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International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 4 (2013) 92 99

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International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijdrr

Intra-governmental coordination for sustainable disaster recovery: A case-study of the Eden District Municipality, South Africa
Emmanuel Raju a,n, Dewald Van Niekerk b
a Training Regions Research Centre, Lund University Centre for Risk Assessment and Management, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, SE-221 00, Lund, Sweden b African Centre for Disaster Studies, North-West University, South Africa

a r t i c l e in f o
Article history: Received 12 November 2012 Received in revised form 28 February 2013 Accepted 2 March 2013 Available online 14 March 2013 Keywords: Intra-governmental coordination Sustainable disaster recovery South Africa

abstract
Post-disaster coordination is an essential aspect to achieve sustainable disaster recovery. However, to date, little attention has been paid to the subject of coordination in disaster recovery in comparison to response coordination. This study is an investigation into the factors affecting coordination for sustainable disaster recovery. It uses the case-study of Eden district Municipality in South Africa which has been continuously impacted by floods. The paper provides a background on disaster risk management, response and recovery in South Africa to understand the legal instruments available for coordination within the government. The study is structured around the theoretical themes of coordination within the public sector and sustainable disaster recovery. This paper also aims to make suggestions for coordinating sustainable disaster recovery. According to the respondents, the study highlights that (1) much attention paid to response oriented disaster risk management; (2) government departments working in independent silos; and (3) funding and political will are factors that affect coordination for sustainable disaster recovery. Though, the study is limited to a single case study, the results presented may be important considerations in other recovery settings. & 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Disaster response and recovery involves planning and coordinating with many jurisdictions and organisations [1]. Disaster response and recovery function within varied temporal and spatial scales. It is highlighted that lack of coordination between agencies is one perennial finding of post-disaster inquiries [2]. Coordinating disaster risk management and disaster recovery in this study not only brings multiple stakeholders together but also involves many different departments within a government who play a key role in all functions [3,4]. Such coordination must take cognisance of the fact that disasters vary in their geographical extent,

impact, scale and manageability. In planning and coordinating effective recovery after a disaster, it is normally a government that should lay the foundation for effective disaster risk reduction [5]. Many factors such as unplanned decision making, lack of adequate importance to local governance and participation, and the lack of participatory approaches have been identified as drawbacks for sustainable disaster recovery1 [6,7]. The complexity and diversity of these factors mentioned above as well as the interaction with many different types of actors being involved only begins to explain

Corresponding author. Mobile: 46 765629500. E-mail address: emmanuel.raju@lucram.lu.se (E. Raju).

1 Sustainable disaster recovery for this study is conceptualized as the process of restoring, rebuilding and reshaping the physical, social, economic, and natural environment [8]. It includes the entire process of pre-disaster planning and more importantly the activities undertaken after the disaster.

2212-4209/$ - see front matter & 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2013.03.001

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why there has been such neglect of disaster recovery in writing, policy and practice typically, until after a disaster happens [6]. One of the major contributions to the obstacles of a holistic recovery process is the absence of communication between various stakeholders and decision-makers [8,9] and a misinterpretation or understanding of the extent of the recovery process. Majority of the literature in the field of disaster coordination relates to coordination during response. The present study was identified to probe the aspects of intragovernmental coordination during disaster recovery. Given this context, the study explores coordination in disaster recovery between government departments in South Africa, and specifically focusses on the Eden District Municipality on the Cape south coast (Fig. 1). Following the floods in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in the local municipalities of Eden District, the study was designed to examine the factors that affect coordination during disaster recovery. This article thus aims to answer the following research question: What do stakeholders within the government express as factors affecting coordination between various departments for sustainable disaster recovery after repeated flooding from 2006 to 2008 in the Eden District Municipality in South Africa?

development and economic activities, tourism products and local institutions. One should be mindful that the Eden District and its local municipalities are all government entities and function within a certain legislative and policy framework for disaster risk reduction, response and recovery. The next section provides a brief account of the framework and legislation of operations for disaster risk management, response and recovery in South Africa.

