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Build back better concepts for resilient recovery: a case study of India’s 2018 flood recovery

Shankar Neeraj (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Sandeeka Mannakkara (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Suzanne Wilkinson (School of Built Environment, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Article publication date: 1 October 2020

Issue publication date: 24 May 2021

371

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand the recovery process after the 2018 floods in Kerala, India, and it determines whether the recovery efforts were aligned with Build Back Better (BBB) concepts.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was adopted to collect the data from the officials of Government and NGOs involved in Kerala recovery. The participants were interviewed on the challenges faced during the recovery process and the actions taken by them to overcome it.

Findings

The study identified that the Kerala Government was proactive at making the community resilient from future disasters by – encouraging owner-driven reconstruction among flood-affected households; supporting locals to rejuvenate their business; and by creating a local-level recovery authority. Further, this paper identifies the areas that Kerala was lacking in terms of BBB and where resilience-based plans and actions are needed for the future.

Research limitations/implications

The participants were employees of Government and NGOs at a state level as they were the primary decision-makers to implement any recovery actions. Researchers believe that the authorities at district and village level could have had a different perspective towards implementing the recovery actions.

Practical implications

The best practices presented in this paper for effective BBB will assist the government to build/improve resilience in the community.

Originality/value

The implementation of BBB concepts in the areas of disaster risk reduction, community recovery and effective implementation was never studied extensively. The research provides valuable information on what extent Kerala’s post-disaster recovery and reconstruction activities were in-line with BBB practices.

Keywords

Citation

Neeraj, S., Mannakkara, S. and Wilkinson, S. (2021), "Build back better concepts for resilient recovery: a case study of India’s 2018 flood recovery", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 280-294. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-05-2020-0044

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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