Mapping NGO Competency to Reduce Human Vulnerability in Post-disaster Communities: Comparing Strategies in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

Jason Von Meding, Lukumon Oyedele, David Cleland, John Spillane, Ashwini Konanahalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural hazards trigger disasters, the scale of which is largely determined by vulnerability. Developing countries suffer the most from disasters due to various conditions of vulnerability which exist and there is an opportunity after disasters to take mitigative action. NGOs implementing postdisaster rehabilitation projects must be able to address the issues causing communities to live at risk of disaster and therefore must build dynamic capacity, capabilities and competencies, enabling them to operate in unstable environments. This research is built upon a theoretical framework of dynamic competency established by combining elements of disaster management, strategic management and project management theory. A number of NGOs which have implemented reconstruction and rehabilitation projects both in Sri Lanka following the Asian Tsunami and Bangladesh following Cyclone Sidr are being investigated in great depth using a causal mapping procedure. ‘Event’ specific maps have been developed for each organization in each disaster. This data will be analysed with a view to discovering the strategies which lead to vulnerability reduction in post-disaster communities and the competencies that NGOs must possess in order to achieve favourable outcomes. It is hypothesized that by building organizational capacity, capabilities and competencies to be dynamic in nature, while focusing on a more emergent strategic approach, with emphasis on adaptive capability and innovation, NGOs will be better equipped to contribute to sustainable community development through reconstruction. We believe that through this study it will be possible to glean a new understanding of social processes that emerge within community rehabilitation projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-138
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of the Humanities
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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