Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) Working Paper, November 2013:
This paper seeks to contribute to the analytical base around build back better through an examination of its application in three disaster responses, the Indian Ocean tsunami in Aceh, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the earthquake in Haiti. The three cases were selected because they all involved large-scale disasters, they all suffered from multiple problems prior to the disaster, including armed conflict, chronic poverty, weak public institutions and a lack of space for civil society, and they all offered a diverse range of institutional arrangements, levels of funding and actors involved in the response. Last but not least, the discourse of build back better figured prominently in all three responses. The author worked in the recovery efforts in all three of the case studies between 2005 and 2011 and, as such, some of the analysis draws on the author’s direct observations over this period.