Recovery for Development: A Multi-Dimensional, Practice-Oriented Framework for Transformative Change Post-Disaster

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Disasters are a primary influence in the global development landscape given their unequal impacts across society and calls for transformative change in their aftermath. Recovering from disasters is one component of development that is coming under scrutiny. This is especially so in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, whose scale, scope, and cascading effects mean that the uncertain prospects for recovery will be complicated and endure long term. COVID-19 has forced a reappraisal of what recovery encompasses, who it is for, and how it can better enable preparedness for future disasters. Drawing upon interviews with a global community of experts specializing in different areas of disaster governance, this paper focuses on the lessons emerging for recovery-related theory and practice deriving from the pandemic. We elaborate a multi-dimensional framework to support those working on local recovery planning within communities and operating across different sectors. The framework captures the interconnected issues across six principal domains—communities, economic, infrastructure, environment, health, and governance—representing key impact areas around which strategies and multifaceted actions can be developed. We suggest a three-step process using a systems approach to develop a recovery strategy that operationalizes the framework and addresses the complexity of long-term recovery for development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Development Studies
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Disasters
  • pandemics
  • preparedness
  • recovery framework
  • recovery strategy

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


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