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close this bookDisaster Management Ethics - Trainer's Guide - 1st Edition (Disaster Management Training Programme, 104 p.)
close this folderTOPIC 3: The relationship of disaster response to on-going economic and social development
View the document36. Introduction
View the document37. Ethical Questions
View the document38. Ethical Question #1
View the document39. Ethical Question #2
View the document40. Ethical Question #3
View the document41. Ethical dilemmas from traditional approaches to emergency assistance
View the document42. Conceptual assumptions underlying traditional emergency disaster response
View the document43. New conceptualization
View the document44. Operational change #1
View the document45. Operational change #2
View the document46. Summary

41. Ethical dilemmas from traditional approaches to emergency assistance


Ask participants to remain in the same groups and talk about each of the following points, indicating how they contribute to creation of the ethical dilemma (failing to integrate emergency disaster assistance with development support) which they considered in their previous question. Also ask them to identify why they think these aspects of disaster assistance have emerged. Are there ethical concerns that have motivated such approaches? Give the groups 5 minutes for this exercise and allow 15 minutes for report-back and discussion in plenary.

Summarize the discussion by reiterating the fundamental issue: Is it ethical to respond to disasters without addressing the root causes of those disasters and seeking to reduce the vulnerability of those who are intended to be beneficiaries of the aid.

1. The urgency of amassing significant resources requires rapid decision-making and logistical efficiency which are most often achieved by top-down management.

2. Expediency and the concern for saving lives takes priority over a broader focus of disaster vulnerability reduction.

3. Imported resources and relief assistance may undermine local markets and economic development.

4. Disaster assistance often exacerbates existing inequalities, further marginalizing women, vulnerable populations, and the poor.