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Title: Understanding disaster risk management as an everyday concept and practice in municipal government policy, planning and management : learning from the experience of Santa Fe, Argentina, with urban flood risk
Author: Filippi, María Evangelina
ISNI:       0000 0004 9348 6096
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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This research aims to enhance our understanding of the conditions that can enable and sustain urban disaster risk management (DRM) processes from the perspective of municipal governments as the leading organisations at city scale. Addressing DRM as an emerging and cross-cutting policy paradigm in medium-sized cities in low and middle-income countries, it explores how the municipal government of Santa Fe has appropriated the concept of DRM and incorporated it into its everyday work, while continuously accommodating to the dynamic conditions that define urban flood risk. A broad-based theoretical foundation underpins this research, building upon the amalgamation of three strands of literature: policy process research, sociological institutionalism and network theory. With these interdisciplinary insights in mind, the institutionalisation of cross-cutting policy paradigms is proposed as a framework to analyse the incorporation of DRM in municipal governments. The framework considers emergence, embeddedness and sustained change as the phases of institutionalisation that unfold within a municipal government and across its relations with other organisations in networked spaces. An abductive logic of enquiry combined with a single-case study informs the research design. Santa Fe city, the first Argentinian municipality to adopt DRM as a policy paradigm, is analysed over 2007-2017. Primary data were generated during an eleven-month fieldwork, using qualitative research methods with a participatory approach. The temporality of phases offers an alternative to the before, during and after event rationale. The focus on the entire municipal government provides a complementary perspective to sectoral approximations and overarching risk governance frameworks. The combination of these temporal and organisational perspectives identifies the features of each phase and key departments and networked spaces steering them. Ideas and ways of framing are central in the emergence phase, while securing a balance between the cross-cutting/specific nature of DRM becomes relevant when embedding the new paradigm in the core work of sectoral bureaus. Sustained change is stimulated by ‘satellite offices’ whose linking work across departments sharpens awareness of alternatives for ongoing innovation. Networked spaces, including academia-policy interfaces, participatory spaces with auxiliaries and civil society organisations, and city-to-city networks are woven throughout each phase and leverage the process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available