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A case study of a local state intervention: Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh, 2007

As we’ve learned, the Rwanda crisis set the scene for a new way of working and the importance of monitoring, accountability and evaluation in disaster interventions. We’re now going to look at case studies of disaster interventions, to see what challenges can be identified and how they might be tackled by improvements in the monitoring, accountability and evaluation approach.

We’ll begin by looking at a case study on Bangladesh government’s response and recovery actions following Cyclone Sidr, which hit southern Bangladesh in 2007.

Cyclone Sidr was a category four storm, with winds up to 240km per hour and storm surges up to 6m. The storm made landfall less than six months after extensive monsoon floods had caused significant agricultural losses in the same area.

Sea surges and floodwater breached coastal and river embankments, causing extensive flooding to low-lying areas. Roads, bridges and other infrastructure were severely damaged, electricity and communication networks failed and drinking water was contaminated. Even as flood waters subsided, widespread and contaminated debris meant roads were impassable.

Your task

Read pages 1-9 of Oxfam’s After the cyclone: lessons from a disaster and consider the following:

  • What does the Oxfam review identify as limitations in the national government’s actions? Focus not on the challenges presented by the disaster itself, but the way in which the government made decisions and put strategies into place.
  • Which of these limitations can be attributed to limitations or failings in monitoring, accountability and evaluation processes at the government level?
  • Make one recommendation to the government of Bangladesh relating to monitoring, accountability and evaluation.

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This article is from the free online course:

Disaster Interventions and the Need for Evaluation, Accountability and Learning

Coventry University