Author: Chen, Hongli
Title: Disaster victims' needs and institutional provision : a study on the disaster relief and reconstruction model of China --- a case study with the '5.12' Wenchuan earthquake
Degree: DSW
Year: 2013
Subject: Sichuan earthquake, China, 2008
Earthquakes -- China -- Wenchuan Xian (Sichuan Sheng)
Disaster relief -- China -- Wenchuan Xian (Sichuan Sheng)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: xii, 495 pages ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: The relief and reconstruction experience obtained from the Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008 has a far-reaching effect on the Chinese society. This research, by taking Wenchuan Earthquake as an example, intends to conduct a study on the current model of disaster relief and reconstruction in mainland China. The research takes Xingfu Xiang, a village seriously affected in the Wenchuan Earthquake, as a case study. From the perspective of victims' needs and institutional provision and based on the theoretical framework of the dominate of development and civil society, the research presents an analysis on the life experiences and needs of the disaster victims as well as the work undertaken by both the governments and the NGOs in the various phases of the post-disaster period, and on the gaps between the two parties through comparison. Based on this, it generalizes the characteristics and shortcomings of the disaster relief and reconstruction model in Mainland China, and attempts to propose some suggestions on social policies and the development of social work profession. It has adopted the qualitative research method and conducted in-depth interviews with twenty-five people, including the disaster victims from Xingfu Xiang, township and village cadres as well as the directors and staff members of the NGOs which have offered post-disaster services for Xingfu Xiang villagers. The dissertation includes eight chapters. The first chapter introduces the research background and the formation of research questions as well as aims and significance of this dissertation. The second chapter presents a literature review and the theoretical basis of this study. Chapter three introduces the research method and the theoretical framework. Chapter four analyses the life courses of disaster victims in the period of emergency relief, transitional resettlement, and reconstruction from the perspective of the disaster victims. Chapter five intends to analyze the work contents of different levels of government and NGOs in different stages, from the perspective of the governments and the NGOs. Chapter six analyses the fulfillment of the villagers' needs in different post-disaster periods and the methods to overcome difficulties. Chapter seven demonstrates and analyzes the three gaps between the needs of the disaster victims and institutional provision.
Chapter eight provides the conclusion and some suggestions. Through this research, the following findings are revealed: firstly, in the existing disaster relief and reconstruction model, the government is playing an over-dominant role, while the participation of other social forces and the involvement of the NGO are restricted and thus insufficient. In the domain of government administration, the central government takes the leading position while regional governments, especially governments at the grass-root level, lack autonomy. Secondly, the current relief and reconstruction model overlooks the subjectivity of the local people and the inner strength of the communities, which causes the disaster relief and reconstruction to lose the foundation of the mutual help and self-help mechanism of the community, and hence loses the power for sustainable development. Based on this analysis, the research goes on to make the following proposals: firstly, the social management system should be reformed and a disaster-relief and reconstruction model with a diversified management and participation subjects should be established. Secondly, a capacity-building-based rural development route and model in the post-disaster process should be advocated. Thirdly, judging from the development of the social work profession in Mainland China, social workers should reconsider the nature of social work and fulfill their professional mission, while maintaining their professional autonomy and playing the social role properly by influencing and advocating related social policies.
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