Researchers demonstrate that the Government of Bangladesh has been successful in reducing death rates from tropical cyclones. However, in recent years, landslides have been a significant hazard, especially in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh. For example, the landslides of 2017 killed 110 people in Rangamati district. These deaths have raised an important question: whether district disaster risk governance at the local level is effective enough to mitigate the impact of landslide disasters?
Funded by the Leicester Institute of Advanced Studies’ Rutherford Fellowship to Dr Edris Alam under the mentorship of Associate Professor Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett, the researchers seek to assess the effectiveness of district disaster risk governance for district level disaster risk management underpinned by the disaster risk management cycle. Based on literature review, nine good characteristics of disaster risk governance were selected (accountability, participation, collaboration, transparency, information sharing, shared decision making, communication, leadership and shared resources) and were assessed by interviewing 18 members of the Rangamati’s District Disaster Management Committee in Bangladesh. Policy documents were also reviewed to study the devolution of disaster risk governance urged by the Hyogo Framework and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The findings suggest that the four principles (viz. accountability, participation, collaboration, and leadership) function satisfactorily during the response, evacuation, rescue and relief phases compared to the other five principles. The findings also suggest that the national Disaster Management Regulatory Framework and the Disaster Management Institutions are conducive to promote local disaster risk governance in Bangladesh. However, there are challenges with regard to collaboration within and between state and non-state actors. Their findings are published in a leading journal, the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.