Helping the helpers: Approaches to overcome obstacles concerning disaster mitigation and preparedness measures of non-governmental organizations to reduce flood risk in Asia
MetadataShow full item record
Asia is the most disaster-prone region in the world with a rising tendency in the coming decade. Especially flood-related disasters have a big impact on the region, and man-made climate change appears to even worsen the situation. While traditionally disaster-related activities focus on the post-disaster phase, a new approach is slowly emerging, shifting disaster relief efforts to mitigation and preparedness measures, ultimately reducing the impact of a disaster before it strikes. The focal point of this thesis lies on the relationship between disaster mitigation and preparedness (DMP) measures undertaken by NGOs and factors that produce flood vulnerability in communities in Asia with a particular focus on the obstacles that NGOs face when taking part in DMP measures. An attempt has been made to find and develop approaches for improvement of overall NGO practice in the field of disaster risk reduction. For this purpose, the vulnerability model from David McEntire has been adopted as a theoretical framework. The methodology involved an exhaustive literature research as well as the analysis of the currently undertaken DMP measures by a sample of 53 NGOs that are active in Asia. Several findings can be reported: Firstly, NGOs are taking part in a considerable amount of DMP measures, including training and education programs, poverty reduction, mitigation construction or the promotion of the institutionalization of DMP. It was found that most activities are focused on social and economic aspects of vulnerability. Secondly, a plethora of complex and interlinked obstacles could be identified, such as the ineffectiveness of programs, lacking knowledge and expertise or the missing long-term and large-scale implementation of DMP projects. It appears that root causes such as the lack of funding or limited institutional capacity are the main issues in this context. Lastly, numerous approaches for improvement can already be found in existing literature, such as implementing a holistic and multidimensional approach, strengthening the collaboration among NGOs and other organizations, or promoting the long-term and large-scale implementation of DMP measures. When looking at the already implemented solutions, it became clear that several NGOs are active to overcome obstacles, but that there is still a lot of room for improvement.