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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
J Edu Health Promot 2019,  8:142

Disaster risk governance in Iran: Document analysis


1 Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, International Campus (IUMS-IC), Iran University of Medical Sciences;School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences;Health Management and Economics Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Date of Submission23-Jan-2019
Date of Acceptance11-Apr-2019
Date of Web Publication29-Jul-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hesam Seyedin
Health Management and Economics Research Center, Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_30_19

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  Abstract 

BACKGROUND: Disaster risk is a product of a combination of hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. Governance in the health system is a multifaceted sphere, with political, economic, and legal dimensions. Disaster risk governance is an analytical framework employed for assessing the capacity of institutional governance. This study has been conducted to investigate the current status of national strategy documents concerned with disaster risk governance in Iran through document analysis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The investigated documents were collected through requests from the secretariat and the archives. 102 documents were analyzed. Twelve documents in the domain of accountability, 7 in participation, 9 in state and nonstate actor, 14 in knowledge sharing, 21 in sustainable developments, and 19 documents in integrated risk management were analyzed. The process of analysis included selecting documents and evaluating and analyzing them by content analysis method.
RESULTS: Documents coded according to the main areas of policymaking in disaster risk governance were analyzed, and sub-component and related topics were deduced in each domain. The acquired themes include unity of command, trustee, commitment, capacity prosperity, align strategy, information synergy, knowledge enhancement, sustainable security, justice clarity, land use planning, climate change adaptation, environment reform, wisdom, environment, diplomacy, capacity and coherence.
CONCLUSIONS: Disaster good governance is strengthened by the trustee, commitment, capacity prosperity, align strategy, and organize. Information synergy and knowledge enhancement are effective in the culture of prevention. Collective wisdom, diplomacy, and capacity coherence raise the alignment of public organizations and the government in the risk management process.

Keywords: Disaster risk governance, document analysis, Iran, risk governance


How to cite this article:
Safari M, Seyedin H, Jahangiri K. Disaster risk governance in Iran: Document analysis. J Edu Health Promot 2019;8:142

How to cite this URL:
Safari M, Seyedin H, Jahangiri K. Disaster risk governance in Iran: Document analysis. J Edu Health Promot [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Oct 16];8:142. Available from: http://www.jehp.net/text.asp?2019/8/1/142/263441


  Introduction Top


Risks impede long-term development of the countries. The probability of bad consequences or expected losses is called risk which will lead to life-threatening, financial and environmental damage.[1] A disaster is an occurrence disrupting the normal conditions and causing a level of suffering of existence that exceeds the capacity of adjustment of the affected community.[1],[2] Disaster risk reduction, the conceptual framework of elements considered with the possibilities to minimize vulnerabilities and disaster risks throughout a society.[3],[4]

Disaster management is a governance issue and is made up of a horizontal structure built upon state and nonstate actors.[5],[6] The government, as a provider of disaster risk reduction services, is ineffective in supporting investment, regulating, and coordinating private sectors' activities. In other words, the main actor is not just government, sovereignty is also possible without government. Governance is not government. Governance, as a concept, recognizes that power exists inside and outside the formal authority and institutions of government. In modern societies, a combination of government, institutions, economic agents, and actors of civil society distributes roles according to the goals, responsibilities, and organized self-regulated functional structure. Sovereignty, as defined in political sciences, consists of the state and nonstate actors, and the decision-making process points to a formal institutional arrangement.[7]

Governance in the health system, being multi-faceted, has a political, economic, and legal dimension that regulates the broad participation of various actors, the private sector, as well as health-care investors through an effective and transparent accountability mechanism.[8] Risk governance in the health system evolves within the framework of government relations, citizens, civil society, and political-economic conditions.[9]

Disaster governance is a challenge to the key concepts of “globalization, system dynamics and social inequality.”[6] Participation of actors in integrated disaster risk management at a local, national, and global level requires an outlook, plan, and inter-organizational coordination.[10] Initially in 1980, with the advent of the multilevel strategy of the people, state, and private sector, the active participation of civil society in risk management” was described.[9],[11] The constituents of disaster risk governance are “accountability, participation, state and nonstate actor, knowledge share, sustainable development, and integrated risk management.”[11]

Referring to accountability, two concepts of “mechanism and measurement of behavioural quality” have been put forward those monitor actors, organizations, institutions, and beneficiaries' activities.[12] In this regard, the civil society takes on responsibilities in formulating economic political goals, the distribution of power, promoting culture and civilization, and strengthening the sense of responsibility and mutual emotional collective action by means of taking part in social, cultural, and spiritual activities.[13],[14] Meanwhile, the state as an actor observes the affairs between the people and the state, while nonstate actors are affected by the processes of globalization, privatization, internal, and external conflicts.[15],[16]

