Community level indicators of long term disaster recovery

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The experience of individuals, families and communities affected by a major disaster is indicative of the nature of the diverse effects of the disaster and how various interventions, both state and non-state, help or do not help affected communities to recover from the adverse effects of the disaster. An important step in understanding disaster recovery is to define and measure it. However, no such wide-ranging, inclusive and well accepted method of measuring recovery at the community scale currently exists. This paper reports on field work carried out as part of a longer-term study aimed at developing a more integrated, holistic assessment of the disaster recovery process. Using qualitative data from a sample of communities in Sri Lanka affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the study refines and validates a multidimensional assessment framework for monitoring and evaluating recovery processes after a disaster. An earlier study focused on ten communities in Galle, Batticaloa and Ampara districts. This study adopts the same multidimensional assessment framework and indicators, but focuses on ten different communities across Matara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts. After examining the recovery process in a significant number of communities over a long period of time, and across twenty communities during two major field studies, the results suggest that the assessment framework has captured the ten most important dimensions of recovery. Since post disaster recovery usually involves a process of resettlement of affected families and individuals, more attention needs to be paid to more vulnerable groups such as children and women, as well important aspects of well- being such as livelihoods, housing, social infrastructure and longterm maintenance of infrastructure. The framework indicators capture these aspects but also the determinants of the nature and level of recovery, indicating the possible precautionary measures to avoid significant shortfalls in recovery in the long term.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-1294
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2018
Event7th International Conference on Building Resilience: Using Scientific Knowledge to Inform Policy and Practice in Disaster Risk Reduction - Swissotel Le Concorde, Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: 27 Nov 201729 Nov 2017
Conference number: 7 (Link to Conference Website)


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