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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2014

Jason von Meding, Lukumon Oyedele and John Bruen

This paper sets out in the context of three strands of knowledge; disaster management, strategic management and project management and builds upon the authors’ (2009…

Abstract

This paper sets out in the context of three strands of knowledge; disaster management, strategic management and project management and builds upon the authors’ (2009) theory for the delivery of post-disaster reconstruction (PDR) projects. With the expected increase in the magnitude and frequency of natural disasters in coming years, more people than ever will be faced with PDR scenarios. In many cases, non-government organisations (NGOs) are in a position to make interventions to improve conditions for people facing the impacts of disasters and it is essential that responding agencies deploy appropriate configurations of competencies to mitigate project barriers. Using a mixed-methods approach, a study incorporated four case studies in post-tsunami Sri Lanka and four case studies in post-cyclone Sidr Bangladesh. Exploratory interviews with expert NGO participants were combined with direct observations and the collection of quantitative survey data. The mechanisms and phenomena observed within the case studies contributed to the development of a conceptual theoretical framework. The study reveals that NGOs face barriers in seven key areas and that they must deploy certain configurations of organisational and operational competencies in order to effectively develop and implement strategies to address these barriers. The theoretical framework demonstrates how the utilisation of these competencies, deployed in targeted clusters, has the potential to create positive outcomes for beneficiaries as measured by PDR Project Success Indicators (PDRPSIs). If dynamic tools can be developed that effectively model competency and predict success, all organisations involved in disaster response and recovery could benefit. In addition, the knowledge is highly transferable to other sectors and environments.

Details

Open House International, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2021

Chinh Luu, Quynh Duy Bui and Jason von Meding

In October 2020, Vietnam was repeatedly hit by large storms, including Linfa, Nangka, Saudel and Molave, causing heavy rains and whirlwinds in the Central provinces of…

Abstract

Purpose

In October 2020, Vietnam was repeatedly hit by large storms, including Linfa, Nangka, Saudel and Molave, causing heavy rains and whirlwinds in the Central provinces of Vietnam. The heavy rain led to severe flooding in many localities. The water levels on major rivers broke records of historical flood events in 1950, 1979, 1999, 2007, 2010 and 2016. In response, this paper aims to quantify the impacts of 2020 flooding to support flood risk management activities and the relief agencies that can use the analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

This study demonstrates an approach to quickly map flood impacts on population, schools, health-care facilities, agriculture, transportation and business facilities and assess flood risks using available data and spatial analysis techniques.

Findings

The results show that all districts of Quang Binh were affected by the event, in which 1,014 residential areas, 70 schools, 13 health-care facilities, 32,558 ha of agriculture lands, 402 km road length, 29 km railway, 35 bridges on roads and 239 business facilities were exposed within flooded areas.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to direct or tangible impacts, including flooded residential areas, schools, health-care facilities, agriculture land categories, road networks and business facilities. Indirect or intangible impacts such as health, flood pollution and business disruption should be considered in further studies.

Practical implications

These detailed impact maps can support decision-makers and local authorities in implementing recovery activities, allocating relief and devoting human resources and developing flood risk management action plans and land-use planning in the future.

Social implications

This study investigates the context of flood impacts on population, schools, health-care facilities, agriculture, transportation and business facilities. Based on this research, decision-makers can better understand how to support affected communities and target the most at risk people with interventions.

Originality/value

This paper presents a framework to quantify the impacts of the 2020 extreme flood event using available data and spatial analysis techniques in support of flood risk management activities.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2020

Ksenia Chmutina, Neil Sadler, Jason von Meding and Amer Hamad Issa Abukhalaf

Disaster studies has emerged as an international interdisciplinary body of knowledge; however, similar to other academic disciplines, its terminology is predominantly…

Abstract

Purpose

Disaster studies has emerged as an international interdisciplinary body of knowledge; however, similar to other academic disciplines, its terminology is predominantly anglophone. This paper explores the implications of translating disaster studies terminology, most often theorised in English, into other languages and back.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors chose six of the most commonly used (as well as debated and contested) terms that are prominent in academic, policy and public discourses: resilience, vulnerability, capacity, disaster, hazard and risk. These words were translated into 54 languages and the meanings were articulated descriptively in cases where the translation did not have exactly the same meaning as the word in English. The authors then analysed these meanings in order to understand implications of disaster scholars working between dominant and “peripheral” languages.

Findings

Findings of the study demonstrate that many of the terms so casually used in disaster studies in English do not translate easily – or at all – opening the concepts that are encoded in these terms for further interpretation. Moreover, the terms used in disaster studies are not only conceptualised in English but are also tied to an anglophone approach to research. It is important to consider the intertwined implications that the use of the terminology carries, including the creation of a “separate” language, power vs communication and linguistic imperialism.

