Towards Peer Presence in Post Disaster Governance: An Empirical Study

23 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2017 Last revised: 3 Feb 2017

See all articles by Shahla F. Ali

Shahla F. Ali

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 2, 2015


Recent experience reminds us the United States is anything but immune to the effects of major natural disasters; in 2012 Hurricane Sandy demolished the entire eastern seaboard, impacted 24 states and caused 50-68 billion dollars of damage. As natural disasters occur with increasing frequency, there is growing interest and scholarship in disaster relief governance. Empirical research regarding the mechanisms of post-disaster local governance is therefore timely given the scale and magnitude of suffering involved. The findings presented in this article draw on the attitudes and perceptions of practitioners working in disaster response fields to provide us with insights into the dynamics, challenges and lessons learned from the perspective of those directly engaged in the work of post-disaster relief. The principal finding of this paper, based on survey data and follow-up questions with 96 humanitarian aid practitioners, is that there is a statistically significant correlation between the level of “peer” engagement with local residents and the perceived effectiveness of response. In-depth knowledge about the elements of post-disaster humanitarian aid coordination efforts will be essential to understanding the role of states, transnational governance and legal networks, and global non-state actors in order contribute to effective post-disaster responses. Such insights will be particularly useful, as states and organizations increasingly implement and coordinate relief efforts with civil society participants.

Keywords: Humanitarian Relief, Post-Disaster Aid, Local Participation, Collaborative Governance

JEL Classification: K3

Suggested Citation

Ali, Shahla F., Towards Peer Presence in Post Disaster Governance: An Empirical Study (June 2, 2015). Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2015; University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2016/045. Available at SSRN:

Shahla F. Ali (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

Chung Yu Tung Tower (Law), Centennial Campus
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
(852) 3917 2931 (Phone)
(852) 2559-3543 (Fax)


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