Japan – aiding recovery and reconstruction?

A colleague at MBS, Tudor Rickards, has launched an interesting initiative over at Leaders We Deserve focussed on the Fukushima problem.

But, as I indicated in my previous post, I still think the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami to the coastal communities in north-east Japan is by far the biggest problem. Estimates of the eventual death toll are already over 16,000 – my guess is it will go even higher than that. The destruction of housing, businesses and infrastructure is intense.

But pinching Tudor’s  excellent idea – I wonder what, collectively, the public administration community globally can add to Japan’s efforts at recovery and reconstruction? I wonder if we can start a creative dialogue HERE and NOW?

Immediate relief efforts – what can/should be done in Japan and from the international community to aid with immediate relief for the homeless and displaced people’s? What are the lesson’s from previous disasters?

I heard one story that US aircraft carriers were being used as floating refuelling bases for helicopter search and rescue – but the media coverage has been pitiful about what is actually being done like this? Given the logistical problems on land, couldn’t more use be made of sea-based resources?

Long-term Reconstruction – whole communities have been levelled by the tsunami. Although Japan’s earthquake proofing of their buildings proved remarkably good, no-one expected such a large tsunami. Now we know it can happen – what should Japan do in the future reconstruction to protect against a repeat? We now also know that tsunami warning systems are not enough – they worked but there simply wasn’t time for it to make much difference to thousands of people. And how is it going to manage such a large-scale reconstruction effort?

Any ideas, links to resources, experiences that we, as a community, can contribute that just might be of some use? Initially just post comments here.


I’ll can make sure some colleagues in Japan know about anything we can come up with?


About Prof. Colin Talbot

Research Associate, University of Cambridge Professor of Government (Emeritus), University of Manchester
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2 Responses to Japan – aiding recovery and reconstruction?

  1. Richard Boyle says:

    Irish Aid did an evaluation of supports to tsunami affected countries after the 2004 crisis – http://www.irishaid.gov.ie/Uploads/TsunamiAffectedCountries.pdf. There may be some general lessons here. I think the OECD Development Cooperation Directorate may have done something also, or pulled together other countries assessments at that time? And the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group have produced a report on evaluative lessons from the World Bank Group response to the Haiti earthquake. Very different contexts I know, but there may be some relevant policy lessons.

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