Thesis title: Influence of integrating disaster risk reduction within post-disaster infrastructure reconstruction on socio-economic development

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Article publication date: 19 July 2011

Citation

Palliyaguru, R. (2011), "Thesis title: Influence of integrating disaster risk reduction within post-disaster infrastructure reconstruction on socio-economic development", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 2 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijdrbe.2011.43502baa.002

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Thesis title: Influence of integrating disaster risk reduction within post-disaster infrastructure reconstruction on socio-economic development

Article Type: Doctoral abstract From: International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Volume 2, Issue 2

The trend of natural disasters has shown an unprecedented scale of increase during the last few decades, causing massive human and property losses. This has resulted in an increase of reconstruction, in both the housing and infrastructure sectors. Although, reconstruction is presumed to be a window of opportunity created by tragic situation following a disaster and it is also a tool to help reduce future disaster risks through particular attention to various vulnerabilities, the developing countries would not reportedly use such opportunities during reconstruction. In Sri Lanka, the initial restoration work of infrastructure was completed within a relatively short period of time following the tsunami 2004 disaster. However, whether recovery is used to address disparities in quality and access of infrastructure and services to communities and to what extent infrastructure reconstruction would extend towards and deal with issues related to infrastructure and services needs in poorer communities, reconcile environmental-development complexities and link development to future disaster risk management, is doubtable. On the other hand, reduction of disaster risk has become a “must due” with regard to the increased natural disaster losses. Whilst the need for mitigation and reduction of natural disaster risks has been widely recognised all over the world, achieving this ambitious goal has proven difficult in Sri Lanka. The concept of disaster risk reduction is referred not only to physical/technical strategies but it includes a wider array of strategies that involve solving much more complex political, social, economic and environmental challenges. Moreover, literature suggests that development and disaster management are both aimed at vulnerability reduction. In this respect, it is evident that vulnerability reduction plays a central role in both disaster risk reduction and the development concepts. Moreover, literature suggests that reconstruction must take into account the implications in reducing disaster vulnerability in the long term. On the other hand, disaster risk reduction initiatives are considered to result in many development concerns. Therefore, exploring how the integration of disaster risk reduction strategies within post-disaster reconstruction projects contributes to overcoming the problems mentioned above will be a more useful approach, and this has become the main focus of this research.

The research developed a conceptual framework through literature reviews and pilot interviews. This study adopts the social constructionism view in terms of its philosophical assumptions and the case study approach was selected as the main research approach. Accordingly, a multiple case study approach was used and data were collected through semi-structured interviews, a questionnaire survey and document reviews conducted within two case studies, semi-structured interviews conducted among policy makers and experts in the field of disaster reconstruction in Sri Lanka and the UK. While content analysis and cognitive mapping techniques were used for the analysis of the semi-structured interviews, the descriptive statistics technique was used for the analysis of the questionnaire survey.

Whilst revealing the different levels at which the concept of disaster risk reduction can be applied within the infrastructure reconstruction sector, the study identifies the most influential factors which lead to infrastructure reconstruction projects and communities increasing vulnerability. As its main finding, the study reveals the ways in which integration of disaster risk reduction strategies within post-disaster reconstruction projects could contribute towards the socio-economic development process. This was revealed by identifying how integration of disaster risk reduction strategies within infrastructure reconstruction projects could avoid those factors which lead to such vulnerabilities. Moreover, the study reveals the gap between incorporating the concept of disaster risk reduction within the national and intermediate-organisational level policies (protocols) and the actual practise of disaster risk reduction at the infrastructure reconstruction project level.

Degree – PhDMonth/year completed – November 2010Language of the thesis – EnglishThesis supervisor(s) – Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga and Dr Richard HaighPostal address – School of the Built Environment, Centre for Disaster Resilience, Maxwell Building 4th Floor, The University of Salford, The Crescent, Salford M 5 4WT, UKPhone – 0044 161 295 4600

E-mail – R.S.Palliyaguru@edu.salford.ac.uk

Roshani PalliyaguruSchool of the Built Environment, Centre for Disaster Resilience, The University of Salford, Salford, Greater Manchester, UK