3. A background on disaster risk management, response and recovery in South Africa Probably one of the most debated terms in disaster risk reduction remains the basic definition of a disaster. This also holds true for South Africa. Scholars [13,14] have expressed diverse views on the definition of a disaster. The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction [15] defines a disaster as: A serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, or environmental losses and impacts that exceeds the ability of affected community to cope using only its own resources. This definition holds true in the South African case. The declaration of a state of disaster is a legal process and invokes certain powers and functions (South Africa, 2002) that are decentralised to municipal level. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996, places a legal obligation on all spheres of the Government of South Africa to ensure the well-being of its people. It is therefore the duty of the Government to implement disaster risk reduction, response and recovery, and plan for issues such as climate change adaptation and mitigation to reduce the vulnerability of people, infrastructure and other national assets [16]. The primary responsibility for disaster risk reduction, response and recovery in South Africa, thus rests with Government.

2. Disasters in the Eden District Municipality The Western Cape region of South Africa is prone to different natural hazards such as wild fires, floods and droughts. Some of the major floods mentioned in Section 1 have collectively affected different parts of the District [10,11]. The floods occurring in the Eden District over the above periods had such a severe impact on the region that all were declared disasters (Table 1). In 2009, Eden District was again declared as a disaster area due to drought conditions. The research undertaken by Gouws et al. [12] highlights that flooding in this region impacts local

Fig. 1. Map of Western Cape and Eden District.

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Table 1 Affected local municipalities in Eden during the three consecutive floods. Year Affected municipality Estimated damage Almost 1000 people displaced with an estimated total loss of ZAR 479.2 million and ZAR 103.7 million municipal damage costs. Sheltering undertaken for almost 1500 displaced people. An estimated damage of ZAR 957.6 million and ZAR 305.5 million municipal damage costs. Road closures due to flooding isolated several hospitals. The floods impacted agriculture, and also reported one dead. An estimated damage of ZAR 996.0 million and ZAR 67.5 million municipal damage costs.

August 2006 Southern All the local municipalities, except Kannaland Cape floods All the local municipalities November 2007 Southern Cape floods November 2008 Cape Winelands floods Minor damages in Hessequa local municipality compared to the neighbouring districts

South Africa was one of the first African countries to comprehensively legislate disaster risk reduction [17] within the public sector [18]. In a process, which started in June 1994 (South Africa, 1998; South Africa, 1999) culminated in the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, and the National Disaster Management Policy Framework (NDMF) in 2005. This Act and policy facilitated a shift in traditional disaster response and management thinking, to that of disaster risk reduction [1922]. The Disaster Management Act (DMA) places a premium on the decentralisation (national, provincial and local) of disaster risk reduction activities with, a particular emphasis on intergovernmental cooperation [18]. Such decentralisation should occur across the three tiers of the Government and within its departments. The main thrust of the DMA and NDMF revolves around the creation of appropriate institutional arrangements for disaster risk reduction, response and recovery. It is argued [21,2328] that the ideals of disaster risk reduction cannot be achieved without structures to support the myriad of actions involved. Chapters 2 5 of the Disaster Management Act are dedicated to the inter-governmental (Chapter 2), national (Chapter 3), provincial (Chapter 4) and local (Chapter 5) arrangements for disaster risk management including response and recovery. Of particular interest in this research is the application and implementation of disaster risk reduction within the local government sphere2 of South Africa. Each town, city and rural area in South Africa has a different risk profile and therefore faces a variety of threats of varying magnitude. To implement the DMA and NDMF, the responsibility at local government level for disaster risk reduction falls on metropolitan (category A) and district (category C) municipalities. To this end, each district and metropolitan municipality must establish a number of statutory and physical structures to ensure that disaster risk reduction, response and recovery are coordinated and implemented. These are: a municipal disaster risk management plan as an

integrated part of the municipality's integrated development plan (Section 53 of the DMA, and the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000, Section 26(g)); a municipal disaster risk management policy framework (Section 42 of the DMA); a municipal disaster risk management centre (Section 43 of the DMA); a municipal disaster risk management advisory forum (Section 51 of the DMA) and; a municipal interdepartmental disaster risk management committee.

2 In South African context three types of municipalities exist namely metropolitan (category A), district (category C) and local municipalities (category B). District municipality commonly have a number (46) of local municipalities under its jurisdiction. Metropolitan municipalities, however, does not have local municipalities within its geographical boundaries and functions autonomously.