Another aspect of governance is knowledge share that is the process of identifying, distributing, and applying the existing knowledge to solve issues effectively. This constituent improves coordination between actors by making use of its political motivation and support.[17] The sustainable development constituent refers to the concept of development to meet the current human needs without compromising the need of future generations and the environment.[18] Accountability, participation, predictability, and transparency are key elements of the governance structure which lead to the development of a risk reduction policy.[19] In the last two decades, natural disasters have affected 4.4 billion people and caused 1.3 million deaths.[20],[21] In these years, disaster risk reduction policymakers have focused on prevention and preparedness.[22] Studies show that executive management of disasters in Iran is based on the responses and not structures. The most important reasons for the lack of integrity and coherence of the disaster executive management system are lack of coordination among departments, administrative issues, focus on response phases, relief and rescue absence of disaster governance, the ineffectuality of the regulations and the adoption of a new laws, directives and abrogating the previous ones, the interference of unrelated departments, disintegration in the line of commands, weak documentation, inability to attract and distribute national and international aids during a disaster, and government's interference and bureaucracy in disaster governance.”[23],[24]

Having considered the existence of national strategy documents, the lack of a risk-oriented approach in all activities of public departments and private organizations, policymakers' uncertain authority to reduce the risk in the country, and the dearth of risk awareness among people and authorities, The researcher made the first stage of a qualitative study in the country. The present study aims to analyze the national strategy documents regarding the identification of the present status of disaster risk governance in Iran by looking at its challenges.


  Materials and Methods Top


This study is a part of a qualitative study conducted in the form of document analysis. In order to examine the documents, the policy analysis, regulations, and existing rules have been used, which is a systematic method for the evaluation of printed and electronic documents and is interpreted in order to obtain meaning, understanding, and experimental development.[25],[26] Keywords coded for search documents have been: “risk,” “disaster,” “risk management,” “crisis management,” “governance,” “risk governance,” “disaster risk governance,” “law,” “bylaw,” “circular,” and “policy.”

Document analysis is often combined with other qualitative research methods as a reinforcement and combination method and has advantages such as efficient, affordable, cost-effective, stable, accurate, and comprehensive coverage.[27] In this study, related documents have retrieved by requesting from the secretariat and archives departments, and from official internet portals of the Ministries of the Health and Medical Education, Interior, Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare, Energy, Roads and Transportation and Agriculture, the Parliament Secretariat, the Expediency Council, the Red Crescent Society, the Crisis Management Organization, Tehran Municipal Crisis Management Organization as well as the Passive Defense Organization.” Data were collected from October 2017 to June 2018. Data collection was done by a researcher-made tool, whose validity was evaluated and verified by the content validity method of the research team and nine experts in disaster science. In this regard, the necessary corrections in the tool were made to the research team's discretion and were used to evaluate the documents and collect data. Documents were analyzed by the content analysis method. Documents from two aspects of risk management, crisis management, and related regulations were analyzed by guided content analysis method. All documents were not accessible through databases. At this stage, after receiving the necessary references and permissions, attendance at the documents centers and the secretariat of the relevant organizations was carried out.

The inclusion criteria were as follows: “Internal documents of Iran, set up in Persian, from 1979 to 2018, registering by the secretariat as for document authenticity, no duplicate documents.” In the first step, 148 documentaries were obtained. After evaluation, 102 documents related to the field of research were studied and evaluated, and the rest of the documents were excluded from the study due to their lack of relevance to the research field. Tool structure with questions such as document title, trustee organization, target organization, approval date, delivery date, content, the point of strength, and weakness was analyzed and elaborated.


  Results Top


During the study, 102 documents were identified. According to the findings, the term crisis management has been mentioned in 11 documents and risk management in 12 documents; no document, however, has mentioned the term “disaster risk governance.” Documents were coded according to the major areas are analyzed and component and sub-component have been extracted.

Twelve documents in accountability, 7 in participatory, 9 in state and nonstate actor, 14 in knowledge sharing, 21 in sustainable development, and 19 in integrated risk management areas were analyzed, as shown in [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6].
Table 1: Documents, code, component and, sub-component extracted in the domain of accountability in disaster risk governance

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Table 2: Documents, code, component and, sub-component extracted in the domain of participation in disaster risk governance

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Table 3: Documents, code, component and, sub-component extracted in the domain of state and nonstate actor in disaster risk governance

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Table 4: Documents, code, component and, sub-component extracted in the domain of knowledge sharing in disaster risk governance

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Table 5: Documents, code, component and, sub-component extracted in the domain of sustainable development in disaster risk governance

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Table 6: Documents, code, component and, sub-component extracted in the domain of integrated risk management in disaster risk governance

