Crisis management is part of the way national government or international organization responses toward a disaster. The disaster either natural or man-made is inevitable. It can happen anytime, anywhere, without selecting to whom it is going to be the victims. Unpredictable disasters, unexpected circumstances, unmanageable impacts, and uncounted losses are incorporated with the national government that has to deal with. It is needed for the government to identify administrative challenges posed by the disaster. Regarding the ongoing disaster nowadays, it is necessary to have the underlying framework on how the crisis management occur on national and international disaster response.
Disaster can have international, domestic, local, and organizational dimensions. Or it could mixture among all of them. Disaster can involve danger to the physical integrity of citizen and inflicting damage arbitrarily or selectively. Disaster can also emanate from a threat to employment and economic prosperity, the closing of a plant in a single-factory town, the closure of a mine in a coastal region, or the sudden drop of investment in a national economy.
Response toward a disaster depends highly on the typology of disaster itself. The typology is the following: first, disaster differs according to the object of the basic threat. Example includes the hijacking of national airplane by the separatist group, occupation of the government building by the hostile group, and the destruction of major urban infrastructure by earthquake. All of these objects of threat will create different concern within social, organizational, and political life.
Second, the domain of threat can be viewed in geographical term, within a certain organization or building, local, national, regional, and international. Threat domain may fluctuate due to spill over effects. The tsunami in Indian Ocean 2004 had diverse geographical effects since eleven countries have similar damages afterward. Domain of threat can also be categorized according to the extent of damage suffered. From this perspective, wars and large-scale disasters stand out quite prominently, although this partly depends on the size and culture the country involved.
Third, the origins of threat can be either endogenous or exogenous to the system affected. It may be difficult to fight the cause of a threat from without. Endogenous threat comes from inside the country and exogenous threat comes from outside the country. Both endogenous and exogenous origin of threats can bring tension and threaten organizational or political system. To respond on the exogenous origin of threat, sometimes it faces difficulties because it will face limitation, state border, and state sovereignty.
These typologies should be placed to see the characteristic of threat, as a tool to place disaster within a broader framework of similar events. On a dynamic view, the typology can be used to trace the development of disasters as it changed over times, taking on new dimension, posing a new decisional problem, and requiring different response strategies.
The clue on how the national government decision making toward the striking disaster relies on how disaster gives much spill over effects. When a serious threat exists to the social political system, the government has different point on evaluating the social and political system such as limited geographic areas, specific areas of economic activities, or specific population groups.
The necessity to respond the disaster sometime has been forgotten that threat toward social and political system will count as an immediate threat to be responded as long as threatened the persistence of social political system itself. There have been times that natural disasters have been seen not only as a punishment from God but also a meta-physical message that people might consider leaving the stricken area to the displaced camp.
The necessity of the government decision-making toward a disaster refers to the capabilities of elites, the political and bureaucratic authoritative in particular to respond to the challenge of serious threat. There is no logical requisite for the political and bureaucratic authoritative to get involve and there is no guarantee that their activities should result in effective disaster management.
The needed for promptness of government decision is inevitable. It is how the way to understand and to shape possible government decision making by the government authorities. However, sometimes the government authorities faces crisis in making decision. It is mostly caused by a transition from an external observation to engage in decision making to the authoritative perception that they have to make a critical decision at short notice.
Meanwhile, the crisis management to respond the striking disaster occurs on international organizations also. The clash of management between national and international bodies occurs when the striking disaster needed immediate response and had further geographic damages. The dynamic of crisis management on disaster response involves an examination in four dimensions. First, the administrative system confronted with the threat either local, national, regional level of government and even trans-national administrative structure that needed to be clarified. Examples includes major nuclear disaster may require for bilateral and multilateral coordination between national government as well as international bodies. Environmental calamities may transcend into trans-national borders. Natural and other disaster may call for major international assistance operations.
Second, the administrative level either local, national, regional, and international that eventually takes decision action and control the emergency response is important. Locally confined crises can give rise to the national or regional level of intervention. The possibility of intervention from many administrative levels resulted varies from the affected administration and the responded administration, lower versus higher-level administration, and also centralization versus decentralization government decision-making.
Third, the speed dimension of government intervention varies between the extreme of pre-emptive and delayed, need to be understood. Dominant governmental actors do not see immediate government intervention in some of the disasters as necessary. Decision makers do deliberately wait and see attitude, hoping to stay clear of any involvement.
Last but not least, the scope and strategy of government intervention closed versus open response modes, needed to be considered. A closed strategy entails a confined approach that minimizes the degree of external involvement, media attention, and public initiative. An open strategy is the opposite way of the closed one. It should be clear that the choices between an open and a closed strategy is not always left open.
Coordination and Relief-Reconstruction Complex Based on international humanitarian law, the national governments have primary responsibility for responding to natural disasters. Any bilateral or multilateral assistance can only be provided at the request of the affected government and must be coordinated through it. However, the centrality of national government in disaster response has two implications. First, it is related to the issue of sovereignty. Government guards their ability to act autonomously especially in domestic matters. Developing countries in particular are suspicious of interventions mobilized the so-called humanitarian purpose. Second, the major implication is the national capacity to respond to natural disasters. While under international humanitarian law, national government retains the duty to respond and the right to determine how response is organized. In some cases, many national governments may not have the organizational or logistical capacity to do.
Meanwhile, up until a few years ago, the aims of relief and reconstruction efforts were fairly simple: immediate physical relief of victims, reduction of social dislocation, restoration of a functioning social organization and reparation of physical infrastructure. However, the objectives of both disaster relief and post-conflict reconstruction have become more complex. The complexity of post disaster and post conflict reconstruction is termed as relief and reconstruction complex. It is a power structure that develops legitimizing ideologies, and accompanying the rise of relief and reconstruction complex. It is built on appeals to national and international security, neo-liberal economic and a bourgeoning, militant right based-humanitarianism.
The challenge on relief and reconstruction complex relies on the way the US took immediate response toward tsunami in eleven states bordering to Indian Ocean in 2004. The US had bypassed the UN by setting up a separate consortium, which was expected by many to coordinate, at least at the formal level, to the relief efforts. Similar movement has been taken by the World Bank to play a dominant role in the post tsunami reconstruction areas as the UN was placed in a subordinate role. The World Bank needed the tsunami reconstruction to refurbish its image as a disaster-management agency.
Perhaps because of its poor record on developing works then the World Bank began to devote more and more of its resources to disaster and reconstruction work, including in post conflict societies. Through various mechanisms such as the management of joint donor trust funds or transitional support strategy, the World Bank now plays a significant role in shaping the economic, social, and political climates in various countries in the world. It deployed the World Bank’ legitimate on its leading role in disaster relief efforts.
The existence of relief and reconstruction complex has been coloured with foreign contractors on the disaster affected areas. These infrastructures builders have been the recipients of hundreds of millions of dollars in bilateral and multilateral aids named notoriously disaster capitalism. Unsurprisingly, the role of NGOs or civil society organizations (CSO) has practically supplanted the government in provision of emergency services in many countries affected by tsunami. The prevailing of neo-liberal atmosphere has brought the basic perceptive that government is inefficient and private organizations are efficient from the economic to social sphere. It goes through the way the World Bank is channelling more supports to private entities like NGOs. (Emilia Yustiningrum)