Sridarran, Pournima (2018) A Framework to Enhance Post-Disaster Resettlement Process Through Adaptable Built Environment in Sri Lanka. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The ‘global refugee crisis’ has captured much of the world’s attention in recent decades and has thus led to several consequent declarations of policy and policy changes. However, a rising number of internal displacements are occurring around the world each year without attracting much attention. As a result, resettlements are implemented by the concerned entities, particularly in the developing countries, in order to diminish the impact of the crisis. Nevertheless, large-scale resettlement schemes have often been criticised for their inability to meet the long-term aspiration of the communities. Accordingly, this research seeks to explore the potentials of an adaptable built environment to resolve the issue.

This research inquires the available institutional arrangements, namely the top-down approach and the bottom-up approach, to provide affordable solutions. Thus, attempt is made to propose a framework to enhance the ‘post-disaster recovery’ process, by identifying the gaps in the resettlement and proposing steps to resolve built-environment related issues within disaster-induced resettlements. As selection of a specific developing country would permit an in-depth understanding of the process of resettlement, Sri Lanka was selected for the proposed purpose of this research.

This study adopts a concurrent nested mixed method that follows a survey within a case study. The case study and the survey data were collected simultaneously in Sri Lanka from June 2016 to August 2016. The collected qualitative data was analysed using a template analysis technique to identify themes and patterns. The quantitative data was further analysed using the factor analysis technique in order to understand the underlying concepts.

The results show that the resettlement process in Sri Lanka has improved considerably since the time of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Nevertheless, some gaps exist in current procedures, that arise from the top-down approach, besides issues inherent to such approach. Further, it was found that the involvement of the communities in the resettlement process has been minimal, and the expectations, needs, and obstacles of the communities are rarely addressed. Cross-case analysis showed that the needs and expectations of the communities vary with specific parameters such as type of disaster, involvement of host community, phase of resettlement, involvement of displacement, and voluntariness for the resettlement. The analysis further showed that several of the empirical findings replicate the findings in similar contexts reported in the literature for other developing countries.

The framework produced in the course of the study and presented at the end of the thesis is intended to enable the arrival at plausible means to overcome the gaps in the resettlement process and the outcomes. The proposed framework is expected to benefit governments, policymakers and academics to overcome process-related and outcomerelated issues that lead to resettlement failure. It is also expected to benefit funding bodies and non-governmental organisations to determine the best practices for fund allocation and resettlement design in future programmes.

Pournima Sridarran FINAL THESIS.PDF - Accepted Version
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