Why Does Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction Fail to Learn from Local Knowledge? Experiences from Malawi

29 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2022

See all articles by Robert Sakic Trogrlic

Robert Sakic Trogrlic

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Melanie Duncan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Grant Wright

Heriot-Watt University

Marc van den Homberg

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Adebayo J. Adeloye

Heriot-Watt University

Faidess Mwale

University of Malawi

Abstract

It is often taken as given that community-based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) serves as a mechanism for the inclusion of local knowledge (LK) in disaster risk reduction (DRR). In this paper, through in-depth qualitative analysis of empirical data from Malawi, we investigate the extent to which CBDRR in practice really takes into account LK. This research argues that LK is underutilised in CBDRR and finds that current practice provides a limited opportunity for the inclusion of LK, due to five prime obstacles: i) current approach to community participation, ii) financial constraints and capacity of external stakeholders, iii) the donor landscape, iv) information consolidation and sharing, and v) external stakeholders attitudes towards LK. In CBDRR, a strong dichotomy between local and scientific knowledge is maintained, and further re-examination of community-based approaches in practice is needed to make them truly transformative.

Keywords: community-based disaster risk reduction, indigenous and local knowledge, participation, knowledge co-production, Sub-Saharan Africa

Suggested Citation

Sakic Trogrlic, Robert and Duncan, Melanie and Wright, Grant and van den Homberg, Marc and Adeloye, Adebayo J. and Mwale, Faidess, Why Does Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction Fail to Learn from Local Knowledge? Experiences from Malawi. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4161832 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4161832

Robert Sakic Trogrlic (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Melanie Duncan

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Grant Wright

Heriot-Watt University ( email )

Riccarton
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, EH14 1AS
United Kingdom

Marc Van den Homberg

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Adebayo J. Adeloye

Heriot-Watt University ( email )

Riccarton
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, EH14 1AS
United Kingdom

Faidess Mwale

University of Malawi ( email )

Chancellor College
Mathematical Sciences
Zomba, 265
Malawi

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