The barriers to a community contracts approach in post-disaster reconstruction
Zuo, Kelvin; Potangaroa, Regan; Wilkinson, Suzanne
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Citation:Zuo, K., Potangaroa, R., and Wilkinson, S. (2013). The barriers to a community contracts approach in post-disaster reconstruction. In Duyne J. (Ed.)(Ed.), 6th International i-Rec Conference Sustainable Post-Disaster Reconstruction: From Recovery to Risk Reduction
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2721
The need to involve communities in post disaster reconstruction is seen as an imperative for sustainable if not ‘sensible’ post disaster reconstruction. One contractual approach is the use of community contracts. Such approaches seek to facilitate an integrated process whereby communities identify and prioritise their ‘problems’, set out agreements and then action plans to be realised through the guidance and technical assistance of the implementing agencies (e.g. NGOs, UN agencies, government authorities). The obvious advantage of a community contract approach is realised through community empowerment ensuring both social and economic accountability. The community and beneficiaries in community contracts are at the centre of the decision-making process, which should foster a deeper sense of ownership and consequent long-term maintenance and sustainability. Nonetheless, in practice such an approach seemingly runs counter to the reality within implementing teams. Why are there such barriers? This paper reviews the origin and theoretical background of the community contracts approach and researches these barriers based on a pattern and clustering analysis of structured interviews of members of a significant implementing team in Port‐au‐Prince Haiti in 2012 to examine the apparent gap between an ‘attractive’ theoretical approach and its perhaps not so ‘attractive’ implementation. Possible barriers were identified by interview responses and were subsequently summarised and discussed in terms of ‘value adding’ from timely decision making, process integration, knowledge integration, and value generation aspects.