Community Participation in Disaster Management

Community Participation in Disaster Management


Community participation, generally, refers to the involvement of people in projects to solve their own problems or to develop their socio-economic conditions. They participate in setting goals, and preparing, implementing and evaluating plans and programs. Uphoff (1987 cited in Asaduzzaman, 2008:62) described participation as a process of involvement of a significant number of persons in situations and actions that enhance their wellbeing. 

Poppe (1992:45) defined participation elaborately. He defined participation as voluntary and democratic involvement of people in decision-making with regard to setting agenda, formulating policies and planning as well as implementing and evaluating any development program. Basically, it is a dynamic group process in which all members of a group contribute, share or are influenced by the interchange of ideas and activities toward problem-solving or decision-making (Banki, 1981:533 cited in Samad, 2002:53). 





Therefore, the crux of community participation is the exercise of ‘voices and choices’ of the community and the development of human, organizational and management capacity to solve problems as they arise in order to sustain the improvements made over the time (Sastry 2001:2). 

Community participation motivates people to work together where people feel a sense of being a part of the community and recognize the benefits of their involvement. In this study, community participation has been used as the process of people’s involvement in setting goals, and preparing, implementing and evaluating plans and programs in every phase of disaster management program, where ‘voices and choices’ of the community are addressed adequately.

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