Key Aspects Of Institutionalization For Disaster Management


Institutional aspects are very important in the management of disasters. This is because in a crisis condition caused by a disaster, abnormal conditions are applicable, where responsiveness and speed of action are required. On the other hand, the paradigm of disaster management is also experiencing a significant change: from emergency response to risk reduction, from fatalistic-reactive to planned-proactive, from centralized to decentralized and from government centric to participative (Kumorotomo and Purwanto, 2007). This paradigm shift requires the government to change its paradigm of the way it manages disasters. This change is expected to be able to help overcome ineffective disaster response in Indonesia. In regard to institutional arrangements there are some institutional criteria that must be considered to support this changing approach to disaster management. As described by the Team of Public Administration Master Gadjah Mada University (2006:page?????????), these are:

1. Comprehensive: institutional arrangements should enable the disaster handling management system to move from being just an emergency response approach to disaster risk management covering all its phases and stages.

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet


Essay Writers

Lady Using Tablet

Get your grade
or your money back

using our Essay Writing Service!

Essay Writing Service

2. Integrated: given the complex scope of disaster handling management, the proposed institutional arrangements should be able to accommodate the mandates, interests and contributions of various stakeholders so that it becomes a multidisciplinary and

multi-sectoral unity beyond ego-sectoral dividers.

3. Community participation: institutional arrangement should embody the aspirations of the community. As far as possible these aspirations should be identified through direct participation rather than through representation. Participation should not be merely symbolic.

4. Strengthening the region: in accordance with spirit of regional autonomy, then the institutional arrangements should enable disaster management implementation relevant to the region. This means that local governments should be able to replicate or use these institutional arrangements in the region and formulate their mandates, authorities, responsibilities and resources into

the proposed arrangements.

5. Quick response: the people demand of the government that the system is quick and responsive to disaster emergency events. Thus, institutional arrangements should allow quick action, which is responsive to disaster emergencies.

6. Accountability: disaster handling management institutional arrangements should embody the government's responsibility to fulfill the people's rights for protection from harm, including from disaster. In doing this, the arrangements should provide a decision-making path that can be traced and so embodies accountability and leads to fulfillment of constitutional responsibility of the government.

Whilst proactive actions to reduce the risks posed by hazards in the future are important, the institutionalization of disaster handling should be able to arrange clear mechanisms and procedures in order that impacts do not affect disaster victims too long. The features identified above provide some of the overarching principles that should be incorporated. But institutional arrangements are also important at the operational level. Dealing with the importance of disaster handling institutionalization at this latter level, Dwiyanto (2006:37) suggests the need to revitalize disaster handling management institutions. Things to be considered are that (1) Disaster handling management should be conducted institutionally and managed professionally by professionals working full time; (2) Arrangements of relations concerning role sharing and coordination among the government levels (central, provincial, and regency/municipality) need to be carefully thought out and put in place; and (3) arrangements of relations among governments, disaster handling management bodies and parties which are concerned with the disaster also need to be made.

Furthermore Dwiyanto (2006:41) argues that the national and local contexts are important in setting the organizational structure for appropriate disaster handling in a region or a country. The structure needs to take into account the fundamental matters as follows:

"1. Physical and geographical conditions of a country. For example, the distance can become an important factor, as an archipelagic country.

2. Naturally scope and strength of threat of disaster and the extent of requirements to address this in provisions of disaster management.

3. Some official guidances issued by the government concerning disaster management. For example, regulations and policies regarding the disaster.

4. Broad concept is needed to describe the scope of activities that can be handled by organizational structure. For example, whether it covers all aspects of disaster management cycle or only some parts only.

5. In the same way, a common definition needs to be made from governmental structures level what that will underlie main part of the structure.

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet


Writing Services

Lady Using Tablet

Always on Time

Marked to Standard

Order Now

6. General assessment should also be made of the need, value and practicality of decentralization. For example, effective decentralization is a valuable asset if the main part of the organization can not play role due to impacts of the disaster."

Further, it is necessary to determine which will be the key level of government in locating disaster management organizations. The difference will be seen in small and large countries. This is because the coverage area of the country that allows it to be handled nationally. Meanwhile, for large countries may be better to use the national, regional or provincial, and local levels within the disaster management organization. This is because the levels are daily activities of government. In fact, where the area and distances are large it may not be possible to organize or carry out disaster response activities nationwide. In this way, disaster management can be seen as parallel to wider development processes, which can be centralized or decentralized. Because of the need for local participation and the sharing of responsibilities identified in the discussion above local capacity becomes an important consideration.

In fact, local institutional capacity building is crucial to ensure the long-term continuity of any development process. Healey (1998:31) notes that,

"Institutional capacity can be understood to comprise of three dimensions of knowledge resources, relational resources, and capacity for mobilization, all of which are interrelated and mutually supportive".

