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Organizational Collaborative Capacities in Disaster Management: Evidence from the Taiwan Red Cross Organization

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Abstract In the post disaster situation, relief organizations are expected to learn and adjust their capacity to collaborate with other major players such as nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and local workers. In other words, effective responses to disasters require capacity for collaboration on the part of emergency response agencies; however in disaster affected area, not every relief organization is equally capable of doing so. The capacity for organizations to collaborate with others in and after a disaster does not occur spontaneously or in a vacuum. Since organizational collaborative capacity is essential in disaster relief, it is imperative to present empirical evidence regarding organizational collaborative capacity. The purpose of this paper is to develop a working theory of what characteristics an emergency response organization needs in order to develop collaborative capacity. We analyze collaborative capacities by examining two events: the 2004 Asian Tsunami and the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake. This piece argues that collaborative capacity, defined by purpose, structure communication and resources, is a requisite for collaboration in a post disaster situation. The implications for practitioners and scholars in post disaster society are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, URL:; 2: Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore


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