Lessons learned for national state entities for recovery and reconstruction


What is the evidence on national state entities responsible for recovery and reconstruction programmes after natural disasters, in particular earthquakes?


Key indicative lessons learned for national state entities from the literature reviewed include:


  • Develop national recovery frameworks in advance of disasters.
  • Appoint a lead agency with a built-in end date, a clear legal mandate and an experienced politically aware leader.
  • Integrate the immediate humanitarian action into the government-coordinated recovery phase.
  • Fully engage all national and local state institutions, with responsibilities clearly articulated.
  • Institutionalise an empowering and inclusive participatory approach, and decentralised implementation.
  • Clarify the roles of international agencies from the outset


  • Adopt policy principles of build back better, converting adversity into opportunity and pro-poor recovery.
  • Support gender equality and mainstream gender-sensitive approaches.


  • Develop a national recovery vision and strategic and programmatic framework.
  • Set up government-led coordination mechanisms and continuously consult and communicate with national and international stakeholders.
  • Set up flexible national public finance management and pre-arranged procurement systems with accountability and transparency safeguards. Multi-donor trust funds can coordinate and manage risk and create a policy and coordination forum.

Programme management

  • Simplify standard implementation procedures, develop reconstruction standards and implement effective monitoring and evaluation systems.


Suggested citation

Carter, B. (2015). Lessons learned for national state entities for recovery and reconstruction. (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1254). Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.