Skip to main content

Partnership approach to disaster management in Bangladesh: a critical policy assessment

Abstract

The geographic location of Bangladesh at the confluence of the three mighty river systems of the world renders her one of the most vulnerable places to natural disasters. Human-induced climate change exacerbates the problem. This study shows that the Government of Bangladesh has already established a multi-layered institutional mechanism for disaster management, with formal recognition of the role of various stakeholders. Historically, NGOs and other informal support mechanisms in the country also have made significant contributions during and after disaster recovery. Despite the presence of some strengths, such as long experience in disaster response and recovery, the people’s resilience, and donor support, the current management strategies suffer from a host of policy and institutional weaknesses. Most prominent is the absence of a functioning partnership among the stakeholders within these formal set-ups. What is lacking is the development and embodiment of a culture of collective decision-making in planning, in resource sharing, and in implementing disaster management policies and programs in an integrated and transparent way. The paper suggests a partnership framework to implement prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery phases of disaster management.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • ADB (Asian Development Bank) and World Bank (2004) Bangladesh 2004 Post-Flood Recovery Programme: Damage and Needs Assessment, Dhaka

  • Bhatt MR (2005) Community-based disaster risk reduction. In: Etkin D (ed) Reducing risk through partnerships, Proceedings of the 1st CRHNet Symposium, June 2005

  • Chowdhury JR, Rahman R (2001) Bangladesh environment outlook, Dhaka

  • Cernea M (ed) (1991) Putting people first: sociological variables in rural development, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press for the World Bank

  • Daily Star (2004, 2005) Most widely circulated English Daily, 31 October 2004, 21 October, 2005 Dhaka

  • DMB (Disaster Management Bureau) (1992) Project Documents on Support to Disaster Management, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka

  • CRED (2004) An International Disaster Database, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels (http://www.em-dat.net)

  • FFWC (Flood Forecasting and Warning Center) (2005) An Overview of Flood Forecasting and Warning Services in Bangladesh, A paper presented on 2nd April, Bangladesh Water Development Board, Dhaka

  • GOB (Government of Bangladesh) (2004) Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), December, Ministry of Finance and Planning

  • Haque CE (2003). Perspectives of natural disasters in east and south Asia, and the Pacific Island states: socio-economic correlates and needs assessment. Nat Hazards 29:465–483

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • IPCC (2001a) Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, Contribution of Working Group-I to the IPCC Third Assessment Report, Houghton et al. (eds), Cambridge University Press

  • IPCC (2001b) Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Contribution to Working Group-II to the Third Assessment Report, McCarthy et al. (eds), Cambridge University Press

  • ISDR (2004) Living with Risk: A Global Review of Disaster Reduction Initiatives, Geneva

  • ISDR (2005) Early Warning Newsletter, Issue 2005/3, September

  • Khan MR (2003) Paper on Micro-insurance presented at the Workshop on Risk Assessment and Insurance, organized by the UNFCCC, 12–15 May, Bonn

  • Miletti D (1999) Disasters by design. Joseph Henry Press, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • Mitlin D, Thompson J (1995) Participatory approaches in urban areas: strengthening civil society or reinforcing the status quo? Environ Urban 7(1), April

  • MDMR (Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief) and UNDP (2004) Documents on Comprehensive Disaster Management Project, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka

  • MFDM (Ministry of Food and Disaster Management) (2005) Corporate Plan 2005–2009—Comprehensive Disaster Management: A Framework for Action, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka

  • Munich Re (2003) Natural Catastrophes in 2002, Vol. 10, Munich Re

  • PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) (2004) Options for flood risks and damage reduction in Bangladesh: Recommendations, September, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka

  • Pretty JN, Chambers R (1994) Towards a learning paradigm: new professionalism and institutions for agriculture. In: Scoones I, Thompson J (eds), Beyond farmer first: rural peoples knowledge, agricultural research and extension practice. Intermediate Tech Publications Ltd., London

    Google Scholar 

  • Quarantelli EL (1990) Assessment of development potential and capacity based on vulnerability. In: Integrated approach to disaster management and regional development planning with peoples’ participation, UN Center for Regional Development

  • SDRC (Sustainable Development Resource Center) (2004) Information provided to the authors regarding donor supported projects on disaster management, Dhaka

  • Strategy CB (2003) Development Trends 2005–07: Bangladesh, September 2003

  • Thompson J (1995) Participatory approaches in government bureaucracies: facilitating the process of institutional change, World Dev 23(9)

  • TI (Transparency International) 2001–2005, Reports on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Berlin

  • UNDP (2005) International response to flooding in Bangladesh, Dhaka

  • World Bank (1994) A strategy for forest sector in sub-Saharan Africa, draft for discussion, Washington, DC, USA

  • World Bank (2004) World development indicators, Washington DC, USA

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mizan R. Khan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Khan, M.R., Rahman, M.A. Partnership approach to disaster management in Bangladesh: a critical policy assessment. Nat Hazards 41, 359–378 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-006-9040-y

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-006-9040-y

Keywords

  • Disaster
  • Institutional framework
  • Partnership
  • NGO
  • Bangladesh