All the above discussion highlights the aim to facilitate inter-governmental cooperation. Local municipalities, however, are only required to develop a disaster risk management plan according to the requirement of the Municipal Systems Act and the DMA. Currently no other disaster risk reduction requirements are placed on local municipalities. All the above structures must be consistent with the provisions of the DMA, the NDMF, the relevant provincial disaster risk management framework, as well as the structures established in the other spheres of Government. Due to the structure of local government in South Africa, the DMA is quite specific on the interaction between metropolitan, district and local disaster risk management centres. District municipalities (category C) first need to consult with the local municipalities (category B) in their area of responsibility on the establishment and management of the above disaster risk reduction institutional arrangements (see Section 43 of the DMA). Although on operational level in terms of national policy implementation, the local sphere of government still has an obligation to ensure good, proper and accepted management practices through the development of strategic policies and plans for its own functionality [29]. District municipalities act as intermediaries between provinces and local municipalities for effective resource distribution and service delivery. The district municipality should therefore be the focal point around which disaster risk reduction, response and recovery is organised. The DMA does not, however, preclude any local municipality from establishing its own disaster risk reduction structures and engaging in sustainable recovery where the need arises. The only requirement placed on local municipalities is that all their actions (and that of the district) should be coordinated and should be done on a partnership basis.

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With this background of the South African legislation and coordinating mechanisms, the next section provides an understanding of the concept of coordination and its prominence for sustainable disaster recovery at large. Therefore, the study investigates into the nexus between the concepts of coordination and sustainable disaster recovery and thereby the factors affecting them.

4. Intra-governmental coordination for sustainable disaster recovery It is a universally agreed phenomenon that coordination and collaboration is crucial through the entire process of disaster risk management [3032]. Coordination is defined by Comfort [33] as aligning one's actions with those of other relevant actors and organizations to achieve a shared goal. Coordination between government departments therefore, involves having a common goal and working in collaboration with other actors. Adapting from the definitions of coordination by Comfort [33], Malone and Crowstone [34], and Hage et al., [35], this study conceptualizes publicpublic coordination (coordination between government departments), as a process of engaging in discussion and planning with inter-dependent government departments and agencies, maintaining adequate linkages, and aligning activities to achieve a common goal for sustainable disaster recovery. Coordi nation within the public sector is considered to be an old problem [36] as different organizations and agencies within the government are designed for a specific function [37] whereas all disaster risk reduction, response and recovery related activities are considered to be an additional function [38]. In this context, coordination implies having adequate linkages among organizational parts [35]. Coordinating disaster recovery is one such process that requires communication and participation from many departments within the government. Research on governmental coordination shows that complex issues which do not fit neatly within a department portfolio, or span the interests of several departments, tend to be neglected [39]. Coordination between entities corresponds to activities that cannot be undertaken in isolation from one another and the multiple actors involved have at least partially differing values; usually no single individual or organization can control the process [40]. However, Kraak [41] notes that horizontal coordination between entities that are not in any hierarchical relationship, has not been very successful in South Africa. This observation by Kraak varies from the concept of coordination as working patterns, and planning for activities are different within government departments. What makes this concept important is that a complex partnership with multiple institutions requires coordination to ensure that timing; quality and resources are on schedule [42]. The writing of Berke et al., [43] on the need to investigate institutional arrangements that affect disaster recovery is being reiterated in this present study. However, it is also known that recovery is not a linear process but needs to encompass myriad complexities of various temporal and spatial scales [44,45].

