Technical Assistance for Post-disaster Recovery

Question

Identify literature on the role of international technical assistance and capacity building programmes in supporting long term recovery in post-natural disaster environments including coordination with disaster relief efforts. Highlight the implications for donor programming in such contexts.

Summary

There is a paucity of literature making explicit recommendations for technical assistance to support long-term recovery in post-disaster conflicts. Nevertheless, much of the criticism leveled against TA is the same as that leveled against early recovery interventions, including:

  • the fact that TA remains largely supply-driven
  • a low level of ownership and involvement on the part of partner countries
  • the use of management systems created outside the national civil service
  • weak procedures for identifying needs and for planning and designing technical cooperation support
  • insufficient analysis of national contexts and underlying capacity constraint
  • insufficient attention to ensuring that TA personnel have the necessary skills and profiles
  • weak integration and coordination with national development strategies.

Some of the general recommendations made in the early recovery literature could be seen to have a bearing on technical assistance, including the need to:

  • conduct capacity and needs assessments
  • ensure that early recovery interventions are context specific
  • ensure national ownership and that external technical assistance complements existing capacities
  • develop capacities for relationship building
  • maximize synergies among different actors
  • strengthen capacities for disaster risk management and reduction
  • ensure integration of cross-cutting issues
  • employ participatory monitoring and evaluation techniques.