Organisations, states, and persons should co-operate, regardless of political, economic, social and cultural differences to strengthen disaster resilience, security, and human rights. They should also interact according to their capacities.
- Establish information sharing agreements
- Inform and enable participation from all relevant parties
- In interactions, provide clarity of purpose
Working together is a fundamental precondition for all types of emergency response and crisis management. In most situations joint efforts by several agencies is the natural procedure. This is apparent on a local basis, but the magnitude of the crisis, type of consequences, the geographical preconditions, etc., may also call for international cooperation. In this respect efficient disaster management is depending on preparedness and extensive planning for joint efforts.
International collaboration that can be related to disaster management takes many different forms such as the establishment of common standards and proceedings, coordination, joint training and educational activities or setting up specific agencies with their own resources. Some efforts encompass a whole region while others are of a bilateral nature. Cooperation may also be of a more or less all-encompassing nature or be oriented towards a specific sector.
As the uncertainties and frequency of disasters grow, the understanding between who and how can take part in collaborations and partnerships is shifting reconfiguring the relationship between science, governance, the media and the public. In disaster risk management this means a reliance on a wider and ever emerging set of public and private partners, encompassing federal, state, and local levels of government, as well as businesses, voluntary organizations, activists, media publics and citizens. This is reflected in one of the key principles in the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030 which states that ‘Disaster risk reduction requires an all-of-society engagement and partnership’ (UNISDR 2015: 13). However, how these diverse groups are involved in emergency response varies significantly between countries (Bossong and Hegemann 2015).
Collaborative governance is often oriented towards consensus (Ansell and Gash 2007). However, consensus can be difficult in such a setting, especially when involving such a broad and diverse set of stakeholders, and, in fact, it can often be undesirable. For this reason, disaster risk management needs to accommodate the possibility and foster the ability to negotiate different interests and forms of knowledge. This requires accepting that conflicting views may be inherent to the process of good disaster risk management, conflicts that can be exacerbated by cross-border collaboration (see Storni 2013 and DiSalvo 2010).
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