MALAYSIA COMMUNITY RESILIENCE FRAMEWORK (MY-CREF)
BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT
Malaysia has experienced various types of disasters in the last 50 years. Besides natural disasters such as floods (monsoonal and flash floods), landslides, mudslides, earthquakes (especially in Sabah) and tsunami in 2004, Malaysia has also experienced man-made disasters such as fires and explosions, vehicle accidents, haze including transboundary haze and others. In almost all episodes of the disasters, the government has played a major role, starting from the formulation of the policy for disasters, disaster preparedness, community rescue and relief efforts, and redevelopment of the affected areas (Sobian, 2016).
There are several international guidelines for engaging the community in disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Malaysia. The two most important documents related to public participation in Malaysia DRR are the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA) and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR). Both documents recognize the role of the community in DRR.
In terms of community participation, HFA states that “adoption of specific policies, the promotion of networking, the strategic management of volunteer resources, the attribution of roles and responsibilities, and the delegation and provision of the necessary authority and resources” should be given due attention. Therefore, on top of the above mentioned two documents in Malaysia, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the management of disaster as well as DRR is governed by the National Security Council Directive 20 (NSC 20). The document provides policy guidelines on Disaster Management (DM) and was developed in 1997. It generally states the role and responsibilities of various agencies, at district, state and national levels, in DM (Sobian, 2016).
When disaster strikes, public or community is the first responder and they play in the continuum of disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Sutton and Tierney (2006) defined community as a social unit that may or may not be contiguous with a local jurisdiction; the boundaries of a community may be presented by neighbourhoods with a common ethnicity, interest-based association or other social groups. Meanwhile, the Red Cross and Red Crescent recognize the richness of the term “community” and appreciate that communities exist in many shapes and forms. For example the term “community”: (1) often refers to a group of people that live in a defined geographical area; (2) is often a group of people who share a common culture, values and norms and who are arranged according to a social structure that has evolved over time; (3) might refer to a group at the local, national or international level; and (4) may describe a group of people that come together because of specific or broad interests (IFRC, 2014). In Malaysia, a community can also be defined in different perspectives such as a place of living, a common interest and attitude or a social grouping basis and in fact, it is also be recognized based on religious or faith (Faith-Based Organisation-FBO) (Sobian, 2016).
For this proposal, the IFRC (2014) definition on the community will be referred to as a working definition for “community”. It is “a group of people who may or may not live within the same area, village or neighbourhood, share a similar culture, habits and resources. Communities are groups of people also exposed to the same threats and risks such as disease, political and economic issues and natural disasters”. UK Cabinet Office (2016) added that the concept of communities also consists of individuals and businesses, and sometimes a business is also a community and community themselves are the first responders when disasters strike. The resilience of individuals, communities and businesses contributes to the wider community’s resilience, which in turn contributes to wider national resilience – Malaysia.
In the last decade, resilience has evolved from a specialist term used largely in materials science and environmental studies to become a concept employed frequently and passionately by policy-makers, practitioners and academics in various disciplines. The concept has become embedded in laws, government, doctrines, and plans, and universities across the world have established resilience centres, institutes, and research programs (AIFS, 2012). The concept of resilience originates from the field of ecology in the 1970s and has since been adopted by many disciplines including sociology, economics and psychology (Mayunga, 2008).
It typically relates to the ability of systems to respond and adapt effectively to changing circumstances. The resilience of communities (which includes safety) is an emerging field that has resulted in a significant increase in the subject literature over recent years (IFRC, 2014). In a simple term, IFRC (2014) defined resilience as the ability of systems (and people) to effectively respond and adapt to changing circumstances and to develop skills, capacities, behaviours and actions to deal with adversity – ‘resilience’ can be described as a process of adaptation before, during and after an adverse event.
MOBILISE project discovered that a number of experts, particularly practitioners, feel increasingly overwhelmed by a large number of resilience frameworks that are being developed on a regular basis, with many being developed in isolation (Twigg, 2009, Tyler et al., 2014). Despite this difficulty, a number of well-known studies like Bruneau and Reinhorn (2007), and Cutter et al. (2011) have proposed conceptual frameworks for measuring resilience that has been applied in case studies but these have largely used a static indicator that is a single value calculated over the duration of the disaster (Simonovic 2016). Beccari (2016), in his extensive review of resilience indicators, has drawn attention to two key limitations of these frameworks: (1) that they have a low use of direct measures of disaster resilience and largely depend on indirect measures, and (2) the low use of sensitivity and uncertainty analysis in their results limiting the explanatory power of these tools. This has led practitioners to criticize these frameworks as not “fit-for-purpose” on the basis of being difficult to implement, of being complex, data-intensive and resulting in measures of low policy relevance (Beccari, 2016).
