© 2018

The Asian Tsunami and Post-Disaster Aid

  • Sunita Reddy
  • Addresses accountability, conduct, delivery, effectiveness, and ethics of aid in a decade-long rehabilitation after the Asian tsunami

  • Reviews the current paradigms of relief, recovery, and rehabilitation

  • Includes critiques of taken-for-granted concepts in post-disaster discourse


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxix
  2. Aid, Conflict and Differential Distribution

  3. Build Back Better? Relief Materials, Livelihoods, Shelters and Discontentment

  4. Coping Strategies, Systems and Aid Effectiveness

About this book


Through the lens of the Asian tsunami, this book problematizes concepts that are normally taken for granted in disaster discourse, including relief, recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation. The unprecedented flow of humanitarian aid after the Asian tsunami, though well-intentioned, showed adverse effects and unintended consequences in the lives of people in the communities across nations. Aid led not only to widespread relief and recovery but also to an exacerbation of old forms of inequities and the creation of new ones arising from the prioritization, distribution and management of aid. This, in turn, led to the incongruity between the needs and expectations of the affected and the agendas of aid agencies and their various intermediaries. This book examines the long-term consequences of post-disaster aid by posing the following questions: What has the aid been expended on? Where has the aid primarily been expended, and how? And what were the unintended consequences of post-disaster aid for the communities? 

This topical volume is of interest to social scientists, human rights and law researchers and environmental scientists interested in disaster studies.


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Editors and affiliations

  • Sunita Reddy
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health and Adjunct Faculty at the Special Centre for Disaster ResearchJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

About the editors

Sunita Reddy is Associate Professor at the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi. She is an anthropologist specialized in medical anthropology, and teaches public health in JNU. She has researched various issues related to health, violence against women and children, migrant women workers in construction and domestic sectors, medical tourism, surrogacy, and has published various research papers in national and international journals. She has delivered lectures in many Indian and foreign universities for the past two decades. She has also done research on disaster issues from a social science perspective and published a book Clash of Waves: Post-Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation in Andaman and Nicobar Islands (2013). She has been in the core group on the formulation of guidelines on disasters in India, and is also a core group member in starting the Special Center for Disaster Research (SCDR) in JNU. She is coeditor of Marginalization in Globalizing Delhi: Land, Livelihoods and Health (2017, Springer). She is a founder member of ‘Anthropos India Foundation’, a trust that promotes visual and action anthropology ( She is active in sports, co-curricular activities and is involved in social service through a community-based organization called ‘SATAT’.

Bibliographic information


“This book will prove to be an important resource for scholars and practitioners alike. Scholars trying to understand the complexity of post-disaster recovery will derive great insights from the book, and the practitioners would be warned of the pitfalls of an inadequately conceived and hurried reconstruction programe.” (Kamal Kishore, Current Science, Vol. 116 (9), 2019)