Sustainability in general is a process that needs to be carefully thought about, deliberated over and eventually implemented [46]. Llyod-Jones [47] highlights that despite huge improvements in the emergency response to natural disasters, permanent reconstruction is often inefficiently managed, uncoordinated and slow to get off the ground. A key principle to sustainability in disaster recovery involves taking a comprehensive integrated approach, giving importance to stakeholder participation in the process [8,48]. One among the many factors that contributes to success in sustainable disaster recovery is dependent on how effectively many different sets of organizational relationships are able to be coordinated and managed [6]. It is highlighted that the failure to involve a wide range of stakeholders and poor decision-making in disaster recovery leads to more damaging disasters [49]. Participation from various departments and lack of communication between these departments has been identified as an obstacle to sustainable disaster recovery [8]. However, disaster recovery remains an under-researched area [49]. The literature search and review for this study also highlighted sparse research in coordination for sustainable disaster recovery in particular. This may be attributed to the immense attention given to postdisaster relief, and therefore provide little attention to long-term recovery, or at best the ensuing of a fragmented approach [47]. Therefore, the present study is justified as an attempt to investigate the factors affecting coordination in the complex recovery process. 5. Research methodology This study used a case study research methodology. This methodology helped in gathering real-life experiences that contributed to answering the research question. The case-study method suited the aims of this study, given the specific context within Eden District to investigate the phenomenon of coordination [50]. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to gather data. The Eden District Municipality was selected due to its proneness to flooding in the past decade as highlighted above. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted in the Eden District Municipality in November 2010. The sample was designed to have a geographic representation from all the local municipalities in the the Eden District. The respondents were purposively sampled based on their ability to provide information about disaster recovery coordination in their respective municipality drawing on their experience. The respondents were government officials from various departments involved in disaster risk management activities. The interviews consisted of open questions on the subject to help in bringing out the knowledge from the interviewee based on their field experiences [51]. The broad questions which guided the research covered the following aspects: the role of coordination in disaster recovery; the experiences of the respondents in working with other stakeholders from different government departments engaged in disaster recovery activities; and challenges to coordination in disaster recovery. The

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key semi-structured questions guiding the interviews were as follows: What has been your experience in coordination during disaster recovery after the recent floods? How does coordination unfold from disaster response to recovery? What are the key challenges you encounter in coordinating with other departments in the recovery process? The interviews were transcribed and coded for extracting relevant information on the questions that guided the interviews. The analysis of the transcribed interviews was done keeping in mind the theoretical understanding of coordination and the key issues highlighted in literature. The analysis was also guided by identifying common patterns of information from each interview in comparison to other interviews [50]. The analysis highlighted key themes in coordination between government departments in disaster recovery. The common themes are presented as different factors affecting coordination for sustainable disaster recovery. 6. Empirical ndings The qualitative findings that answer the research question are presented as three dominant categories that emerged from the data analysis. 6.1. Response oriented disaster risk management Ten of the respondents indicated that disaster recovery coordination does not receive as much priority and attention as disaster response. The respondents highlighted that disaster response continues to be the perceived responsibility of the local fire departments. Among them, according to three of the respondents, the training of the officials involved in disaster risk management is very reactionary in nature. Thus most of the attention is given to disaster response. After disaster response, different departments pool resources to plan for recovery. The joint operation centre (JOC) formed during disaster response is dissolved with the transition from response management to longterm recovery and development/re-development activities. Many of the respondents commented that the activities undertaken during transition from response to recovery are unplanned and done on a random basis differing with each department. This is also clear by one the respondents' remarks: a shortcoming, from my personal experience is that, after a disaster there is never any debriefing. So we say the disaster happened, every person was at the JOC, the line function ran effectively, the disaster was handled but that is where it ends. There is never a debriefing that brings up possible mistakes that were made, and we have to learn from these mistakes. Majority of the respondents at different municipalities highlighted the lack of debriefing sessions after disaster response at the local level, which in turn contributed to the problem of transition from response to recovery. All the respondents identified lack of training and capacities in disaster risk management as a challenge to understand the importance of coordination for designing recovery effectively. The reactionary form of disaster response is identified as a factor that undermines the

