Project management framework for the empowerment of disaster susceptible communities during the post disaster phase

Van Krieken, T 2018, Project management framework for the empowerment of disaster susceptible communities during the post disaster phase , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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The community is the first responder following a disaster who has the inner strengths to regroup, restore and rebuild for the future. Their assistance is the first step for family, kin, strangers and community members to work together to recover and rebuild their community. It is very important to recognize the community as being empowered (decision makers) of their fate but not to inform, consulted and having others to decide their fate. The role of the project manager is to oversee the project deliverables are completed within a defined budget, scope and cost; therefore, the Project Manager can ensure the empowerment of the community will take place. An empowered community from disasters will be resilient in the long-term because of their collective resources, knowledge and expertise. The Project Manager can assist during the disaster recovery for co-ordination and communication to empower the community for their long-term sustainability. The members within the Community help each other at the local and national level to rebuild the community as shown in disasters that occur at New Orleans, Tacloban City and California. Community collaboration has been successful in India and Asia by government and community working closely together in different types of influence/power relationships from ad hoc to empowerment; but unsuccessful in other parts of the world, such as in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina.

Two case studies (San Francisco and Christ Church) were selected to investigate the aim of this PhD study. The aim is to develop a Project Management framework on how disaster susceptible communities can be empowered during the post-disaster recovery and reconstruction phases to become resilient and sustainable on the long term. Fourteen individuals (Project Managers and Community Leaders) in San Francisco were interviewed. In the case of Christchurch, eleven individuals (Project Managers and Community Leaders) were interviewed. The final framework and validation study were reviewed by 14 individuals (interviewees and researcher's global contacts in Emergency Management, Disaster Management and Project Management).

The following important themes came out of the interviews and refining the framework study:

  1. community has "ownership" of disaster recovery projects;
  2. community decision-making (empowerment) exists per Project Phase;
  3. community decision-making is not final for funding approval;
  4. community engagement activities (inform, consult, involve, collaborate and empower) exists for empowered communities;
  5. people skills development for Project Managers working with large groups of people, such as the community; needs to be developed;
  6. collaborative effort between community, government, NGOs and Project Managers must exist; and
  7. collaboration between capital and community-led projects must exist.

As the result a Project Manager Framework was developed between the community, project manager and funders. In addition, strategies and challenges per Project Phases were developed for the Project Manager to make community empowerment a reality leading to a sustainable community. These frameworks were reviewed by external reviewers.

Keywords: Community, Disaster, Empowerment, Survivors, Project Management

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Pathirage, C (Supervisor), Udeaja, CE (Supervisor) and Kulatunga, U (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Depositing User: Tony Van Krieken
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2018 15:26
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:53

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