Natural Hazards

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 1397–1412 | Cite as

Evaluation of public participation in reconstruction of Bam, Iran, after the 2003 earthquake

  • Babak Omidvar
  • Hossein Zafari
  • Mehdi Khakpour
Original Paper


In the midst of the ever-increasing natural and human-induced disasters, where many of the preparedness and mitigation measures show inefficiencies, there is narrow margin for decision-makers to make mistakes by misallocating budgets, designing infeasible reconstruction plans, and in other terms, making decisions not in line with the public preferences. In particular, public participation in post-disaster measures seems undoubtedly necessary to reduce the possible economic, social, political, and cultural conflicts around the stressful community after a major disaster. This paper aims at evaluating the role of public participation in increasing the reconstruction phase efficiency through a case study of the reconstruction process in Bam, a southeastern Iranian city, after the 2003 earthquake. It is attempted to identify the major motivators of the public participation through a combination of quantitative and qualitative studies. Statistical data are generated through a set of questionnaires being filled by a number of 200 randomly selected survivors. The numerical results were then discussed through the Focus Group technique sessions to determine the main contributors to the public participation. It is later found that the answers are found among the performance of the reconstruction authorities, financial policies, emotional resiliency of the survivors, public information mechanisms, public satisfaction, the pace of reconstruction, and temporary housing policies.


Public participation Reconstruction Bam earthquake Disaster management Focus group technique 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Faculty of EnvironmentUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.Housing Foundation of Islamic RevolutionTehranIran

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