The role of NGOs in the disaster paradigm of RESILIENCE is the subject of the following report:
The Nongovernmental Sector in Disaster Resilience
Conference Recommendations for a Policy Agenda
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are instrumental in communities’ resilience to natural and man-made disasters. But, despite national progress, the plans and processes for their involvement are not well-defined. This report summarizes three interrelated conference sessions that RAND researchers convened during the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations annual conference in August 2010. The purpose of the three sessions was to generate a national policy agenda that summarizes the challenges to involving NGOs in disaster response and recovery and to identify potential policy and program recommendations to address these challenges, with a specific emphasis on two types of populations, which were most in need after recent disasters: displaced and returning individuals and individuals with mental health needs. Panelists and conference attendees were asked to identify recommendations that would assist NGO involvement in disaster response and recovery. Those recommendations were then summarized by RAND researchers and were categorized into five areas: defining and formalizing roles for NGOs, structure and integration of governmental and nongovernmental organizations in common plans, information sharing, service capacity, and resource allocation. Based on the conference discussion, this report also contains RAND recommendations for future research to inform implementation of the policy agenda.
I would argue that the report correctly identifies a number of issues and problems with the performance of NGOs in disasters. At least one of the Republican Presidential candidates has suggested that FEMA be abolished and the NGOs handle the disaster mission. Time will tell on the fate of that recommendation.
What I do know is that the preparedness of NGOs is critically deficient for large scale events.