Reconstructing community in the wake of disaster

The project funded by an ARC Linkage Grant (2006-2010) was the longest and most intense study of social recovery from the tsunami, to develop an understanding of how communities have been rebuilt after the 2004 tsunami, thereby evaluating the long-term benefit of disaster aid. This is contributing to policy and theory development, building on detailed empirical work across five case study sites – Seenigama, Hambantota, Thirukkovil, Sainthamuruthu, and Chennai. The ‘community-engaged’ research methodology involved consultation with local advisors and reliance on local guides and research assistants. Research methods included: the construction of social profiles of case study areas, surveys, community member profiles, lengthy interviews, and the collection of relevant local stories. A book on this study was published by Routledge, New Delhi, in 2011. Attention of the research team headed by Martin Mulligan and Yaso Nadarajah has now turned to post-conflict reconciliation in the Jaffna peninsula of Sri Lanka.

Research team:  Martin Mulligan, Yaso Nadarajah, Dave Mercer, Judith Shaw (Monash University), with Professor Siri Hettige (University of Colombo), Kaleel Aqeel (South Eastern University, Pottuvil), Ashraff Ahmed (NESDO NGO, Sainthamaruthu) and Kushil Gunasegara (Foundation of Goodness, Seenigama)

Institutional partners: Monash University, Deakin University

Start By 1 November 2006
Completed By 31 December 2011
Funding ARC Linkage Grant

Outcomes The following publicationsa re all outcomes of this research project:

Rebuilding communities in the wake of disaster: Social recovery in Sri Lanka and India, (2012) Routledge, New Delhi (with Martin Mulligan)

Developing a new process for engaging a rural Australian community in climate change adaptation work, in J. Ford and L. Ford, eds, Climate Change Adaptation in Developed Nations, (2011), Springer, Netherlands (with J. Smith and M. Mulligan)

Community, Scenarios and Narratives of Action: Reflections on a case study in the Hamilton region of Victoria, in Martin, J, ed., Climate Change Responses across Regional Australia, (2011), Australian Social Science Academy, Canberra (with M Mulligan, J. Smith and Y. Zalchendler)

Building Local Responses to Disaster: Lessons from the 2004 Tsunami in Sri Lanka and India, India Quarterly 67(4); 307-324, 2011 (with Martin Mulligan)

Rebuilding communities in the wake of disaster: lessons from the recovery from the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka and India, International Community Development Journal, 2011, online advance access, April 15, (with Martin Mulligan)

Lessons from the Indian Ocean tsunami still to be learnt, International Journal of Disaster Resilience, Vol 2, No 1, 2011 (with Martin Mulligan)

Lessons for long-term social recovery following the 2004 Tsunami: Community, livelihoods, tourism and housing', Environmental Hazards: Human and Policy Dimensions, (2011), Earthscan. (with Martin Mulligan, Martin, Iftekhar Ahmed, Judith Shaw and Dave Mercer)

Turning to community in times of crisis: Globally derived insights on local community formation’, Community Development Journal, (2010) Oxford Journals. (with Glen Kuecker and Martin Mulligan)

Researcher(s) Dave Mercer, Martin Mulligan, Yaso Nadarajah
Program Community, Migration and Development
Location(s) Chennai – India
Hambantota – Sri Lanka
Sainthamaruthu – Sri Lanka
Seenigama – Sri Lanka
Thirukkovil – Sri Lanka