NGO roles in disaster preparedness and mitigation (DPM): a case study of Save the Children UK in drought-prone Fik, Ethiopia
Current Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation (DPM) best practices stress the importance of integrating political, economic, social and institutional vulnerability reduction measures into ongoing development work. Disaster reduction measures should therefore be multi sectoral and should incorporate DPM with development activities. This thesis' findings reveal that despite numerous constraints, Save the Children UK (SC-UK) has implemented integrated, multi-sectoral and primarily social-institutional DPM activities that incorporate water provision in Fik zone of Ethiopia. Constraints to DPM included an insecure zone, a national focus on reactive food aid and early warning systems, a lack of development infrastructure, a reduction in local community coping capacities and weak local government capacity. Capacity and Vulnerability Analysis (CVA) frameworks, which incorporate socioeconomic, institutional, as well as political analyses, are valuable tools for DPM. Findings suggest that SC-UK's understanding of "vulnerability" and "capacity" does not fully reflect the way that this organization addresses DPM. CVA frameworks lead planners to question the tendency to 'get things back to normal' in an environment where 'normal' signifies continued or increasing vulnerability to hazards. It is recommended that CVA application, which can improve risk management by identifying root causes, be used as a strategic tool for planning future SC-UK development activities in Fik zone. By facilitating such identification of root causes, CVA allows us to identify appropriate capacity building and vulnerability reduction methods.