In Malaysia the context and concept of community resilience is still at infancy. The similar issues were claimed by Sobian (2016) by mentioning that the absence of support and understanding of local community towards disaster risk and preparedness emerged in Malaysia. This could ruin Malaysia’s short-term, long-term and ad-hoc DRR strategies and efforts. In fact, in many instances, the role of local communities in Malaysia’s disaster preparedness is somewhat invisible (Sobian, 2016). These statements are later agreed by Chong et. al., (2018) by saying that there are gaps in its DRR implementation due to lack of understanding of resilient community concept and suitable community-based approach in promoting a community resilience spirit towards disaster.
Reducing the risk and impact of the disaster (DRR) therefore requires various efforts to prepare and empower the community through the implementation of an efficient DRR initiative. It is crucial for Malaysian community to be equipped with knowledge, socially cohesive, well-maintained, having accessible infrastructures and services, connected and being managed efficiently in each cycle of DM (pre-disaster, during disaster and post-disaster). The more resilient the community means they are ready to act on it in case the unthinkable happens.
The ultimate aim of this proposal is, therefore, to share a common understanding and narrative on the efforts of DMOs when the disaster occurs. In the meantime, it is expected that it would be able to identify interconnected factors that make Malaysia community resilience (e.g., physical, human, financial, natural and social aspects of life) in relation to Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR). The resilient criteria of the Malaysian community in relation to CBDRR based on three types of disasters, earthquake, flood and landslides will also be identified by the team.
For us the Malaysia team, it is never too late for Malaysian scholars to research for a comprehensive Malaysia Community Resilience Framework (MY-CREF). This effort would be the first and can later be used as a holistic source of reference, even though the scale of funding for this proposal is small. Realistically, it can provide the team with pre-identification of the existing body of knowledge on how resilient the community in Malaysia in dealing with disaster event which later that can be used together for achieving the main objectives of MOBILISE research project.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
- To identify the commitment of Malaysian government in managing disaster through Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR);
- To recognize interests, strategies, agency relationships and internal power relations of the major Disaster Management Organization (DMOs) in relation to Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR);
- To discover existing Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) models/initiatives being practiced by major Disaster Management Organization (DMOs);
- To identify interconnected factors that make Malaysia community resilience (e.g., physical, human, financial, natural and social aspects of life) in relation to Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR); and
- To assess criteria of resilient community in Malaysia in relation to Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR).
The literature review will be based on the below theoretical components (Theoretical Review – TR) and this will be conducted by the Research Assistant 3 (Will be appointed July until September 2018).
METHODOLOGY, METHODS & SAMPLING
TR – Theoretical Review (TR) will be carried out by the Research Assistant 3 (RA3).
Three disaster-affected areas will be chosen at three states as below:
- Earthquake – Sabah;
- Flood – Kelantan; and
- Landslides – Selangor.
A purely qualitative approach based on the following identified research methods:
- Content Analysis (CA-OPD)
- Key policy documents published by DMOs in Malaysia.
- OPD – Official Key Policy Documents
- Secondary data
- Assessment Day Interview (ADI-CL)
- Urban, semi-urban and rural area community leaders based on the type of disaster they experienced.
- CL – Community Leaders at the urban, semi-urban and rural area.
- Primary data.
- Assessment Day Interview (ADI-DMO)
- DMO – Disaster Management Organisation (DMOs) officers in the urban, semi-urban and rural area based on the type of disaster they experienced.
- Primary data.
- To identify the commitment of Malaysian government in managing disaster through Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR); (CA-OPD + ADI-DMO)
- To recognize interests, strategies, agency relationships and internal power relations of the major Disaster Management Organisation (DMOs) in relation to Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR); (TR + ADI-CL + ADI-DMO)
- To discover existing Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) models/initiatives being practised by major Disaster Management Organisation (DMOs); (TR + ADI-CL + ADI-DMO)
- To identify interconnected factors that make Malaysia community resilience (e.g., physical, human, financial, natural and social aspects of life) in relation to Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR); (TR + ADI-CL + ADI-DMO) and
- To assess criteria of resilient community in Malaysia in relation to Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR). (TR + ADI-CL + ADI-DMO).
Type: Theoretical sampling (qualitative sampling).
- Case study report on the preliminary study on Malaysia Community Resilience Framework (MY-CREF);
- Establishment of Malaysia Community Resilient Framework (MY-CREF) for Disaster Management Organisations (DMOs) in Malaysia which integrates (1) Factors of community resilience and (2) Criteria of resilient community. This framework has not been established in any sources of DM literature in Malaysia.
- Dissemination of manual & digital platform of Malaysia Community Resilient Framework (MY-CREF) for Disaster Management Organisations (DMOs) in Malaysia. This will be published on the website (MOBILISE-Malaysia: Shared Data Portal); and
- Assessment report on MY-CREF and periodical updates of MOBILISE-Malaysia containing information about the workshop and future workshops in general, list of participants, photos, information of the institutions and agencies, contacts etc.