Originality/value

Understanding of the meaning (and contestation of meaning) of these terms in English provides an insight into the power relationships between English and the other language. Given the need to translate key concepts from English into other languages, it is important to appreciate their cultural and ideological “baggage”.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Chinh Luu, Jason Von Meding and Sittimont Kanjanabootra

One of the main strategic targets in the national power development plan of Vietnam is to give priority to hydropower. However, there is evidence that the most “at risk”…

Abstract

Purpose

One of the main strategic targets in the national power development plan of Vietnam is to give priority to hydropower. However, there is evidence that the most “at risk” in Vietnamese society have, to date, broadly failed to benefit from hydropower development but rather have become more vulnerable. This paper aims to broaden the perspective of decision makers (government agencies, investors and banks) in the hydropower industry regarding the environmental and social impacts of unrestrained development and the critical need to not only reduce disaster risk for communities but also provide a sustainable model for Vietnam’s energy demand.

Design/methodology/approach

This position paper presents a critique of public policy in Vietnam related to hydropower industry, undertaken alongside an analysis of socio-economic community resilience and disaster risk reduction literature.

Findings

Small hydropower investment must be delayed until measures are put in place to ensure that multi-stakeholder risk is a central component of the investment dialogue. Current pricing policies are not aligned with the hydropower development management, and this erects barriers to environmentally and socially conscious decision-making.

Practical implications

This paper suggests that the development of small hydropower projects must be curtailed until new measures are put in place. This has practical implications for investors, policy makers and residents of affected areas. The authors argue for a significant shift in government strategy toward building resilience as opposed to growth and profit at any cost.

Social implications

Conscious of Vietnam’s energy demands and development goals, this paper investigates the context of increasing disaster risk and ecological pressures, as well as social injustice relating to the hydropower industry. This kind of analysis can support future efforts to reduce disaster risk and the vulnerability of marginalized groups in Vietnam.

Originality/value

The authors present a comprehensive review of Vietnamese hydropower from a disaster resilience perspective and provide analysis that will be useful in further research in this emerging area.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2021

Rumana Asad, Iftekhar Ahmed, Josephine Vaughan and Jason von Meding

Urban flooding in developing countries of the Global South is growing due to extreme rainfall and sea-level rise induced by climate change, as well as the proliferation of…

Abstract

Purpose

Urban flooding in developing countries of the Global South is growing due to extreme rainfall and sea-level rise induced by climate change, as well as the proliferation of impervious, built-up areas resulting from unplanned urbanisation and development. Continuous loss of traditional knowledge related to local water management practices, and the de-valuing of such knowledge that goes hand-in-hand with globalised aspirations, is inhibiting flood resilience efforts. This paper aims to address the need to include traditional water knowledge (TWK) in urban living and development processes in the Global South.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper commences with a review of existing frameworks that focus on natural resource management, critically assessing two existing frameworks of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). The assessment of the existing approaches contributes to this paper’s development of a novel framework to promote TWK with regard to resilience and risk reduction, specifically for developing flood adaptive strategies, which is the second stage of this paper. Finally, the paper explains how the framework can contribute to the field of urban design and planning using examples from the literature to demonstrate challenges and opportunities related to the adaptation of such a framework.

Findings

The framework developed in this paper reveals three proposed vertices of TWK, named as place-based landscape knowledge, water use and management and water values. This framework has the potential to produce context-specific knowledge that can contribute to flood-resilient built-environment through urban design and practices.

Research limitations/implications

The framework developed in this paper reveals three proposed vertices of TWK, named place-based landscape knowledge, water use and management and water values. This framework has the potential to produce context-specific knowledge that can contribute to flood-resilient built-environment through urban design and practices.

Originality/value

Within the field of TEK research, very few researchers have explored the field of developing flood resilience in an urban context. The proposed TWK framework presented in this paper will help to fill that gap.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Giuseppe Forino, Jason Von Meding and Graham John Brewer

This paper aims to explore challenges and opportunities for Australian local governments (LGs) in governance of climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore challenges and opportunities for Australian local governments (LGs) in governance of climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) integration.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies three Australian LGs which are subjected to potential climate change-related hazards. Semi-structured interviews with staff officers of the selected LGs and supporting organizations have been conducted to collect and analyze primary data.

Findings

The findings reveal that emerging challenges in governance of CCA and DRR integration include the political sensitiveness of climate change, uncertainty and standstill because of the vagueness by higher government levels, competing interests between LGs’ departments and communication breakdowns because of scepticism and the use of jargon. Meanwhile, the findings reveal that emerging opportunities include the promotion of participation mechanisms in planning, the creation of partnerships with local stakeholders and the use of coordination organizations and platforms. Exploring these challenges and opportunities represents a key step to strengthen governance mechanisms at a local level.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on a limited number (3) of Australian case studies with a limited number (15) of interviews. Further insights could be gained by analyzing more Australian LGs, involving a higher number of participants, and by using complementary research methods and data (survey and questionnaires) about experiences of other local stakeholders.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the few exploring challenges and opportunities of Australian LGs in governance of CCA and DRR integration in Australia and discusses them in terms of the potential to strengthen governance mechanisms within Australian LGs.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Jason von Meding, Ksenia Chmutina, Giuseppe Forino and Emmanuel Raju

