Research

SEI Contact:

Frank Thomalla

frank.thomalla@sei-international.org


Time-frame: 2014–2016

An analysis of longer-term (5-10 years) recovery following major disasters in the Asia Pacific Region: Lessons for resilient development

 SEI-Project-2117-NonthaburiRfloodInThailand2011-shutterstock 209050780-350x175

Nonthaburi flood in Thailand 2011.  Photo credit: Suwan Wanawattanawong / Shutterstock.com

The aim of this project is to undertake a critical analysis of the longer-term recovery process in five selected case studies of disasters that occurred in the Asia Pacific Region during the last ten years: the 2008 Cyclone Nargis (Myanmar), the 2011 Bangkok floods (Thailand), the 2001 Mekong Delta Floods (Viet Nam and Cambodia), and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami (Indonesia). These case studies represent a range of different characteristics in terms of hazard types (flood, tropical cyclone, tsunami), governance systems, level of development, institutional context, vulnerability, and adaptive capacity.

The project will generate insights that will improve our understanding of the types of transformations required in societies at risk from natural hazards and climate change impacts in order to become more resilient to such risks and how these transformations can be understood and guided by policy based on resilience thinking. Specifically, research outcomes will be the identification of disaster loss and damage ‘systems’, an evaluation of the performance of recovery efforts against stated formal objectives, an identification of the greatest achievements and challenges in building disaster resilience over a 5-10 year time period, and an identification of the factors (research, coordination, collaboration, institutions) that lead to successful long-term approaches of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

The research will involve a qualitative research approach involving a review of the scientific literature, an analysis of documents published by government, NGOs and CSOs, and reports in the mass media. Case study research in five countries will include interviews with key researchers and actors relevant to each case study.

The work will be guided by the following research questions:

  1. What are the main loss and damage systems involved in post-disaster recovery?;
  2. What formal promises were made and objectives set for recovery and what role were loss and damage  systems expected to play?;
  3. Did recovery programs and loss and damage systems meet their objectives?;
  4. What are the greatest achievements and challenges in building disaster resilience post-event over 5-10 years?; and
  5. What other factors influence the success of interventions? Have interventions increased resilience?

Some useful links:
Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN). (2014). An analysis of longer-term (5-10 years) recovery following major disasters in the Asia Pacific Region: Lessons for resilient development
APN and ICCCAD Session at APAN Forum: Knowledge Foundations of Loss and Damage Systems
The Asia Pacific Forum on Loss and Damage
Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Countries Initiative

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