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- Temporary site selection and decision-making methods: a case study of Tehran, Iran. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Disasters 2013 May 7.
Decisions on selecting an appropriate site for temporary shelter used to be taken in a limited amount of time after a disaster. The need for a systematic method in this area inspired the MADM (multi-attribute decision making) for complex disaster management decisions. This research proposes a model for appropriate and systematic site selection for temporary shelters, before an earthquake, using a geographical information system and MADM based on an earthquake damage assessment. After the effective criteria for site selection of temporary shelters are determined, the geographical layers of these criteria are prepared for Municipal District No.1 of Greater Tehran, the capital of Iran. Given these attributes and the required shelter area (415-610 hectares), 14 zones are proposed initially. Various MADM methods are used for the final selection. The mean of the aggregated ranking results are determined, and 10 of the 14 initial zones are ranked.
- Transitional coordination in Sudan (2006-08): lessons from the United Nations Resident Coordinator's Office. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Disasters 2013 Apr 18.
With the increase in internal conflicts following the end of the Cold War, the scale and scope of the United Nations' work in conflict and post-conflict environments grew markedly. As a result, the coordination of programming and policy in the transition from relief to recovery has been a central preoccupation of academics and practitioners alike. Intergovernmental bodies such as the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) have made these topics a subject of regular discussion, while some countries have altered their bureaucratic structures to respond more effectively in post-crisis settings, particularly in cases involving the deployment of national troops. The United Nations Resident Coordinator's Office in Sudan provides a model for other transitional countries and is a useful case study of the broader challenges of post-crisis programming. Effective coordination structures and planning/programming processes are identified as interdependent prerequisites for ensuring a successful transition from relief to recovery.
- Local-level governance of risk and resilience in Nepal. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Disasters 2013 Apr 19.
This paper explores the circumstances in which communities may effectively reduce risks. It draws on the example of two 'Risk and Resilience Committees' (RRCs) that were established in Nepal as part of an action research project: one in Panchkhal in the central region, operating as a community-based organisation (CBO); and the other in Dhankuta in the eastern region, embedded in municipal government. In-depth interviews were conducted with RRC members. Wider community preferences for risk reduction were examined through a questionnaire survey. In Dhankuta, the RRC obtained further funding, developed strong upward and downward institutional links, and applied a 'disaster risk reduction lens' to existing local government responsibilities. In Panchkhal, RRC activities have been limited by funding and have focused on the strengthening of livelihoods. It may be concluded tentatively that community-based disaster risk reduction activities are more successful when they are institutionally embedded in local government structures.
- 'Schismo-urbanism': cities, natural disaster, and urban sociology. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Disasters 2013 Apr 18.
This paper examines a city and a natural disaster, specifically New Orleans, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina of August 2005. Recovery here is ongoing and the process of return is incomplete, with long-term dislocation to other cities in the United States, such as Houston, Texas. The question arises as to how planning and stratification influence evacuation and return/dislocation and how they result in a particular practice of adaptation. This interrelated process is conceptually integrated and termed 'schismo-urbanism' and is analysed within a multidimensional theoretical framework to evaluate aspects of urban sociology and natural disasters. Empirical research is based on a quantitative and qualitative mixed-method case study. Data were collected during two rounds of field research in New Orleans and Houston in 2007 and 2009. As a comparative sociospatial study of affected and receptor communities, it makes a novel theoretical and methodological contribution to research on urban disasters in the context of continuing and rapid social change, and is targeted at disaster researchers, planning theorists and practitioners, and urbanists.
- A dynamic model for costing disaster mitigation policies. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Disasters 2013 Apr 18.
The optimal level of investment in mitigation strategies is usually difficult to ascertain in the context of disaster planning. This research develops a model to provide such direction by relying on cost of quality literature. This paper begins by introducing a static approach inspired by Joseph M. Juran's cost of quality management model (Juran, 1951) to demonstrate the non-linear trade-offs in disaster management expenditure. Next it presents a dynamic model that includes the impact of dynamic interactions of the changing level of risk, the cost of living, and the learning/investments that may alter over time. It illustrates that there is an optimal point that minimises the total cost of disaster management, and that this optimal point moves as governments learn from experience or as states get richer. It is hoped that the propositions contained herein will help policymakers to plan, evaluate, and justify voluntary disaster mitigation expenditures.
- Flooding, resettlement, and change in livelihoods: evidence from rural Mozambique. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Disasters 2013 Apr 2.
