Disaster Risk Reduction Is Not 'Everyone's Business'

Evidence from Three Countries

Published in: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Volume 43 (February 2020). doi: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101375

Posted on RAND.org on November 05, 2019

by Aaron Clark-Ginsberg

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Reflecting the shift from government to governance in public administration, disaster risk reduction (DRR) is typically framed as 'everyone's business', a multi-stakeholder activity involving many different local, national, and international organizations. However, it is not clear which types of organizations actually participate in DRR and how they work together. In this article, I use a social network analysis to compare the DRR networks in three countries, Kenya, Bangladesh, and Sierra Leone. Results provide a better understanding of the types of organizations engaged in DRR. I find that while the number of organizations involved in DRR differs across these countries, local, national, and international governmental, nongovernmental, and private sector organizations are all involved in DRR. This breadth of organizations suggests that DRR is indeed a multi-stakeholder endeavor. However, engagement is limited in other respects: community influence is low, private sector involvement is minimal, and local governmental participation is varied. Such limitations mean that DRR is not actually 'everyone's business', but rather the business of a select few. While these limitations may compromise DRR activities, further research is needed to understand the effect that the absence of different types of stakeholders has on the ways that risks are managed.

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