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close this bookRehabilitation and Reconstruction - 1st Edition (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - Disaster Management Training Programme - United Nations Development Programme , 1993, 47 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentOverview
close this folderPart 1 - Scope of rehabilitation and reconstruction
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentNature of the disaster
View the documentScale of the damage
View the documentLocation of the event
View the documentSectors affected
View the documentLosses
View the documentResulting needs
View the documentAvailable resources
View the documentPolitical commitment
View the documentActors involved in the reconstruction
View the documentSummary
close this folderPart 2 - Relationship to other stages of disaster management
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMitigation into reconstruction
View the documentReconstruction and development
View the documentReconstruction and preparedness plans
View the documentEmergency relief into rehabilitation
View the documentSummary
close this folderPart 3 - Assumptions, dilemmas and guiding principles
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentDangerous Assumptions
View the documentDilemmas and alternatives
View the documentGuiding principles
View the documentSummary
View the documentGlossary


There are several erroneous assumptions made regarding post-disaster situations. These are:

- political support will be available when needed
- funding will last as long as required
- all actors in the process will think alike
- all agencies concerned will be competent to carry out required tasks
- physical recovery must precede economic and social recovery
- there is no trade-off between speed and quality of reconstruction
- codes and controls will be rigidly followed
- reconstruction is an isolated process from pre-disaster planning

There are dilemmas and alternatives which face post-disaster planners. Some of these are:

- survey quickly or survey accurately
- repair or rebuild
- rebuild quickly or rebuild safely
- rebuild or relocate
- respond quickly or invite wide participation
- create new organizations or rely on existing ones
- rely on public or private investment
- pursue physical reconstruction or economic reconstruction
- use local resources or imported resources

There are several guiding principles that can be distilled from experiences in rehabilitation and reconstruction activities:

- recovery planning should be broad in scope and fully integrated.
- a balance must be reached between conservatism and reform
- reconstruction must not be delayed
- economic recovery will stimulate physical recovery
- reconstruction offers opportunities to introduce mitigation measures
- relocation of entire communities usually fails
- recovery efforts can be therapeutic for individuals as well as communities
- effective recovery depends on adequate cash and credit
- reconstruction is closely linked to land tenure issues
- maximize use of local resources
- physical recovery is dependent on local institutions, training, and leadership
- political commitment is vital to recovery