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Natural Disasters Reconstruction Aid as Common Management Issue: Implications for Equity

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Gunawardena, Asha
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7284
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): coastal regions
common pool resources
natural disasters
Abstract: "In this study, we examine two types of aid transfers - boats and houses - that were made to reconstruct and rehabilitate tsunami-affected coastal fishery communities in Sri Lanka. We investigate the distributional impacts of these aid transfers and the effectiveness of targeting of such aid transfers. The study also attempts to quantify the factors underlying the allocation of these transfers. Data for this study comes from the Census of Tsunami, conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics in 2005, and a follow-up survey undertaken by us in 2008 for a sub-sample of fishery households. Our findings suggest that that there was better targeting of households with regard to the allocation of houses than boats. The findings also show that housing transfers resulted in improved asset equality among fishery households compared to what existed in the pre-Tsunami period. The boat transfers on the other hand were not only poorly targeted but also increased asset inequality among the studied fishery communities. The findings of the study also reveal that households who had access to social networks were more likely to receive aid transfers. Apart from household characteristics, regional disparities also played a role in the allocation of aid due to differences in access to infrastructure facilities, political preferences or the presence and absence of political turmoil. The findings of the study highlight the importance of making a special effort to identify certain sub-sets of people such as the very poor and marginalized groups, as well as households who lost human capital, when it comes to targeting aid in disaster situations."

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