Surviving Floods Through Social Capital and Situational Leadership - A Case of Flood Response by District-level Responders in Sri Lanka.

Nadeera Ahangama, Raj Prasanna

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Case Summary:
In the days since Tsunami struck coasts of Indian Ocean in 2005, governing bodies of South Asian countries started strategizing their attempts towards Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) more aggressively. As these countries were signing into international endorsements such as Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015) and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), states and the local administrative units felt the pressure to enhance DRR policy and practices into community levels. As a response, Sri Lanka instrumented policy to develop nationwide multi-stakeholder, multi-institutional framework to connect state agencies to the public through an administrative structure under the Ministry of Home Affairs. District Secretariats receive an important position in the administrative structure of Sri Lanka, as they provide the second level administration to the country by coordinating communications and activities between central government and the divisional secretariats (lower level subdivisions, which are in turn subdivided into villages). In every district, district secretariats developed operational units termed as District Disaster Management Coordinating Units (DDMCU) and these units were given the responsibility to enact DRR strategies in the considered district. This case study recognizes a range of practical knowledge dissemination problems and conflicting policy establishments encountered by stakeholders attached to a specific DDMCU (namely DDMCU of Ratnapura District). This case study highlights how the members of DDMCU of Ratnapura deal with difficulties such as unavailability of resources, lack of procedural clarity, and negative perceptions of the community by investing on social capital. This case study also throws a light on the practical routings follow by the members of DDMCU of Ratnapura to improvise the resource requirements that are difficult to acquire in general task-oriented settings. By strategizing the social connections through a situational leadership approach, these district-level responders were able to tackle some of the response demand of the flood-affected communities in the context of the study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSurviving Floods Through Social Capital and Situational Leadership - A Case of Flood Response by District-level Responders in Sri Lanka.
PublisherElsevier
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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