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An owner-driven reconstruction in Bihar

Mittul Vahanvati (School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Beau Beza (School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to identify “key processes” during the owner-driven reconstruction (ODR) process by implementing agencies, to enhance the long-term disaster-resilience of housing and community.


A mixed methods methodology and “case-study” approach is adopted to compare good practice reconstruction projects in India in the past 15 years. This paper discusses findings from investigations conducted in two settlements of Bihar – Orlaha and Puraini, after major flooding in 2008. The sites were visited during 2012 and 2014.


One of the key processes that lead to the success of the ODR process in terms of its effect on the long-term disaster-resilience in Bihar is community mobilisation it functions primarily as an information and communication device promoting the success (or otherwise) of the reconstruction project.


The findings are based on empirical evidence gathered during in-field investigations and interviews to post-disaster reconstructed villages. While these findings represent a snapshot of diverse and complex disaster experiences in the Indian context, the comparison offers insight on how to turn the rhetoric surrounding “owner-driven” or “built back better” into positive long-term community outcomes.



Vahanvati, M. and Beza, B. (2017), "An owner-driven reconstruction in Bihar", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 306-319.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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