importance for recovery coordination. The respondents emphasized that during disaster response, long-term recovery goals are not considered. Although, they are different in time scales, actions during disaster response have impacts for disaster recovery. Also, respondents raised concern about the lack of capacities in disaster risk management as a challenge to coordinate. 6.2. Working across department line functions According to all the respondents, the inconsistency in coordinating for sustainable disaster recovery arises due to the fact that departments do not work in consultation with allied stakeholders involved in recovery activities. One of the respondents used an example where the social welfare and development department is concerned with social issues facing communities being affected by flooding, while the engineering groups are focused on assessing damage to physical infrastructure and rebuilding it. The social welfare department tends to involve only in the response activities. As many as eight of the respondents highlighted that there is no coordination in planning for recovery activities as the departments involved plan for their respective role independently. At the local government level, all the respondents indicated that all the departments work in separate groups or silos. The district head of disaster risk management noted that, in the ideal world, the disaster risk management coordinators and professionals have to be part of the Integrated Development Planning (IDP) meetings, which takes place at district, local and metropolitan municipality level (see Footnote 2 on the various types of municipalities in South Africa). According to him, the IDP meetings are crucial as they are the guide for the future development of the municipality in South Africa. The majority of the respondents highlighted that there were no coordination meetings held at the local municipality level. Therefore, rebuilding after every disaster without proper planning and coordination with all the other departments involved in various activities has contributed to repeated damages in the past three years. The majority of the respondents, as many as nine of them, highlighted that their roles in their concerned departments are highly specialized and pertains to a specific job role. Though disaster risk management requires an integrated approach, they explain that disasters are always considered as single events. The government departments see disaster risk management as only an add-on function to their routine work and responsibilities. Involvement of other stakeholders in engineering planning during disaster recovery has been absent. From the majority of interviews, it was noted that the value and expertise of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society is not utilized to its full capacity. In the words of one of the respondents, NGOs work closely with communities being affected and they can be used to highlight important issues. Only two of the respondents highlighted the value and the importance of civil society. Pooling in the expertise of NGOs and civil society for disaster risk management was identified as a challenge in the process of coordination. As presented above, a

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majority of the respondents at the local municipalities identified that there has not been much initiative to bring in the expertise of NGOs and civil society. They explained that the role of retired academic professionals, engineers, NGOs etc. can be immense in contributing to the disaster recovery planning. Respondents also identified that very rarely there has been a joint evaluation of disaster recovery activities in the affected regions. By this, the respondents identify that joint evaluation of disaster recovery after any flood will contribute to effective coordination as the same damages have been occurring many times. Such an evaluation may contribute to planning for a sustainable recovery agenda. These, according to the respondents, can be contributing factors for departments to be working in their own silos. 6.3. Funding and political will Though the majority of the respondents, as many as eight of them identified funding as a problem, one of the respondents notes that funding is not the major challenge but is part of the problem. Another respondent identified the reason for the challenge as government departments being unaware of the route to secure funding for disaster recovery operations. Among the eight respondents, many of them also described that the process to secure funding post-disaster is lengthy. Also, while implementing recovery initiatives for one flood, another flood has stricken the region. Political will was identified as another key challenge for sustainable recovery coordination. The interest of decision-makers within the government has been identified by all the respondents as a concern, highlighting the negligence of the political community to invest time and money in disaster recovery coordination between departments and in disaster risk management in general. These respondents also identified that the majority of the investment is directed towards response management. Also, they added that long-term sustainable recovery does get priority and therefore, simultaneously coordination during recovery does not get priority. Further, thinking beyond yesterday to design differently for the future was considered to be absent, given the lack of political will at the higher level and the same at the implementation level. Eight of the respondents also highlighted that the concerned government departments rebuild the same way as before the disaster giving no room for coordination and discussion between departments. Respondents attributed this lack of coordination to an absence of communication between departments during disaster recovery. According to the respondents, from past initiatives, lessons have been learned that rebuilding the same way rebuilds existing vulnerability. However, they consider this realization as a very slow process. 7. Discussion As the region was in a drought situation during the time of data collection, it was a challenge to keep the interviews focused towards the flood recovery. During the interviews, the researcher had to constantly highlight

