JDR Vol.5 No.2 pp. 130-137
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2010.p0130


‘Setting the Stage’: How Policy Institutions Frame Participationin Post-Disaster Recovery

Divya Chandrasekhar

Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 111 Temple Buell Hall, 611 Lorado Taft Drive, Champaign IL 61820, USA

November 17, 2009
April 12, 2010
April 1, 2010
policy, participation, disaster recovery, tsunami, India
Stakeholder participation is widely acknowledged as being critical to building local capacity to recover from and adapt to disaster events. However, there exists little analytical insight on the factors that affect this participation. Specifically, research is needed on how policies made for disaster recovery facilitate or constrain participation, particularly for places facing unprecedented and catastrophic disasters. This paper uses the case study example of the recovery of Nagapattinam (India) after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to illustrate how recovery policies set the stage on which stakeholder participation occurs. First, recovery policies did not clearly define beneficiaries of the programs, thus leaving these decisions to interpretations on the ground. Second, recovery policies empowered certain stakeholders over others. And lastly, recovery policies did not provide any standards for the community consultation process. This led to a variety of participatory processes on the ground and opened up the possibility of cooptation by more powerful social groups. The paper uses these lessons to suggest measures for policymakers facing similar unprecedented and catastrophic disasters to facilitate stakeholder participation in recovery and it calls for further research on this subject.
Cite this article as:
D. Chandrasekhar, “‘Setting the Stage’: How Policy Institutions Frame Participationin Post-Disaster Recovery,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.5 No.2, pp. 130-137, 2010.
Data files:
  1. [1] E. Coles and P. Buckle, “Developing Community Resilience as a Foundation of Effective Disaster Recovery, Napier, New Zealand : Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management,” New Zealand Recovery Symposium Proceedings, pp. 92-105, 2004.
  2. [2] B. E. Aguirre, “On the Concept of Resilience, University of Delaware Library Institutional Repository,” 2006 (online), [Cited: October 5, 2009.]
  3. [3] S. B. Manyena, “The concept of resilience revisited,” Disasters, Vol.30, No.4, p. 433-450, 2006.
  4. [4] D. R. Godschalk, “Urban Hazard Mitigation: Creating Resilient Cities,” Natural Hazards Review, pp. 136-143, August 2003.
  5. [5] R. Jones, “An environmental risk assessment/management framework for climate change impact assessments,” Natural Hazards, Vol.23, pp. 197-230, 2003.
  6. [6] E. L. Tompkins and W. N. Adger, “Does adaptive management of natural resources enhance resilience to climate change?” 2: 10, Ecology and Society, Vol.9, 2004 (online),
  7. [7] R. B. Olshansky, “Planning After Hurricane Katrina,” Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol.72, No.2, pp. 147-153, 2006.
  8. [8] B. Smit and J. Wandel, “Adaptation, adaptive capacity and vulnerability,” Global Environmental Change, Vol.16, No.3, pp. 282-292, 2006.
  9. [9] C. B. Rubin, M. D. Saperstein, and D. G. Barbee, “Community Recovery from a Major Natural Disaster,” s.l. : Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Monograph No.41, Program on Environment and Behavior, 1985.
  10. [10] A. Oliver-Smith, “Successes and failures in post-disaster resettlement,” Disasters, Vol.15, No.1, pp. 12-23, 1991.
  11. [11] P. R. Berke, J. Kartez, and D. Wenger, “Recovery after disaster: Achieving sustainable development, mitigation and equity,” Disasters, Vol.17, No.2, pp. 93-109, 1993.
  12. [12] R. J. Burby, “Making plans that matter: citizen involvement and government action,” Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol.69, No.1, pp. 33-50, 2003.
  13. [13] N. Nelson and S. Wright, “Participation and Power, Power and Participatory Development: Theory and Practice, London, UK,” Intermediate Technology Publications, 1995.
  14. [14] U. Kothari and B. Cooke, Participation: The new tyranny?, London, UK : Zed Books, 2001.
  15. [15] D. Craig and D. Porter, “Framing participation: development projects, professionals and organisations,” Development in Practice, Vol.7, No.3, pp. 229-236, 1997.
  16. [16] C. H. Davidson et al. “Truths and myths about community participation in post-disaster housing projects,” Habitat International, Vol.31, pp. 100-115, 2007.
  17. [17] IFRC, “Community Participation in Rebuilding the Maldives,” Geneva, Switzerland : International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 2007.
  18. [18] F. Steinberg, “Housing reconstruction and rehabilitation in Aceh and Nias, Indonesia–Rebuilding lives,” Habitat International, Vol.31, No.1, pp. 150-166, 2007.
  19. [19] Institute of Development Studies, “Overcoming the barriers: Mainstreaming climate change adaptation in developing countries,” Middlesex, UK : Tearfund, 2006.
  20. [20] F. Fischer, “Citizen Participation and the Democratization of Policy Expertise: From Theoretical Inquiry to Practical Cases,” Policy Sciences, Vol.26, No.3, pp. 165-187, 1993.
  21. [21] H. P. Dachler and B. Wilpert, “Conceptual Dimensions and Boundaries of Participation in Organizations: A Critical Evaluation,” Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol.23, No.1, pp. 1-39, 1978.
  22. [22] G. Mansuri and V. Rao, “Community-based and -driven Development: A Critical Review,” The World Bank Oberver, Vol.19, No.1, pp. 1-39, 2004.
  23. [23] NCRC, About Nagapattinam, NGO Coordination and Resource Centre (NCRC), [Online] [Cited: May 20, 2008.], 2007.
  24. [24] C. Prater, et al. “Social Capacity in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu after the December 2004 Great Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami,” Earthquake Spectra, Vol.22, No.S3, pp. S715-S729, June 2006.
  25. [25] G.O.Ms.No.25., s.l. : Revenue (NC. III) Department, January 13, 2005.
  26. [26] Government of Tamil Nadu, “Memorandum of Understanding between Collector of District, Tamil Nadu & Non Governmental Organisation / Voluntary Agency / Private-Public Enterprise / Rehabilitation Organisation / Trust (Revised Draft),” February 16, 2005.
  27. [27] G.O.Ms.No.26., s.l. : Revenue (NC.III) Department, January 13, 2005.
  28. [28] M. Nambiar, “Making the Gram Sabha Work,” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol.36, No.33, pp. 3114-3117, 2001.
  29. [29] T. Besley, R. Pande, and V. Rao, “Participatory Democracy in Action: Survey Evidence from India,” Journal of the European Economics Association, Vol.3, No.2-3, pp. 648-657, 2005.
  30. [30] A. Inam, “Planning for the Unplanned: Recovering from Crises in Megacities,” London, UK : Routledge, 2005.
  31. [31] D. Chandrasekhar, Making Sense of “Planning” In the Post-Disaster Recovery Context: On Plans, Projects and Policy, Crystal City, VA : Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), 2009.
  32. [32] Senior Official, “Nagapattinam District Revenue Office,” March 4, 2008.
  33. [33] J. Clark, “Democratizing development: the role of voluntary organizations, West Hartford, CT,” Kumarian Press, 1991.
  34. [34] R. Tandon, “Riding High or Nosediving: Development NGOs in the New Millennium,” Development in Practice, Vol.10, No.3/4, pp. 319-329, 2000.
  35. [35] G. Mohan and K. Stokke, “Participatory Development and Empowerment: The Dangers of Localism,” Third World Quarterly, Vol.21, No.2, pp. 247-268, 2000.
  36. [36] W. F. Fisher, “Doing Good? The Politics and Antipolitics of NGO Practices,” Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol.26, pp. 439-464, 1997.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Apr. 22, 2024