Disaster event: Window of opportunity to implement global disaster policies?26 November 2013
Disasters have been predominantly construed as destructive events causing loss of lives, livelihoods and hard-won development. Much less attention has been paid to the constructive nature of disasters as creating potential windows of opportunities to address the overlooked and neglected aspects of disaster risk reduction. Using material from Zimbabwe, this article examines whether the humanitarian crisis, as manifested in the cholera disaster of 2008–2009, created a window of opportunity to accelerate the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action. The findings suggest that the humanitarian crisis did not necessarily create a window of opportunity to accelerate the implementation of the framework, owing to (1) inadequate authority and power of the agency responsible for disaster risk reduction, (2) an inadequate legal and institutional framework that outlines clear coordination, accountability mechanisms, resource mobilisation, community participation, and integration of development with regard to disaster risk reduction and (3) a lack of an integrated evidence-based approach to advocate disaster risk reduction in Zimbabwe.