Investment in the Construction Sector to Reduce Disaster Risk Management

Suzanne Wilkinson, Alice Yan Chang-Richards, Zulkfli Sapeciay, and Resilient Organisations, New Zealand

Input Paper to the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015


Construction organisations are often called upon to manage the post-disaster environment. In addition to having to recover their own business functionality, construction organisations must operate to assist with the post-disaster recovery and reconstruction such as providing the physical resources, people, material supply, logistics expertise and rebuilding processes needed for recovery. Communities rely on services provided by construction organisations to enable them to recover from emergencies and crises. Pre-disaster construction company resilience impact s on the ability of construction companies to function post-disaster. The research discussed in this paper shows the role of construction companies in a disaster. This input paper for the 2015 Global Assessment Report advocate s for investment in pre-disaster risk reduction at a construction organizational level to improve post-disaster recovery outcomes. The paper presents key indicators of organisational resilience in the construction sector. Resilience indicators set a benchmark for enhancing business risk reduction measures so that organisations can survive a crisis. Organisations that invest in pre-disaster risk reduction are more likely to be able to recover their business functionality quicker than those with no pre-disaster risk reduction investment. This paper uses the construction sector organisations as a case study of the impact of disaster risk reduction on business functioning after an event. In order to ensure that the disaster recovery and reconstruction programs are successfully implemented, it is necessary for construction organisations to be resilient and able to respond, and recover from an event. The construction sector need s to understand the critical role they have to play in both disaster risk reduction, and in recovery post-disaster. Developments in the understanding of the critical role of the construction sector post-disaster, and the solutions to improving construction sector resilience can be incorporated into the industry sector risk reduction and resilience in the successor framework to the HFA.

The main questions guiding this research are:

  • What is the role of the construction sector post-disaster?
  • What are the challenges faced by construction organisations post-disaster ?
  • How can the construction sector improve its resilience ?
  • What changes are required to the HFA to improve construction sector resilience?

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