Funder: Overseas Development Institute

The role of the state in disasters has primarily been considered in discussions about disaster preparedness. There has been much less analysis of the role of the state in disaster response and how it interacts with international humanitarian actors. As recent emergencies have shown, the state may play an essential role in leading responses. The overall project conducted by the ODI aimed to build on the existing work focused on good governance for disaster risk reduction by analyzing a variety of case studies of recent disasters, and looking at both the assistance and protection dimensions of humanitarian action. ISIM’s research in this context examined the case of El Salvador, a post conflict country, where there were three major disasters and two minor disasters between 2001 and 2007 when the study was undertaken. The study examined the evolution of the state apparatus to manage disasters, and the human and material resources available to do implement state policies. The researchers analyzed interactions between state and international actors, taking into account the roles of NGOs, donors and international agencies.