The management of recovery from the ravages of a disaster is complex and unwieldy, routinely involving many different needs, interests and abilities. The subject assumes great importance in any hazardprone country, especially after a disaster, but it has seldom attracted the sustained professional attention of either disaster managers or risk management analysts. It is an even greater collective challenge for all those people involved in recovery operations to ensure that their efforts minimize the likelihood of future disasters by reducing previously existing conditions of vulnerability.
The International Recovery Platform (IRP) was agreed to be launched during the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR) held in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan in January, 2005 to address these conditions of unintended neglect. This report is an initial product of the IRP as it seeks to address the pressing needs of a specific audience: those government and other local officials or leaders, entrusted with the responsibilities for planning, managing and carrying out successful and resilient disaster reduction and recovery activities.
The supporting research on this subject is timely, having been conducted during the period when recovery operations were underway following three epic disasters: the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, Hurricane Katrina of August 2005 and the India/Pakistan Himalayan earthquake in October 2005. These and over 70 other disaster operations from the past 20 years have been considered to distill crucial information concerning recovery processes.