A political economy analysis of decision-making on natural disaster preparedness in Kenya

Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies

Field Value
Title A political economy analysis of decision-making on natural disaster preparedness in Kenya
Creator Rono-Bett, Karen C.
Subject disaster management; disaster preparedness political economy; no-regrets investments; non-events; El Niño; government decision-makers; disaster preparedness
Description Most deaths from natural disasters occur in low- or middle-income countries; among them, countries in the Horn of Africa – where Kenya lies. Between September 2015 and September 2016, 23.4 million people in this region faced food insecurity because of the 2015 El Niño, characterised by floods and droughts. The importance of effective government decision-making on preparedness and response are critical to saving lives during such disasters. But this decision-making process occurs in a political context which is marred by uncertainty with other factors at play. Yet, good practice requires making investments on a ‘no-regrets’ basis. This article looks at the factors influencing Kenya’s decision-making process for natural disasters, the preparedness for the 2015 El Niño as a case study. I explored what stakeholders understand by ‘no-regrets investments’ and its application. I assessed financial allocations by government and donors to disaster preparedness. Based on key informant interviews, focus group discussions and financial analyses, this article presents evidence at national and subnational levels. The findings indicate that in making decisions relating to preparedness, the government seeks information primarily from sources it trusts – other government departments, its communities and the media. With no existing legal frameworks guiding Kenya’s disaster preparedness, the coordination of preparedness is not strong. It appears that there is a lack of political will to prioritise these frameworks. The no-regrets approach is applied predominantly by non-state actors. Because there have been ‘non-events’ in the past, government has become overcautious in committing resources on a no-regrets basis. Government allocation to preparedness exceeds donor funding by almost tenfold.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor Department for International Development (DFID)
Date 2018-04-12
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Key informant interviews; literature review; financial analysis
Format text/html application/epub+zip application/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/jamba.v10i1.497
Source Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies; Vol 10, No 1 (2018); 8 pages 2072-845X 1996-1421
Language eng
Relation https://jamba.org.za/index.php/jamba/article/view/497/857 https://jamba.org.za/index.php/jamba/article/view/497/856 https://jamba.org.za/index.php/jamba/article/view/497/858 https://jamba.org.za/index.php/jamba/article/view/497/842
Coverage Kenya — —
Rights Copyright (c) 2018 Karen C. Rono-Bett https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0