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  Discussion Top


In the analysis of the encoded documents in the field of accountability, the concept of “Security” with the sub concepts such as governance and respecting the laws, promotion of deterrent power; the concept of “Safety” with sub concepts such as development of the infrastructure, promotion of healthy driving and transportation, failure of the nongovernmental, military and police institutions, regulations and code of construction, safe places for gatherings; the concept of “Unity of command” with the sub concepts such as permanent management; the concept of “Trusteeship” with sub-concepts: Immediate treatment of injured, trustee of Health in Disasters; and the concept of “Commitment” with the subconcepts such as health system responsibility, Justice in the health system were inferred. Gulbrandsen, in a study entitled “Dynamic governance interactions: Evolutionary effects of state responses to non-state certification programs,” and Davari et al., in another study entitled “Health care financing in Iran; is privatization a good solution?,” stated that Ministry of Health and Medical Education, the main authority of and responsible for the health during accidents and disasters, has always been affected by the major external and external organizational conditions of the country.[28],[29] Accountability in disaster risk reduction is a prerequisite for scrutiny and understanding of what has been done at different levels. Disaster risk reduction depends on the inter-sectorial coordination mechanism. Full participation, transparency of the government and stakeholders to ensure more accountability is required.[28] Amaratunga D., referring to the role of accountability within disaster risk governance stated that, after the adoption of the Hyogo framework in 2005, public and private accountability has reduced risk and vulnerability.[30]

In the field of participation, the concept of “capacity” with sub concepts such as expanding capacities, promotion of understanding and skills; the concept of “Welfare” with the sub concepts such as justice and cooperation during implementation, promotion of compensation and insurance; the concept of “alignment” with the sub concepts such as creating proper inter-sectorial as well as extra-sectorial context, collaboration of the insurance companies for compensation, and promoting people's role in organizing being people's deliberate and voluntary participation in public affairs, administrative activities, as well as administrative, political, and social decision-making, according to the experts, have been inferred. Syafwina S., in a study titled Recognizing indigenous knowledge for disaster management, among, early warning system, stated presently, participation is considered as an integral part of the development of disaster risk management. In fact, participation is a process that involves a variety of individual and group actions for playing a role in controlling their society's destinies as well as influencing on decision-making on public affairs.[31]

In the apraisal of the programs, people not getting involved in public affairs have been considered as the main cause of the failure of the development programs. The program, however, has come up mostly with a top-down design, which reaffirms the importance of public participation in disaster risk management.[32]

Komendantova et al., in a study on the same subject: Multi-hazard and multi-risk decision-support tools as a part of participatory risk governance: Feedback from civil protection stakeholders commented that despite the fact that knowledge is progressing, the lack of nonparticipation in events is still evident, so that slow transition of theoretical concepts into practice has created difficulties in the process of linking knowledge to the process of policymaking.[33]

As for the state and nonstate actors, the concept of “Strategy” with sub concepts such as nongovernmental sector encouragement policy, investment and technology support, aids organization, government capability nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and armed forces, incentive support (insurance), cutting down the stakeholder, and trusteeship of crisis management; the concept of “Organizing” with sub concepts such as appealing charity NGOs or sponsors, organizing NGOs, and recruiting volunteers have been deduced. According to six observing principles, state and nonstate actors should pursue the United Nations' goals and deeds while being an elected organization; being a known non-profit body. Guttman, et al. in a study titled Environmental governance in China: Interactions between the state and “Non state actors” expressed its authorities should be responsible before a democratic assembly and policy-making authorities not interfering with the internal affairs of the countries. The limited capacity of governments to solve environmental problems has led to an increase in the growth of various nonstate actors to complement the government efforts or to provide alternative mechanisms for dealing with the issues.[34]

In the field of knowledge sharing, the concept of “information synergy” with sub concepts such as promotion of information network, cyber-information system, comprehensive information management, information security, extension of knowledge communication network and improvement of human development index, facilitating communication with the community, information network management; the concept of “knowledge promotion” with sub concepts such as environmental knowledge and responsibility of the community, education, awareness and safety culture, risk reduction education in mass gatherings; the concept of “sustainable security” with sub-concepts such as public education of passive defence principles, regional and global electronic and informational interaction, promoting a culture of safety; the concept of “justice” with sub concepts such as balanced participation; and the concept of “transparency” with sub concepts such as documentation of operation were analyzed.

