Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Recovery to Resiliency for Internally Displaced Persons: Post-disaster Development Guidelines and Policy Recommendations
by Finnigan, Sarah Mercedes, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2013, 112; 10305888
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis presents the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement as the pivotal document that shapes international recognition and support for the fundamental rights and protections for persons displaced by complex, human-made and natural disasters. Since the debut of the Guiding Principles, the international community, governments, non-governmental organizations, United Nations (UN) agencies and non-profits have analyzed and identified gaps in protection and recognition of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Through international collaboration, a new approach to humanitarian response has transformed disaster response by following a ‘cluster approach’ that endeavors to engage multiple organizations and UN agencies.

The author supports and encourages the advancement towards a stronger network of international humanitarian responders, but reminds and reiterates that active community participation remains the key to successful humanitarian action throughout each phase of the disaster response cycle. She examines the three types of disasters that cause internal displacement: complex, human-made, and natural. She focuses discussion onto internal displacement by natural disasters, addressing humankind’s shared vulnerability to natural phenomena. The author coins the term ‘Humanitarian Action Cycle’ and identifies the roles and responsibilities of communities, governments and other responders within each phase of the cycle. She advocates for greater implementation of transition strategies as a means to move toward long-term recovery and development.

Reflecting on her experience working and volunteering for various community and international organizations, the author highlights challenges inherent to accessing and mobilizing affected communities to participate in preparedness, relief, early-recovery, and long-term recovery phases. She posits that communities must serve as participants throughout the Humanitarian Action Cycle to develop sustainable and resilient solutions for long-term recovery and to mitigate future devastation by disaster.

Developed from extensive research and analysis, the author presents a set of post-disaster development guidelines and policy recommendations as a guide for leaders and communities threatened by natural disasters and to support the placement and reintegration of those internally displaced by disasters.

disaster response/ internal displacement/ Humanitarian Action Cycle/ Guiding Principles/ community participation

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perry, Susan
School: The American University of Paris (France)
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Public policy
Keywords: Community participation, Disaster response, Guiding principles, Humanitarian action cycle, Internal displacement
Publication Number: 10305888
ISBN: 978-1-369-49452-5
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