Cultural knowledge of employees of disaster management authorities as a resource


Cannon et al. explain how the local cultural knowledge of employees in disaster management authorities is also an important resource that is often overlooked: In many organizations, volunteers and staff who work with the local people are often aware of the beliefs, decisions, needs and priorities on which these people’s livelihood activities are based. But often they do not know what to do with this knowledge… The grass-roots knowledge fades or is lost completely at higher levels of the organization’s administration, where decisions are made within the organization’s own ‘culture’, involving financial, logistical and donor constraints. This represents another possible area where capacities can be harnessed and enhanced. Using these volunteers and other staff in this way could also serve to build long-term relationships and rapport with local leaders who may also be the gatekeepers to the community.

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