The results of the study conducted by Audefroy and Sánchez show that, in the area of knowledge sharing, the purpose is to create new knowledge through the combination of existing knowledge or better exploitation of it. Knowledge sharing involves voluntary interactions between people, in the form of shared funds considering ethical norms, special habits and behaviours.[35] Also, Weichselgartner and Pigeon emphasized the role of knowledge in reducing risk and ensuring informed decision-making and coordinated implementation of disaster risk reduction policies.[36] Studies Cadag and Gaillard showed that the discussion of the integration of local and national knowledge in the field of disaster risk reduction is difficult, but it is very important.[37]

As for sustainable development, the concept of “spatial planning” with sub concepts such as adjustment of the spatial structure of development, securing physical environment, territorial development plan at national and regional, urban coordinated management, spatial planning based on comparative advantage; the concept of “environmental protection” with sub concepts such as environmental strategic assessment, healthy human approach, hazard and contamination reduction; the concept of “climate change adaptation” with sub concepts such as national development based on adapting to climate change, biological preparation; the concept of “Environment sanitation” with sub concepts such as reducing pollution and degradation of environmental standards, revitalization of worn texture, Horizontal and vertical development of the city based on considerations and notes, cost-effective principles of passive defence; the concept of “guidance” with sub concepts such as sustainable development process, contribution to sustainable development; the concept of “wisdom” with sub concepts such as knowledge-based development; the concept of “environmental diplomacy” with sub concepts such as enhancing environmental diplomacy and institutions, understanding the constructive elements of culture and national identity; and the concept of “capacity” with sub concepts such as improvement of health system power” have been deduced.

Florin, A., introduced a reduction in environmental pollution and improved socioeconomic status for the next generation. In this context, the United Nations has focused global goals on commercial partnerships and nonstate actors that are less harmful to nature.[38] Hudec stressed that, in the culture of society, the principles of crisis management and passive defense are emphasized on sustainable development.[39]

In integrated risk management, the concept of “promoting safety and security” with sub concepts such as safety and renewal of locations, sanitation, promoting social capital, public awareness and education, promotion of sustainable security, a comprehensive plan for improving housing conditions, comprehensive scientific plan, compilation of regional risk map; the concept of “coherence” with sub concepts such as the passive defence comprehensive plan, the establishment of a disaster management system, integrated city management and development, comprehensive and integrated system, coordination, and coherence have deduced and analyzed. Waldman, et al., in another study on Canadian citizens volunteering in disasters: From emergence to networked governance, stated that according to Canada's Social Security and Emergency Preparedness Organization safety of roads and critical infrastructure, networks, water supply systems, electricity grids, oil and gas pipelines, sewage and surface water collection, communications networks, transportation and information and physical services are interconnected, which, if broken or destroyed, will have a serious impact on health, safety, security, and the economy.[40]

Today, the development of urbanization, the inappropriate geographic location of the populated centres', failure to hazard zoning, lack of realization of regional development plans, unbalanced growth of the regions, and increasing population density have caused serious challenges in times of natural disasters.[41] A large number of responsible organizations and institutions make it essential to take advantage of information and communication technology to organize a large amount of data.[42],[43] Shi P., also said that “Integrated Risk governance is at the heart of regional and national risk management and plays an important role in improving the “up-down and down-to-top” of the template.[44]

The most fundamental thought of partnership infrastructure is the acceptance of the principle of equality among people with which change is achieved and through which transformation is achieved and rooted in building group relationships at the local, national, on the basis of a solidarity process.[45] In summarizing the results, Westman and Broto in a study of 150 urban initiatives in China on climate governance through partnerships emphasized that consolidation to reduce the role of the state in economic activities, empowering civil society, is a prerequisite for the realization of human rights.[46] The population affected by the disaster is expecting an efficient response, in which knowledge sharing is effective in integrating social actors, resources, and research into risk reduction policies.[45],[47]


  Conclusions Top


Ensuring accountability in disaster risk management is part of a national, regional, and global partnership. In all crises, citizen participation plays a major role in reducing damage and complications. Given that hazard and natural disaster management is sensitive and a dynamic process, the extent to which people participate in decision-making, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation can act as a capable arm of the staff in the risk reduction process. Expanding the culture of community participation in prevention, mitigation, readiness, and planning is elemental to governance in reducing the risk of disasters. Disaster good governance is strengthened by the trustee, commitment, capacity prosperity, align, strategy, and organize. With the active participation of civil society, the private sector and the International Monetary Fund, synergies are being made between the education and health sector. Collective wisdom, diplomacy, and capacity coherence raise the alignment of public organizations and the government in the risk management process. Identifying barriers to knowledge transfer and sharing in governmental and nongovernmental organizations in Iran can be the first step in solving problems and is effective in moving toward sustainable development. The most important reason for the inadequacy of the disaster risk governance in Iran is the lack of appropriate laws and regulations and difficulty in document clarification, executive issues, organizations' inconsistency, excessive paying attention to the response relief and rescue phases, and, lack of attention to pre-disaster stages, such as prevention and mitigation and public mistrust to some organizations.

Acknowledgments

This manuscript was part of a Ph.D. thesis that was supported by IUMS/SHMIS-I (International Campus) with IR.IUMS.REC: 1395.9223648203 on developing the model of disaster risk governance in Iran. We are thankful to all the participants who cooperated with us to conduct this investigation.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]



 

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