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Abstract

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Jerry Chati Tasantab, Thayaparan Gajendran, Jason von Meding and Kim Maund

Climate change is predicted to increase the vulnerability of urban populations to flood hazards. Against this backdrop, flood risk adaptation has become pertinent…

Abstract

Purpose

Climate change is predicted to increase the vulnerability of urban populations to flood hazards. Against this backdrop, flood risk adaptation has become pertinent. However, in Ghana, current flood risk management practice is fostered by a reactive culture. There is limited research on how communities and government agencies are engaging with flood risk adaptation in improving resilience. Therefore, this paper aims to analyse the culture of communities and agencies through the cultural theory of risk (CTR), towards understanding the flood risk adaptation in Accra, Ghana. Culture is deciphered using the beliefs held by residents and public agency officials.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative methodology, underpinned by the constructivist paradigm, was adopted to understand factors that influence flood risk adaptation in informal settlements. Data was gathered using household and institutional interviews in Glefe, Accra, Ghana.

Findings

The results show that both disaster risk management institutions and community members are deeply concerned about current and future flood risk. However, their cultural beliefs concerning flood risk and adaptation are contradictory, broadly framed by fatalist, individualist and hierarchist beliefs. The contradictory emergent beliefs contribute to a clash of expectations and create uncertainty about how to respond to flood risk, impacting the implementation of required adaptation measures. Developing a collaborative flood risk management framework and a shared understanding of adaptation approaches may be a better alternative.

Originality/value

This paper advances understanding of how culture influences flood risk adaptation in developing country context.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Jason von Meding, Joel Wong, Sittimont Kanjanabootra and Mojgan Taheri Tafti

One of the key elements contributing to successful post-disaster project teams is individual competence. Each project participant brings his or her own knowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

One of the key elements contributing to successful post-disaster project teams is individual competence. Each project participant brings his or her own knowledge, experience and ideas to the collective. The kind of chaotic and fragmented environment that is common in post-disaster scenarios presents specific barriers to the success of projects, which can be mitigated by ensuring that staff members possess competencies appropriate for their deployment to particular contexts. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilizes a mixed-methods approach, incorporating unstructured interviews to extract key factors of competence, project barriers and strategy, and a subsequent questionnaire survey, designed to quantify the various elements. Interviews were undertaken and analysed using a cognitive mapping procedure, while survey data were processed using SPSS. The data were then utilized in the development of a software prototype using Design Science Research methodology, capable of modelling the deployment of staff under various disaster scenarios.

Findings

Analysis of the survey and cognitive mapping data, in conjunction with relevant established frameworks, has allowed the classification of relevant competency elements. These elements have subsequently been measured and modelled into the competency-based tool and developed into a working prototype.

Originality/value

The developed system offers novel disaster competency assessment criteria. The system contains a variety of real-life scenarios derived from extensive data collection. These multi-hazard scenarios are embedded with knowledge and competency valuation criteria that can facilitate actors to assess their team’s knowledge based on selective scenarios. In disaster response, time is a critical element, and this tool assists decision makers. It can enable disaster response actors to evaluate and assemble the appropriate personnel to deploy into disaster areas and into specific types of disaster environment.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 28 April 2020

Oluwadunsin Moromoke Ajulo, Jason von Meding and Patrick Tang

Vulnerability is understood as susceptibility to hazards born out of the complex interaction within the system scales. The current global economic system focuses on…

Abstract

Purpose

Vulnerability is understood as susceptibility to hazards born out of the complex interaction within the system scales. The current global economic system focuses on persistent growth and a top-down approach to wealth distribution, which not only puts a strain on the Earth's resources but also on communities by increasing vulnerability. Localised economy, on the other hand, uses a bottom-up approach to wealth distribution, whereby local resources are harnessed for sustainability of the local economy. Localising economies facilitate degrowth by shifting our focus to the quality of economies and the redefinition of growth and prosperity. The purpose of this study is to highlight the potentials of localisation and degrowth for vulnerability reduction.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, the authors conducted a case study of the Lyttelton community in New Zealand, their local initiatives and how these efforts have been used to build capacities and reduce vulnerabilities in the community. Data were sourced from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data were sourced through observation of the day-to-day running of the community and interviews with community members, while secondary data were sourced from existing literature on the community and related concepts.

Findings

Lyttelton community provides a good example of a community where bottom-up initiatives are particularly felt, and there is very limited dependence on the conventional economic system to solve their problems. The study shows that degrowth initiatives within the community have gained momentum because initiators see the value in their coming together as a community and doing what is right for themselves and the environment. Furthermore, localisation fosters innovation, personal growth and development and care for the environment.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the existing knowledge by discussing some local initiatives that serve an underlying purpose for degrowth based on a study carried out in Lyttelton, New Zealand. The study findings established that there is need for more focus on sensitisation about the risks of growth mania and the potential for degrowth in bringing about actual prosperity, for saving the environment and disaster risk reduction. Also, the encouragement of local production and existing institutions like the timebank, which give members access to the needed resources and skills contribute to vulnerability reduction.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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