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Title: Tacit networks, crucial care: Informal networks and disaster response in Nepal’s 2015 Gorkha earthquake
Authors: Carrero, Rocio
Acuto, Michele
Tzachor, Asaf
Subedi, Niraj
Campbell, Ben
To, Long Seng
Keywords: Community
Urban informality
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: SAGE Publications © Urban Studies Journal Limited
Citation: CARRERO, R. ... et al, 2018. Tacit networks, crucial care: Informal networks and disaster response in Nepal’s 2015 Gorkha earthquake. Urban Studies, 56 (3), pp.561-577.
Abstract: It is often reiterated that a better understanding of local networks and needs is key to risk reduction. Nevertheless, the crucial role of informal social networks and actors in the catering for human needs in disaster circumstances remains largely under-explored. If we have to rethink the ‘work’ that informality does for our understanding of urban areas, its contribution to resilience, and take it seriously in the ‘full spectrum of risk’ in urban and peri-urban centres, better and more balanced methods are needed. This paper attends to this gap. Examining the mechanisms of aid provision in the aftermath of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake in Nepal, it details an experimental set of quantitative research methods to explore the role of informal social networks in the provision of critical human needs in natural disasters. Relying on a sample of 160 households across four districts and 16 villages in the built environment affected by the Gorkha earthquake, the paper reveals that, overall, a wide disparity exists in the comparative importance of organisations in the provision of aid and resources. Much crucial after-disaster care is catered for by a mix of relatives, temples, friends, neighbours and local clubs. It highlights the importance of informal networks in understanding, and theorising, governance (of disaster and of the ‘urban’ more in general), and calls for greater attention to its role. It is time, it argues, to revalue informal disaster governance networks as a crucial, not tacit, component of disaster response.
Description: This paper was published in the journal Urban Studies and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098018810606.
Sponsor: Research for this grant has been funded under the UK Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC) research grant ‘Vaccinating the Nexus’ (EP/N005961/1). The authors would like to thank the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London (UCL STEaPP) for additional funding, and the support of the ‘Enhancing community resilience using renewable energy in Nepal’ (also UCL STEaPP funded) project.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1177/0042098018810606
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/36524
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098018810606
ISSN: 0042-0980
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Geography and Environment)

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