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Title: Disaster management : a review on the role of project management in disaster management
Authors : Aquilone, Manuela
Advisors / Reviewers : Graf, Christian Olivier
Publisher / Ed. Institution : ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Issue Date: 2017
Language : Englisch / English
Subject (DDC) : 363: Umwelt- und Sicherheitsprobleme
Abstract: Sudden-onset disasters cannot be controlled and usually hit unexpectedly, and it seems that we have become increasingly exposed to such environmental hazards. Therefore, the question arises of whether there are projects or plans in place that aim to reduce the harm caused by these disasters to society and to the environment. To effectively manage this situation, disaster management is usually applied. However, within this context, little research has investigated the role of project management, except regarding disaster recovery project management expertise. Hence, this thesis was commissioned to evaluate the role of project management within the four disciplines of disaster management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery operations. The aim is to contribute to a better understanding of projects in disaster management. The study comprises an analysis from two different perspectives: on the one hand, a review of existing literature; and on the other hand, six in-depth interviews conducted with respondents from four international relief organizations and one inter-governmental organization, as well as one industry expert. The findings reveal that project management takes an important but subordinated role within the four disaster management activities. Moreover, a notable number of projects are carried out within disaster management. Furthermore, projects take place not only in single disaster management activities, but also across them. Hence, a project’s scope and extent depend on the project leader (government, international organization, etc.), its expertise, and its funds. In addition, the 10 project management knowledge areas apply extensively to emergency management. In addition, the most important stakeholder within disaster management resulted to be the government. Finally, a main finding suggests that it is wrong to illustrate disaster management cycle as a cycle, and that it should instead be viewed as an ongoing process in a long-term perspective. However, these findings need to be treated with caution, as certain limitations need to be considered; these are further outlined in the paper. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that project management is highly relevant within emergency management, but it is subordinated to the latter’s main activities. The success of single projects and ultimately of disaster management is highly influenced by governmental actions, but not limited to such. In addition, it is believed that given the high number of different projects within disaster management, a more comprehensive project management approach would be beneficial. To this end, it is recommended that further research is carried out. Hence, a further study could assess the effectiveness of project management in one of the four stages of the disaster management cycle. In addition, it would be interesting to develop a new interpretation of disaster management that does not illustrate it as a cycle.
Departement: School of Management and Law
Publication type: Thesis: Bachelor / Bachelor Thesis
DOI : 10.21256/zhaw-1350
Appears in Collections:Abschlussarbeiten International Management

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