East-West Center Receives $108,000 for Projects on Local Governance and Natural Disasters


HONOLULU (May 22, 2013) -- The East-West Center has received $108,000 from the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy to study how local governance mechanisms can be enhanced to address natural disasters more effectively. The ICLD grant of $108,000 will fund a collaborative research project to be conducted with partner institutions in Bangladesh and China, with EWC Senior Fellow G. Shabbir Cheema as Principal Investigator.

Flooding after a cyclone in Bangladesh.Bangladesh has some of the best disaster management practices in the region, incorporating support for proactive roles by local government and civil society.  China’s numerous NGOS provide critical support for areas affected by natural disasters, sometimes filling the gaps created by the restructuring of state enterprises.

The project will ultimately bring together leading scholars and experts for a Workshop on “Governance Capacity and Natural Disasters: Enhancing Preparedness, Response and Rebuilding.” The workshop will produce case studies of selected countries including China, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The cases will then be published in a book by Routledge Press, which along with a policy brief, will be disseminated globally and reach scholars and policymakers worldwide, distilling practical recommendations into an accessible and actionable format for policymakers.

The project will be undertaken in partnership with the University of Hawaii, which will provide an additional grant of $30,000 to support publication and workshop activities.