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Learning from the past: Analysis of disaster management structures, policies and institutions in Pakistan

Cheema, A.R., Mehmood, Abid and Imran, M. 2016. Learning from the past: Analysis of disaster management structures, policies and institutions in Pakistan. Disaster Prevention and Management 25 (4) , pp. 449-463. 10.1108/DPM-10-2015-0243

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Purpose: The paper provides a historical analysis of the disaster management structure, policies and institutions in Pakistan between 1947 and 2005, and highlights the contemporary challenges in view of the learning from the past. Design/methodology/approach: The paper uses a historic-integrative case study approach to disaster management and risk reduction policy, planning and practice. Qualitative data was collected through purposive sampling and a case study design was adopted. A broad range of actors was recruited as research participants. In total, 22 semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted in relation to this study in six different districts of Pakistan to achieve insight into the role of different institutions and stakeholders. Findings: Overall, the post-colonial flood-centric policy framework and fragmented responsibilities of different disaster management institutions show the lack of an effective institutional structure for disaster management and mitigation in Pakistan, particularly at the local level. Until the event of the 2005 earthquake, policies heavily relied on attaining immediate and short-term goals of Response and Relief while ignoring the long-term objectives of strategic planning for Prevention and Preparedness as well as capacity building and empowerment of local institutions and communities. Practical implications: The analysis explains, in part, why disaster planning and management needs to be given due attention in the developing countries at different policy scales (from local to national) especially in the face of limited resources, and what measures should be taken to improve effectiveness at different phases of the disaster management cycle. Originality/value: The paper advances the importance of a historical case study approach to disaster management and mitigation. The empirical work provides original research evidence about the approaches to dealing with disasters in Pakistan and thus enriches existing knowledge of disaster management policy and planning about the country.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Disaster Management, Disaster Risk Reduction, Civil Society, Risk Mitigation, Pakistan, Climate Change
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0965-3562
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 May 2016
Date of Acceptance: 7 April 2016
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 05:55

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