Emergency Situations, Participation, and Community-based Disaster Responses in Southeast Asia: Gray Areas and Causes for Optimism

Loh Kah Seng

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/


Emergency and participation intersect to form the basis of Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CBDRRM). This article has three aims. First, it explores the criticisms of participatory development in CBDRRM. Second, it highlights how disasters provide insights into participatory development when disasters are viewed not merely as terrible events but as catalysts for social change. Third, the article contends that despite its flaws, CBDRRM is neither hegemonic nor oppressive but can be adapted to the needs and cultures of communities. The article calls for an empathetic form of participation and room for diverse partners to work together.

Keywords: disasters • Indian Ocean tsunami • floods • fires •Southeast Asia • Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management • cultures of disaster

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