Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change : Communities' Perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change
Communities' Perspectives

ISBN 9781439888155
Published October 29, 2012 by CRC Press
368 Pages 84 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Successful recovery following a disaster depends upon transcending the disciplinary divides of architecture, engineering, and planning and emphasizing the importance of community perspectives in the post-disaster reconstruction process. Effective results in community recovery mandate that we holistically examine the complex interrelationship between physical and social dimensions.

Through a series of case studies, Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities' Perspectives explores community viewpoints on post-disaster aid provided by external agencies and demonstrates how equity and effectiveness are affected by community social organization, power structures, and leadership capacities. The book further focuses on how external aid in turn affects community livelihoods, cultures, and social organizations. Each chapter serves as a real-world case study based on several months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in India, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Argentina.

Post-disaster community recovery depends on informed decisions that build on lessons learned from past experiences. This book shows how different communities have coped with and responded to various external interventions. Focusing on housing reconstruction and the restoration of livelihood, the authors demonstrate that changes in settlement location, morphology, housing materials, and design produce multiple cascading consequences for the inhabitants of reconstructed settlements. Ultimately, the book establishes the importance of integrating community perspectives in policies and programs for sustainable post-disaster reconstruction—enabling greater resiliency as well as future disaster risk reduction.

Table of Contents

Communal Leadership in Post-Mitch Housing Reconstruction in Nicaragua; Esther Leemann

Aid Distribution after Hurricane Mitch and Changes in Social Capital in Two Nicaraguan Rural Communities; Isabel Häberli

Ownership, Control, and Accountability in Post-Tsunami Housing Reconstruction Processes in Aceh, Indonesia; Carola Mantel

Communities’ Perspectives on Housing Reconstruction in Gujarat following the Earthquake of 2001; Jennifer Duyne Barenstein

Soil Conservation Practices after Hurricane Mitch: Significance, Difficulties of Implementation, and Change of the Field of Application; Beatrice Müller

A Social and Environmental Assessment of Pre- and Post-Tsunami Housing and Building Practices in Tamil Nadu; Jennifer Duyne Barenstein And Daniel Pittet

The Remembered Trees: Contractor-Driven Reconstruction and Its Consequences on Communities’ Well-Being in Coastal Tamil Nadu; Jasmin Naimi-Gasser

The Role of Informal Governance in Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Its Impact on Elderly People’s Social Security in Coastal Tamil Nadu; Jennifer Duyne Barenstein And Sonja Trachsel

Links between Building Technologies, Post-Disaster Reconstruction, and Gender Roles in Gujarat; Diana Tenconi

Unaffordable Housing and Its Consequences: A Comparative Analysis of Two Post-Mitch Reconstruction Projects in Nicaragua; Andrea Graf

Post-Tsunami Relocation Outcomes in Sri Lanka: Communities’ Perspectives in Ampara and Hambantota; Jennifer Duyne Barenstein

Links between Post-Tsunami Relocation and Changes in Fishing Practices in Tamil Nadu: A Microlevel Case Study; Stefan Inglin

The Impact of Landlessness on Rural Livelihoods after Post-Mitch Resettlement in Nicaragua; Anouk Zulauf

Voluntary Relocation after Disaster: A Hope for Many, a Chance for Few? Dumenia Casutt

Is Resettlement a Viable Strategy to Mitigate the Risk of Natural Disasters? Views and Voices from the Citizens of Santa Fe, Argentina; Jennifer Duyne Barenstein And Brigitte Marti Rojas Rivas


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Jennifer Duyne Barenstein earned a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Zurich. She has worked and conducted research for over 20 years in Switzerland, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, Argentina, Haiti, and Mexico. Her key areas of interest include the socioeconomic, cultural, gender, and institutional dimensions of post-disaster reconstruction; livelihood restoration; housing; rural infrastructure development; and water resource management. From 1989 to 2008, she was a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology of the University of Zurich. She is the founder and the current head of the World Habitat Research Center of the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland. Jennifer has several publications to her credit and was among the principal authors of Safer Homes, Stronger Communities—the World Bank handbook for reconstruction after natural disasters.

Esther Leemann earned her Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Zurich. She is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Department of Social Anthropology of the University of Lucerne, Switzerland. She has been involved in several interdisciplinary research projects on post-disaster reconstruction, housing, and natural resource management in Nicaragua and Vietnam and is currently responsible for a research project on land grabbing and displacement in Cambodia.