Institutional Coordination in Disaster Management in the Asia Pacific

By Vinod K. Aggarwal and Melissa Carlson

Natural Hazards Review, 2021

According to the United Nations, between 1970 and 2016, natural disasters in East Asia have killed an average of 43,000 people per year (ESCAP 2018). This special collection, “Institutional Coordination in Disaster Management in the Asia Pacific,” focuses on organizational responses to the frequent earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, and landslides that have affected millions of people in Asia. Affected governments have established national departments responsible for crisis response and regional organizations like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have developed various multilateral bodies to facilitate disaster preparedness.

This collection examines the problems that organizations face in transitioning from emergency response to resilience and reconstruction programming. While many countries have developed response mechanisms that deal with the immediate impact of a crisis, few governments have established mechanisms to guide organizations as they transition from providing emergency response services to implementing long-term reconstruction and preparedness programming. Organizations that provide aid across the different phases of disaster response must coordinate and integrate their strategies and technologies to ensure a sustained and effective response. In this process, organizations face unanticipated obstacles, demands, and changes in available partners, resources, and technologies. Additionally, private sector, military, nongovernmental, and governmental agencies have different standard operating procedures, disparate resource capacities, and varying types of technical, issue-area, and logistical expertise.

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