Disaster Governance and Non-state Actors

Decentralisation also encourages the state to partner with non-state actors for planning and development (Devas 2001). Entrusting local governments with planning and development responsibilities, and promoting public private partnerships (PPPs), community participation, and state-civil society collaboration has caused new institutional arrangements to emerge at multiple scales, especially for local services delivery (Mansuri and Rao 2013; Woetzel et al. 2014). The spread of democracy and the concomitant rise of civil society worldwide have boosted institutional partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) toward greater participation and citizen empowerment (Fung and Wright 2003). Likewise, the rapid surge in research on social capital has helped mainstream the notion of participatory development using multi-stakeholder partnerships (Isham et al. 2002; Krishna 2003; Woolcock and Narayan 2000). Planning theory’s debunking of rational planning thought and exhorting more radical, progressive, and inclusive forms (for instance, see Beard 2003; Miraftab 2009; Sandercock 1998) also emphasize democratizing and pluralizing planning practice. However, the debilitating effects of civil society’s historical suppression during the New Order in Indonesia are still manifest in CSOs’ limited participation (which we discuss later). That hampers participatory urban development efforts (Das 2015a) or can cause adverse outcomes because of the complicity of CSOs in distancing the poor (Ito 2011).

The partnerships with non-state actors for decentralised planning and governance, overall, can and should as well be sought specifically for DM and DRR. Non-state actors include prominent individuals, international CSOs, private corporations, NGOs, CBOs, and other associations (Wagner 2013). Their inclusion will facilitate effective disaster governance, which Miller and Douglass (2016) see as moving away from technocratic environmental determinism, strictly within the policy domain, toward embracing historical, social, cultural, and political dimensions that make most disasters uniquely contextual. Non-state entities already play some or can play more vital roles in enabling multi-stakeholder partnerships for DRR and DM in Indonesia (Djalante et al. 2013; Djalante and Thomalla 2012). To build local government capacity and participatory approaches in decentralised institutional frameworks, a critical component is the role of NGOs (Davidson and Peltenburg 1993; Krishna 2003). The lack of local institutional capacity can be compensated by involving NGOs to leverage their experience and knowledge, and link communities to city-level institutions so that policymaking can better reflect local needs, negotiate societal challenges and leverage community assets (Das 2015a). Academic institutions are also underutilized actors that can improve policy research and program innovation. International donor organizations too should continue to support appropriate endeavors for enhancing local capacity. These concerns and considerations are even more pertinent for smaller Asian cities, with weaker institutional capacities, that tend to be urbanizing faster and more haphazardly (Rumbach 2016).

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