Original Research

How to improve public participation in disaster risk management: A case study of Buein Zahra, a small city in Iran

Mojtaba Valibeigi, Majid Feshari, Fatemeh Zivari, Artemis Motamedi
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 11, No 1 | a741 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v11i1.741 | © 2019 Mojtaba Valibeigi, Majid Feshari, Fatemeh Zivari, Artemis Motamedi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 August 2018 | Published: 26 August 2019

About the author(s)

Mojtaba Valibeigi, Department of Urban Planning, Buein Zahra Technical University, Buein Zahra, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Majid Feshari, Department of General Economic Affairs, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Fatemeh Zivari, Department of Urban Planning, Buein Zahra Technical University, Buein Zahra, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Artemis Motamedi, Department of Civil Engineering, Buein Zahra Technical University, Buein Zahra, Iran, Islamic Republic of


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Abstract

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.

Keywords

disaster risk management; disaster risk reduction; community participation; enabling environment; organisational development; earthquake risk management

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