A brief elaboration on these dimensions of institutional capacity will help provide a framework for the analysis that is part of the case study. In any development process, it is necessary to be able to mobilize resources such as funding, equipment, and people in order to effect improvements in material quality of life. The application of knowledge resources and relational resources shapes the capacity to mobilize public sector decision-makers to provide material resources, but more importantly to build the healthy social and economic base that is necessary to 'drive' ongoing development.

Kenny (2007:36) characterised "the post-tsunami capacity building in Aceh as being of three types: as community development; as skilling and training; and as reconstruction (the rebuilding of capacity without transferring training or skills)". Yet the Director of BRR, the Aceh reconstruction authority, made a point that its objectives did not include such long term aims as building the capacity of local government (AFP, 2007). 'Capacity building' can mean many different things to different people. Kenny (2007) makes the point that people in Aceh only regarded what she characterised as the community development type approach to capacity building as true capacity building. However, one of the types of capacity building that Kenny claims was devalued (skill transfer at the local level) was found to be one of the most effective means of capacity building in an ADB study of Sri Lanka (ADB, 2006).

In a more general sense, Healey (1998:22) produced a framework for institutional capacity building using five categories. The five categorizes of Healey's framework for institutional capacity building can be seen briefly in Appendix 22.

Supporting Healey's framework, Van Horen (2004:24) links institutional capacity building to the building of wider community capacity in a development context. The ingredients and the links between community capacity and institutional capacity can be seen in the figure of Appendix 21. Van Horen (2005:1) argues that institutional capacity is required for the on-going maintenance of community capacity, when he says that,

"Institutional capacity building was the key to successful reconstruction and development but some government officials had never heard of the methodology...............If institutional capacity is built up, this puts in place the ingredients that are necessary to ensure that the long-term improvement process will continue. If institutional capacity is not built, it is only a matter of time before services begin to deteriorate and the community is no better off than they were before the intervention began".

Van Horen (2004: 19-22) describes five kinds of community asset that are required directly for urban upgrading and, he argues, also for wider development. These are physical assets (p. 19), natural assets (p. 19), human capital (pp. 19-20), relational capital (p. 20) and economic assets (pp. 21-22). As noted, he also argues strongly that reform of the institutional or governance framework is needed to support the long-term maintenance of capacity built up through the development of these five forms of asset (pp. 22-25). Starting from van Horen's (2004) discussion, consideration of these forms of community asset has been extended and modified as the basis for the discussion in this thesis, transferring them from discussion about urban upgrading to make them appropriate for application to disaster management.

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

This Essay is

a Student's Work

Lady Using Tablet

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Examples of our work

Physical assets include mainly infrastructure, which consists of clean water, waste management, sewers, roads, electricity, education and health facilities and other public facilities that involve the community. It should be noted that community involvement in relation to infrastructure concerned with disaster management is not only limited to men but also includes involvement by women. Their participation in the activities of community organizations is intended to provide supervision of the infrastructure development concerned. This supervision is undertaken to meet the desires and expectations of residents. Ultimately if this desire is achieved then the quality of community life will also be better. Activities of infrastructure development will also absorb much labour from within the community itself. This will then increase community incomes and so help in meeting peoples' daily needs.

The case of re-housing people affected by disasters provides a useful example of the importance of physical assets and community involvement, before the disaster strikes the wealth and livelihoods of households within the community may vary considerably. But after a serious disaster they all need new homes because they have nowhere to live anymore. Some people may not want to build a house in the same location because of possible future disasters (and in some cases authorities may prohibit rebuilding in the same place so as to reduce future risks). If this is the case they need other options. But wherever communities are re-housed, infrastructure needs to be provided. Communities should be involved in the planning and rebuilding of housing. If possible they should be able to work as laborers in the construction of the houses so that they have an income. In other words, physical assets such as infrastructure and housing are critical to post-disaster communities and there are a number of ways that community members can be involved in their provision.

As van Horen (2004: 19) notes natural environmental assets are often ignored in upgrading and redevelopment but they are still important. The rehabilitation of mangrove trees, which can help reduce the impact of storm surge and flooding, is one example of building natural assets relevant to natural disasters. Enhancing natural assets includes preserving elements of the natural environment that still survive after a disaster, providing information to the public on the importance of preserving the environment, and monitoring environmental conditions.

Building human capital includes improving knowledge and skills, as well as improving health conditions so that this capital can be used productively (van Horen, 2004: 19-20). There is also a strong role for local government in providing this training and improving these conditions in order to strengthen the capacity of a community newly affected by disaster.

Relational assets consist of the relationships, networks and structures that support the on-going retention and strengthening of human capital (van Horen, 2004: 20-21).. But in disaster situations, clearly this can also include cooperation with NGOs and the establishment of joint activities that can support the skills base of the community and its members. Local governments are expected to facilitate many of these activities.

Building economic assets includes activities such as providing loans for re-establishing small businesses but van Horen (2004: 21) also identifies a number of other ways economic assets can be enhanced. All of these assets can be reconceptualized for application to disaster situations.