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.

PLEASE PASS ON A LINK TO THIS POST TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING USEFUL TO ADD

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

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About Prof. Colin Talbot

Professor of Government (Emeritus). Universities of Cambridge and Manchester, England.
This entry was posted in Whitehall. Bookmark the permalink.

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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