Title

Impact Assessment Of Disaster Preparedness In Galle District, Sri Lanka

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Paul Ventura

Abstract

This study was conducted to investigate the impact of a community-based disaster preparedness program on the preparedness level of a tsunami-affected village in southwestern Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Disaster Management charged the Army with creating a disaster awareness program in Galle District. The Army partnered with two local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Sri Lanka Red Cross and Sarvodaya, to plan a program consisting of three phases: an initial awareness lecture, committee trainings incorporating participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methods and recurring follow-up meetings with committee members. The lecture consisted of tsunami information, review of the determined evacuation route, instructions for an emergency kit, and formation of disaster committees to assist the community in an emergency. Information regarding the program was gathered through semi-structured interviews, focus groups and secondary data. Equal numbers of men and women from three age groups were identified and interviewed. The responses of program attendees were compared to those of non-attendees. Four experts were interviewed and three focus groups were facilitated. One focus group consisted of community leaders, one consisted of female non-attendees and the third, male attendees. The data collected were analyzed through the conceptual framework of disaster preparedness and mitigation (DPM) international best practices. Though gaps exist, the program was a good beginning to disaster preparedness in the community. Key missing components were planning for vulnerable populations and local business owners. Coordinating with the partner organizations was also a major challenge; nonetheless, the responses of attendees were more informed and confident than those of non-attendees.

Disciplines

Public Administration | Social Welfare

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