CUED Publications database

Disaster risk reduction and empowering local government – a case comparison between Sri Lanka and New Zealand

MacAskill, K and Guthrie, P (2016) Disaster risk reduction and empowering local government – a case comparison between Sri Lanka and New Zealand. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 7. pp. 318-329. ISSN 1759-5908

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© 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper examines the role of government in New Zealand in facilitating the development of resilience in the built environment, with reference to the post-earthquake recovery of Christchurch. A cross-case comparison of the institutional structures and arrangements for disaster risk management (DRM) between Sri Lanka and New Zealand provides a useful basis to consider the broader implications of the findings from both countries. Particular consideration is given to the role of community participation in DRM decisions. Design/methodology/approach: Malalgoda and Amaratunga (2015) recently published an article on empowering local governments to develop resilience in the built environment in Sri Lanka. This paper provides a response to their discussion in conjunction with a New Zealand case study. Findings: Despite being one of the most advanced countries in the world with regards to DRM, New Zealand faces significant challenges in implementation, chief amongst which is that local governments have yet to truly prioritize DRM in urban development. While community consultation is embedded in the legislative framework, requirements for consultation were somewhat misjudged by the local government in Christchurch’s recovery. A lesson to be learnt from Christchurch’s experience is that even if the Sri Lankan authorities follow Malalgoda and Amaratunga’s recommendations for greater devolution of powers to local government, there will be tensions if community expectations over consultation are not met. Originality/value: The cross-case analysis offers a helpful lens through which it is possible to examine DRM. It is useful for informing governments and other stakeholders, helping them to understand the challenges their institutions may face in facilitating DRM and building resilience.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div D > Sustainable Development
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:39
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2018 07:50