Research Report

Vulnerability and Recovery from the Tsunami:: Building Resilient Coastal Communities

Rasmus Klocker Larsen
Fiona Miller
Frank Thomalla
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2009
Pages: 73
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep00560
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Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. ii-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. SUMMARY
    (pp. vii-vii)
  5. 1 INTRODUCTION: VULNERABILITY THINKING IN RECOVERY PRACTICE
    (pp. 1-2)

    Vulnerability and capacity assessments carried out in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCRC) and the Sri Lankan Red Cross Society (SLRC) have raised concerns that new vulnerabilities appear to be emerging during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami recovery, most notably amongst marginalised social groups (Miller et al., 2006). Whilst it is appreciated that in the aftermath of the tsunami a multitude of organisations and individuals have contributed to the debate on relief and recovery, generating an impressive body of literature, it has been found in this study that only...

  6. 2 META-ANALYSIS METHODOLOGY
    (pp. 3-8)

    Vulnerability is a concept that is often used yet rarely systematically explained or rigorously investigated in practice. A diverse range of vulnerability concepts exist in the scientific literature, reflecting the contributions of a number of disciplines (Adger, N. 2006; Alwang et al., 2000; Cutter 2003; Turner II, 2001; Turner II et al, 2003; Wisner et al 2004; Cannon et al., 2003; Kasperson, et al. 2002), each approach giving emphasis to different dimensions of vulnerability. Whilst this body of work has increasingly presented insights into the complex nature of the social-ecological systems in which vulnerable groups are situated, the large number...

  7. 3 A PERSPECTIVE ON KNOWLEDGE GENERATION IN THE TSUNAMI RECOVERY LITERATURE
    (pp. 9-11)

    The tsunami literature is generally characterised by being enormous, but containing limited primary data and few arguments substantiated via data and explicit methodology, thus generating few vulnerability insights. This section outlines these basic characteristics.

    A total of 382 documents were retrieved from the literature search, and some 11 types of document were distinguished according to the nature of their content (Figure 2 and Appendix 3). Figure 2 shows the prevalence of different types of documents. Of the 382 documents reviewed for information on social vulnerability and primary data, 101 documents were selected for more detailed analysis. The Tsunami Evaluation Coalition...

  8. 4 VULNERABILITY LESSONS DRAWN FROM THE SYNTHESIS
    (pp. 12-18)

    A total of 137 substantiated vulnerability insights were identified, and Figure 4 shows the complete distribution of these vulnerabilities as represented in the literature. What is highlighted as ‘risks’ represents what is also referred to as for example ‘issues’ or ‘needs’ in the literature under other analytical frameworks than vulnerability (see Table 3 and examples in Appendix 2). This section provides an overview of the general conclusions from these results as we attend to each point in turn below. It can be seen that social and institutional factors and risks dominate among the identified vulnerabilities, and that most of them...

  9. 5 THE UNDERLYING CAUSES OF VULNERABILITIES EMERGING DURING RECOVERY
    (pp. 19-26)

    In this analysis of the causes of the selected three newly emerging vulnerabilities, we present how a situation is manifest where 1) a lack of long-term planning and undifferentiated aid neglects the diversity of the displaced and leads to deepening dependency; 2) aid delivery in coastal communities adds to pre-existing resource conflicts and community tensions because of highly contested distribution of benefits and coastal zone policies; and 3) the underlying causes of women’s abuse are not addressed despite a high awareness of its presence, leading to perpetuation of a culture of gender inequality and marginalisation. Importantly, the causes discussed below,...

  10. 6 LEARNING TO BUILD RESILIENT COASTAL COMMUNITIES
    (pp. 27-34)

    New vulnerabilities have emerged due to, in sum, a lack of planning; limited differentiation of beneficiaries’ needs and circumstances; ongoing contestation over claims, assumptions, and policies; and general lack of action on already articulated needs. This suggests that emerging vulnerabilities are the consequence of some higher level disorder in the recovery process. It is appreciated that aid delivery may not currently have the mandate to reduce vulnerability and build resilience, and we do not criticise agencies for something they do not claim to do. However, not considering emerging vulnerabilities is clearly a serious issue hampering the realisation of sustainable recovery...

  11. REFERENCES
    (pp. 35-46)
  12. Appendix 1: Search and retrieval of documents
    (pp. 47-50)
  13. Appendix 2: Coding and aggregation of vulnerability insights
    (pp. 51-55)
  14. Appendix 3: Typology and examples of the distinguished document types
    (pp. 56-56)
  15. Appendix 4: The forty documents with substantiated vulnerability insights
    (pp. 57-63)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 64-65)