Establishing public accountability, speaking truth to power and inducing political will for disaster risk reduction: ‘Ocho Rios + 25’

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The problem is that disaster risk reduction (DRR) is still more a zone of political darkness than of light. Therefore, the purpose of our contribution to this theme issue is to illuminate at least some of that zone of political darkness and to suggest a more proactive, but for many career professionals a personally problematic, way forward for DRR. The career problematic derives from the fact that the way forward would involve moving from applauding the emergence of elected and/or appointed champions (from mayors to cabinet ministers to presidents/prime ministers) for action to raising the political costs of inaction by leaders not otherwise disposed. The essential element of this way forward would be greatly enhanced public accountability. We will draw preliminary accountability lessons from the Haiti earthquake catastrophe and the Chile earthquake disaster 2010 events towards the conclusion of this paper as we outline a possible future paradigm.



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