flood recovery and as different from droughts. The respondents always commented about the coordination that was taking place to manage the drought. The respondents commented that there was time to plan for coordination during droughts, whereas they highlight that it was different during flood recovery. The findings and discussion presented in this paper are focussed on flood recovery keeping in mind the research question. The findings indicate that all the government officials who responded to the study highlight the lack of coordination during recovery and highlighted the importance of coordination for effective recovery. However, there is not much effort shown in coordinating with different departments involved in recovery. The findings also add that disaster response management takes precedence over recovery. The study also indicates that coordination during recovery is not much thought or spoken of after the consecutive floods over the three years being studied. There has been an initiative from the Eden District Municipality to bring these departments to the coordination meetings for long-term recovery. Though the legislation presented in Section 3, argues for a coordinated approach at the local municipality level, the results indicate that not much interest and positive response for coordination has been shown from the departments. The reactionary mode of training in disaster response management has created an unimportant role for coordination during recovery. This has also been highlighted with the lack of capacities and training for planning and implementing sustainable recovery projects. The findings highlight that coordination is affected by the lack of communication between various departments involved in disaster recovery. One of the reasons for this problem of coordination and lack of communication stems from the argument that disaster recovery is not considered a priority function by any of these departments. In normal conditions of planning and development, disaster risk management is not a priority. Therefore, during disaster recovery rebuilding is considered to be a normal and simple procedure without emphasizing the role of other departments and interdependencies that recovery entails. However, a small minority acknowledge the efforts of the Eden district's disaster risk management authorities aiming for a coordinated sustainable disaster recovery. This process of understanding the importance of coordination during recovery has been very slow for various government departments. In reality, according to the findings there is lack of communication and exchange of information about activities and planning for sustainable disaster recovery and management. The example provided in Section 6.2 in the second finding about rebuilding after the 2007 floods prove the case for uncoordinated planning during recovery. Ideally, disaster recovery should be considered as a platform for various stakeholders to plan for addressing vulnerabilities of various forms [52] and integrate into development planning [53,54]. However, the lack of communication not only hampers coordination between government departments for recovery but also is a setback for mainstreaming disaster recovery into development. Disaster recovery is not a linear function [8] and cannot be undertaken as an independent activity by one

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department or as independent activities by many departments. This implies that disaster recovery involves various departments and organizations for effective outcome and thereby creating a need for recovery coordination. The challenge of securing funding lies mostly within the government departments due to the bureaucratic procedures on one hand and due to the lack of procedural knowledge of securing the funding on the other [55]. As highlighted above, government departments have been continuously rebuilding as a routine process after every disaster. This has been highlighted as a major challenge for designing recovery projects in a coordinated manner as different from the past. With issues of securing funding for recovery, it becomes challenging to allocate budgets for intangible processes like coordination. However, given the importance of coordination as a required tenet for designing recovery, government departments have not taken the lead to work towards it. This study underlines the importance to establish the linkages for publicpublic partnership for effective and sustainable disaster recovery coordination. The challenges highlighted in the study are further contributed by the lack of political will to invest time, money and effort for disaster recovery coordination. The political willingness and interest in disaster risk management at large seems to lay only in the response management activities immediately after a disaster. In the long run, disaster recovery has been ignored as an initiative that has to be mainstreamed with development. This poor understanding of recovery has seen that departments continue to work in their silos and rebuild the damages according to their previous status before the disaster. Therefore, the role and purpose of coordination as an important function and process may have to be reiterated for sustainable disaster recovery.

Municipalities must focus on capacity development initiatives for government officials and politicians to facilitate a better understanding of the role and function of coordinating disaster response, recovery and its relation to disaster risk reduction as a cross-cutting issue. The municipalities must work towards the creation of a culture of safety through awareness building and advocacy programmes during disaster recovery. Municipality must include sustainable disaster recovery in their contingency-, disaster risk managementand integrated development plans. Communication between government departments must be improved through regular meetings and joint planning exercises to facilitate sustainable disaster recovery. Debriefings and post-disaster evaluations must be planned and held as part of the transition from disaster response to sustainable disaster recovery, involving all relevant role-players. More emphasis must be placed on integrated interdepartmental planning and cooperation for disaster recovery through the appropriate disaster risk management structures in the municipality. The municipalities must work closer with civil society to ensure better planning and actions when needed. National government must spell out the process of postdisaster funding application and allocation of funds.

Acknowledgements Thanks to Christo Coetzee and other staff at African Centre for Disaster Studies (ACDS) for their support while conducting this study. References

8. Conclusion and recommendations The study illustrates that coordination between government departments for sustainable disaster recovery is a complex process and raises key challenges. The study indicates that challenges involve issues related to funding; designing recovery programs; using expertise of civil society; lack of capacities; and political will for coordinated sustainable disaster recovery. Though the study is limited to a single case-study, the results presented may be important considerations in other recovery settings. The key findings affecting disaster recovery coordination reiterate that disaster response has been taking more prominence and that government departments have been working independently in their silos. From the conceptualised definition of coordination for this study, the important elements of linkages between government departments and aligning activities of inter-dependent departments seem to be crucial in achieving sustainable disaster recovery. The study also highlights the need to structure disaster recovery with a common goal for the various departments involved and simultaneously align their activities with others to achieve greater degree of coordination. Therefore the following suggestions can be made:

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