How to improve public participation in disaster risk management: a case study of Buein Zahra, a small city in Iran
MetadataShow full item record
Identifying and providing basic solutions using a collaborative approach in earthquake stricken cities of Iran has not yet been addressed. This article focuses on an area of practice and views disaster risk management from the point of view of volunteer groups to illustrate how the main components of disaster risk management affect the strengthening of public participation. In this article, Buein Zahra, a small city in Iran, is considered as a high-risk earthquake zone. The basic components of risk management are identified, namely public awareness, knowledge, skills, enabling environment, organisational development and social participation. An assessment of these indicators was done, and multidimensional relationships were established between them to enable an increase in the capacity for public participation. Accordingly, the results indicate that a mere increase in public awareness and knowledge, as seen today, and an improvement in enabling environment, although affecting disaster risk reduction, cannot by themselves lead to real public participation. Organisational development and strengthening of crisis coping skills are two key components to improving participation during crises in the small cities of Iran. According to the results of this study, institutional capacity and unreal political commitment have caused inefficiency of public participation in earthquake preparedness.