Natural Hazards

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 361–378 | Cite as

Households’ experience of local government during recovery from cyclones in coastal Bangladesh: resilience, equity, and corruption

  • Rabiul Islam
  • Greg Walkerden
  • Marco Amati
Original Paper


Households’ links with local Government provide important support for disaster resilience and recovery on the Bangladeshi coast. Few previous studies of disaster resilience and recovery have explored how linking social networks—and in particular local government—contribute. Using household surveys, focus groups, and key informant interviews, we examine strengths and weaknesses of local government’s contribution, using two cyclone-affected coastal villages as case studies. The findings show that local government provides important support, for example relief distribution, livelihood assistance, and reconstruction of major community services. However, patronage relationships (notably favouring political supporters) and bribery play a substantial role in how those responsibilities are discharged. The equity and efficiency of these contributions to recovery are markedly diminished by corruption. Reducing corruption in UP’s contributions to disaster recovery could significantly improve resilience; however, general reform of governance in Bangladesh would needed to bring this about.


Social capital Disaster resilience and recovery Local government Union Parishad Cyclone Sidr Bangladeshi coast Corruption 



The authors are grateful to Macquarie University, Australia, as this study was supported with an International Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship. Special thanks to disaster practitioners and policymakers, Upazila Nirbahi Officer and Cyclone Preparedness Programme, Patharghata, the local NGOs and journalists for their kind support during fieldwork between February and July 2013.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WorkUniversity of RajshahiRajshahiBangladesh
  2. 2.Department of Geography and PlanningMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.School of Global, Urban and Social StudiesRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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