Post-tsunami Reconstruction and Panchayats: Political Economy Barriers to Effective Implementation. Independent Consultant and Urban Environmental Specialist

  • Savitha Ram Mohan
Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)


This research chapter presents barriers to post-tsunami housing reconstruction in a developing country context specifically focused on the issues of peri-urban areas and villages located in coastal areas. This chapter can be used as a model to understand post-tsunami reconstruction issues in the Global South. It also presents institutional management and governance challenges that can significantly delay successful implementation of post-tsunami housing projects. India has been hit by a spate of natural disasters to include the Chennai floods of 2015 and the recent floods of Kerala of 2018 and therefore is extremely relevant to understand post-disaster reconstruction challenges.

The tsunami of 2004 affected 3,415,000 people in India alone, killing 2,75,000 persons in Southeast Asia. Although various levels of government and nongovernmental organizations participated in reconstruction, the maximum impact of the tsunami was on villages and therefore the traditional Panchayats (local governance institution). They were the lead organizations that had to make key decisions in post-disaster reconstruction. However, Panchayats faced with limited institutional capacity and experience were overwhelmed. This chapter aims to understand a. the specific role of Panchayats in post-tsunami reconstruction and assess their performance b. to identify the sociopolitical economy factors that affect Panchayats’s effectiveness in reconstruction program implementation c. to identify remedial measures to address the identified barriers and recommend performance improvement measures.


Post-tsunami reconstruction Inequity Global South Governance Political economy Panchayats India 


  1. Barenstein JD, Housing Reconstruction in Tamilnadu one year after Tsunami. Scoula Universatria Professionale della Suizzera Italiana, 2005, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  2. Chandran P (2004) Role of national disaster management system in the context of South Asia tsunami. World Bank Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  3. Gaonkar S (2004) Critical assessment of India’s disaster management system in response to the tsunami disaster of 2004. National Institute Disaster Management and World Bank Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  4. Gautham S, Katta Panchayats’ denying relief to women, 2007, India Together.
  5. Gomathy NB, Pattinavar Panchayats-II, Post-Tsunami Tri-Net Workshop, 2006Google Scholar
  6. Government of Tamilnadu, India Emergency Tsunami reconstruction project, Environmental and Social Assessment framework, TamilnaduGoogle Scholar
  7. Meduri A, Disaster Management Act, ICFAI University Press, ICFAI Journal of Environmental Economics, Vol. V, No.2, 2006Google Scholar
  8. National Consultation on Disaster Management, Chennai, 2005Google Scholar
  9. Raghunandan TR, Strengthening Grassroots Level Planning- policy and Institutional issuesGoogle Scholar
  10. South Asia Regional Knowledge Program Role of Panchayati Raj Institutions in Post-tsunami Reconstruction and Rehabilitation, 2005Google Scholar
  11. South Asia Regional Office, Project Appraisal Document on Karnataka Panchayats Strengthening Agriculture and Rural development, 2006, World BankGoogle Scholar
  12. World Bank, Asian Development Bank, India Post Tsunami Recovery Program, Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, 2005, New Delhi, IndiaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Savitha Ram Mohan
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent Researcher and Urban Environmental SpecialistBangaloreIndia

Personalised recommendations