Disaster risk reduction legislations: Is there a move from events to processes?

Bernard Manyena, Emmanuel Mavhura, Chipo Muzenda, Elias Mabaso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Disaster research and scholarship is now advocating a shift from focusing on the hazard event to processes that generate vulnerability and loss of resilience to disasters. Disaster legislations are among prominent instruments that can highlight the tensions as well as challenges that are being encountered towards this change in focus. Using textual analysis, this paper presents a study that investigated whether five post-2002 disaster legislations have shifted emphasis from the hazard to the vulnerability and resilience paradigms. The five examples illustrate that while there is a slight change, at least in rhetoric, from response to a prevention focus, disaster legislations largely promote a centralised institutional framework, with inadequate resource commitments and limited participation from vulnerable communities. Consequently, while generalisations simply cannot be made without a wider analysis of many more examples from different countries, the five disaster legislations appear to re-emphasise the response focus with less attention on the processes that reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience. The conclusion is that while the rhetoric has changed, the disaster legislations have not significantly moved from the hazard to vulnerability and resilience focus suggesting that reduction of losses and damages to disasters remains a big challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1786-1794
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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