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close this bookDisaster Management Ethics - Trainer's Guide - 1st Edition (Disaster Management Training Programme, 104 p.)
close this folderTOPIC 5: Disaster declaration and response
View the document(introduction...)
View the document54. Introduction
View the document55. Ethical issues
View the document56. Ethical Issue #1
View the document57. Ethical Issue #2
View the document58. Ethical Issue #3
View the document59. Ethical Issue #4
View the document60. Ethical Issue #5
View the document61. Ethical Issue #6
View the document62. Ethical Issue #7
View the document63. Deliberating ethical issues
View the document64. Factors influencing ethical deliberations
View the document65. Summary

56. Ethical Issue #1


Balancing disaster survivors' abilities, resources and strengths with their needs

Indicate that one frequent issue is that of finding the balance between recognizing disaster survivors' abilities, resources and strengths AND the need for support and assistance. For example, encouraging community organizing and the development of local advocacy and response efforts is a laudable long-term objective in any development effort. However, in the context of disaster, a community may be ill-prepared or unable to organize advocacy efforts. Government and international assistance providers may be required to intervene and import resources in order to respond to critical need, alleviate human suffering, and end a crisis. On the other hand, the involvement of disaster survivors and utilization of local resources is essential to effective recovery and long-term development. Ask participants to offer examples from their experience or knowledge where humanitarian assistance providers have had to sort out ethical issues as they have sought to balance these two disaster response strategies.


"It is unethical... to let empowerment stand in the way of timely, effective disaster response that often must be facilitated from the outside."