Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Affairs

First Advisor's Name

N.Emel Ganapati

First Advisor's Committee Title

committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Alexander Kroll

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Kevin Grove

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Travis Whetsell

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Network Governance, Disaster Governance, Emergency Management, Post-Disaster Recovery, Nepal Earthquake

Date of Defense



Governing the network of public, private, and non-governmental organizations is increasingly becoming the standard practice to ensure effective post-disaster recovery and reconstruction processes and outcomes. While prior research has discussed different challenges in network settings, few studies have examined the challenges faced by public managers who lead post-disaster recovery networks. Similarly, there is a dearth of knowledge on how the management of these networks affects disaster-stricken populations are affected by the management of these networks. This dissertation addresses such lacunae using a case study of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), an organization established by the Nepali government to execute post-disaster recovery after the 2015 Nepal earthquake. The study’s data collection includes semi-structured interviews (n=81) with NRA public managers, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and leaders in Kathmandu Metropolitan City as well as the review of secondary policy documents and media sources.

The dissertation follows a three-essay format. The first essay analyzes challenges of public managers stemming from the organizational design of the NRA, including centralized decision-making, fragmentation of specialized administrative and implementation bodies, inflexible institutions and practices, limited organizational capacity, and an organizational culture with low regard for collaboration. The second essay explores NRA public managers’ challenges from relational aspects of their work, that is, their interactions with other units or organizations. The findings highlight network stakeholders’ conflicting goals, priorities, and practices, the lack of trust in one another, and power asymmetries as challenges to public managers. Together, the first and second essays demonstrate how external and internal factors have shaped NRA managers’ roles, capacities, and strategies in securing and sustaining collaborative processes and practices. The third essay examines the effect of governance factors on private housing reconstruction outcomes in urban KMC. As a result of the centralized decision-making arrangements, powerful stakeholders avoided or ignored essential features of the housing reconstruction processes, such as identifying beneficiaries, cash assistance distribution, urban poverty, and land tenure. Based on these findings, the essay suggests that power asymmetry between multiple stakeholders in the recovery networks plays a central role in influencing urban private housing reconstruction processes, priorities, and outcomes.







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