(Sample Material) Gist of IIPA Journal: Towards Excellence in Disaster Management: Governance and Sustainability of Post-Disaster Initiatives Pramod K. Mishra

(Sample Material) Gist of Important Articles from IIPA Journal

Topic: Towards Excellence in Disaster Management: Governance and Sustainability of Post-Disaster Initiatives Pramod K. Mishra


Excellence in public service is an important for disaster management, particularly post-disaster recovery and reconstruction programmes, as for development schemes and unitities. In recent times the frequency in developing countries. A developing country, with a similar hazard profile as that of a developed country is, in many cases, more prone to disasters, because of higher vulnerability and less mitigation efforts. Furthermore, there is linkage between poverty and vulnerability to disasters. Poor people are more vulnerable to disaster. On the other hand, disaster adversely affect development efforts and can increase of poverty.

The decade of 1990s was declared by the United Nations as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). Since the 1990s there has been a realization that the focus of disaster management should shift from a relief-centric approach to that of prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Earlier, disaster management involved primarily rescue, relief and to some extent rehabilitation. There was not much emphasis on risk reduction activities such as prevention, mitigation and preparedness though there were some measures for prevention and mitigation in the context of flood and drought.

There have been major disaster, in India and in other countries, during recent years. In the Indian context, major disaster such as the Orissa super cyclone of 1999, the Kutch (Gujarat) earthquake of 2005 have caused enormous damage and destruction.

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An important question is in suite of the occurrence of the major disasters time and again and of the advocacy for a paradigm shift in managing disasters, why do hazards frequently manifest as disasters with increasing severity? Ironically, the same mistakes are committed and a fire-fighting approach is adopted in the aftermath of most of the disaster.

The article argues that post-disaster recovery and reconstruction can be an opportunity and a fertile ground for effectively implementing risk reduction measures provided governance issues are addressed. Hence, it is worthwhile to analyse the relevance of governance aspects of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction so as the reduce vulnerability and mitigate the effect of future disaster. There is also a need to develop the capacity for pre-disaster planning of reconstruction and recovery. The analysis is based on empirical evidence and experience of some past and recent disaster in India.


The Tenth Five-Year Plan document emphasizes the role of good governance for effective implementation of policies and programmes. It stipulates “efficient governance requires efficient institutions. The efficiency and effectiveness of institution, in turn, depends on their adopted delivery mechanism and the supportive framework of rules and procedures, each of which has to work in harmony with the other to dischange the functions for which the institutions have been created”. It indicates that institutions, both formal and informal, are essential for the efficiency, effectiveness and stability of the process of social and economic development. These institutions will need effective delivery mechianism for implementing various programmes and achieving the objectives of such programmes. In order to have effective delivery systems it is necessary to have a supportive framework of legislations, rules and procedures. It is necessary to focus on these basic aspects in order to ensure that “formulation and implementation of policies and programmes are equitable transparent, non-discriminatory, socially sensitive, participatory and above all accountable to the people at large”.

While addressing governance issues, the Tenth Plan document enumerates a number of aspects such as peoples participation, decentralisation, accountability of those who have the authority, capacity building and training, procedural reforms and coordination between different agencies. It also focus on effective monitoring and evaluation of programmes, and improving efficiency and transparency.

A World Bank study identities four major aspects of governance: (i) public sector management, (ii) accountability, (iii) legal framework, and (iv) transparency and information. It also points out that participatory approaches to programme design and implementation are important.

Disaster management policies, process and performance is various states vary widely. Similarly effectiveness of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction shows wide variation over time and space. There have, no doubt, been discussions and variation over time and space. There have, no doubt, been discussions and deliberations on the need to mainstream disaster risk reduction into development efforts. For the first time the Tenth Plant document incorporated a chapter on disaster management. Yet much remains to be done on the ground. Disaster management, in most areas and contexts, is still identified with post-disaster activities, such as rescue, relief and to some extent rehabilitation. It is viewed in isolation from the process of development efforts and poverty alleviation programmes Development projects hardly include disaster risk reduction as a part of their structure and design.

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