GCPs) are a recently focused concept in disaster preparedness, compared to business continuity plans (BCPs) in the private sector. The need for BCPs was widely recognized after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) and the 2011 Thailand Floods. However, recent disasters, such as the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake in Japan, have revealed that local governments without effective GCPs were severely affected by disasters, preventing them from quickly responding to or recovering from disasters. When the GEJE occurred in 2011, only 11% of municipal governments in Japan had GCPs.
The paper analyzes basic principles of government continuity planning using complex adaptive systems (CAS) theory while summarizing recent developments in theory and practice of government continuity planning.
This research investigates the Japanese experience of GCPs using self-organization, one of the concepts of CAS. A GCP will complement regional disaster plans, which often focus on what governments should do to protect citizens during emergencies but fail to outline how governments should prepare for an emergency operation. The study concludes that GCPs contribute to increased resilience among the public sector in terms of robustness, redundancy, resourcefulness and rapidity.
This paper includes implications for the development and improvement of a GCP's operational guideline.
This research fulfills an identified need to investigate the effectiveness of a GCP for resilience in the public sector and how to improve its operation using concepts of CAS.
The author appreciates the support from the postdoctoral program of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University.
Haraguchi, M. (2020), "How can a municipal government continue operations during megadisasters? An analysis of preparedness using complex adaptive systems", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-04-2020-0114Download as .RIS
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