Post-disaster development policies, such as resettlement, can have major impacts on communities. This paper examines how and why people's livelihoods change as a result of resettlement, and relocated people's views of such changes, in the context of natural disasters. It presents two historically-grounded, comparative case studies of post-flood resettlement in rural Mozambique. The studies demonstrate a movement away from rain-fed subsistence agriculture towards commercial agriculture and non-agricultural activities. The ability to secure a viable livelihood was a key determinant of whether resettlers remained in their new locations or returned to the river valleys despite the risks posed by floods. The findings suggest that more research is required to understand i) why resettlers choose to stay in or abandon designated resettlement areas, ii) what is meant by 'voluntary' and 'involuntary' resettlement in the realm of post-disaster reconstruction, and iii) the policy drivers of resettlement in developing countries.
- Probabilistic cost-benefit analysis of disaster risk management in a development context. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Disasters 2013 Apr 2.
Limited studies have shown that disaster risk management (DRM) can be cost-efficient in a development context. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is an evaluation tool to analyse economic efficiency. This research introduces quantitative, stochastic CBA frameworks and applies them in case studies of flood and drought risk reduction in India and Pakistan, while also incorporating projected climate change impacts. DRM interventions are shown to be economically efficient, with integrated approaches more cost-effective and robust than singular interventions. The paper highlights that CBA can be a useful tool if certain issues are considered properly, including: complexities in estimating risk; data dependency of results; negative effects of interventions; and distributional aspects. The design and process of CBA must take into account specific objectives, available information, resources, and the perceptions and needs of stakeholders as transparently as possible. Intervention design and uncertainties should be qualified through dialogue, indicating that process is as important as numerical results.
- An investigation into the socioeconomic aspects of two major earthquakes in Iran. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Disasters 2013 Apr 2.
An evaluation of the socioeconomic consequences of earthquakes is an essential part of the development of risk reduction and disaster management plans. However, these variables are not normally addressed sufficiently after strong earthquakes; researchers and relevant stakeholders focus primarily on the physical damage and casualties. The importance of the socioeconomic consequences of seismic events became clearer in Iran after the Bam earthquake on 26 December 2003, as demonstrated by the formulation and approval of various laws and ordinances. This paper reviews the country's regulatory framework in the light of the socioeconomic aspects of two major and destructive earthquakes: in Manjil-Rudbar in 1990, and in Bam in 2003. The results take the form of recommendations and practical strategies for incorporating the socioeconomic dimensions of earthquakes in disaster risk management planning. The results presented here can be applied in other countries with similar conditions to those of Iran in order to improve public preparedness and risk reduction.
- Maximising the net social benefit of the construction of post-disaster alternative housing projects. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Disasters 2013 Apr 2.
The widespread destruction that follows large-scale natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, challenges the efficacy of traditional temporary housing methods in providing adequate solutions to housing needs. Recognising these housing challenges, the Congress of the United States allocated, in 2006, USD 400 million to the Department of Homeland Security to support Alternative Housing Pilot Programs, which are intended to explore the possibilities of providing permanent and affordable housing to displaced families instead of traditional temporary housing. This paper presents a new methodology and optimisation model to identify the optimal configurations of post-shelter housing arrangements to maximise the overall net socioeconomic benefit. The model is capable of quantifying and optimising the impacts of substituting temporary housing with alternative housing on the social and economic welfare of displaced families as well as the required additional costs of doing so. An application example is presented to illustrate the use of the model and its capabilities.
- Quantitative assessment of post-disaster housing recovery: a case study of Punta Gorda, Florida, after Hurricane Charley. [Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.]
- Disasters 2013 Apr; 37(2):333-55.
Quantitative assessment of post-disaster housing recovery is critical to enhancing understanding of the process and improving the decisions that shape it. Nevertheless, few comprehensive empirical evaluations of post-disaster housing recovery have been conducted, and no standard measurement methods exist. This paper presents a quantitative assessment of housing recovery in Punta Gorda, Florida, United States, following Hurricane Charley of August 2004, including an overview of the phases of housing recovery, progression of recovery over time, alternative trajectories of recovery, differential recovery, incorporation of mitigation, and effect on property sales. The assessment is grounded in a conceptual framework that considers the recovery of both people and place, and that emphasises recovery as a process, not as an endpoint. Several data sources are integrated into the assessment--including building permits, remotely sensed imagery, and property appraiser data--and their strengths and limitations are discussed with a view to developing a standardised method for measuring and monitoring housing recovery.