An Analysis of International Assistance Based on Lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake
Chubu Regional Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), 2-5-1 Sannomaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-8514, Japan
This study analyzes Japanese management of international assistance, focusing on the role of search and rescue teams based on lessons learned from the response to the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake. It first reexamines lessons collected from different sources. Applying root cause analysis to them, it then explores why the system did not perform as expected and what causes were responsible for such performance. Identified root causes include: a reactive approach to international assistance, a lack of operational management coverage, a lack of stakeholder involvement – especially at the local level, insufficient preparation for difficult or sensitive issues, and deviation from international standards and practices. The study then implements comparative analysis by applying a set of selected benchmarks to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the Japanese system compared to selected leading practices of other nations. Results of analysis identified areas requiring improvement and provided ideas on how to improve the system. The study also suggests ways to improve the system’s nature and scope, its content, and its management structure.
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