Expanding the Capabilities of People with Disabilities in Disaster Risk Reduction

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dc.contributor.advisor Gaillard, JC
dc.contributor.advisor Adamson, Carole
dc.contributor.advisor Akgungor, Caglar
dc.contributor.author Ton, Khanh That
dc.date.accessioned 2021-09-03T01:08:59Z
dc.date.available 2021-09-03T01:08:59Z
dc.date.issued 2021 en
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/2292/56369
dc.description.abstract People with disabilities (PWD) are disproportionately impacted by disasters. In times of disaster, they are at higher risk of death, injury, and loss of property than people without disabilities. The contemporary approach, which is widely adopted to address disaster risk for PWD mainly relies on examining the availability of or access to resources. This poses challenges to understand how PWD are affected by disasters. This thesis thus employs the capability approach, which is increasingly adopted in disability research, as an alternative approach to address disaster risk facing PWD. To enable the explanatory power of the capability approach in explaining disaster risk facing PWD, this study adopted critical realism as its research paradigm. It argues that critical realism is well suited for uncovering causal factors that explain the potentialities for PWD to achieve their valued capabilities. Furthermore, by focusing on both agency and structures, it can generate explanations for how capabilities are actualised. A multi-case study design was implemented in two rural communes in Vietnam. Data were collected using focus group discussions and interviews that involved people with disabilities, parents/caregivers of people with intellectual/psychosocial disabilities, and representatives from related organisations. It was found that PWD are affected by disasters due to the lack of capabilities that they value in dealing with disasters. A range of capabilities that PWD value was revealed with many being valued not only in times of disaster but also in daily life (such as being healthy, being nourished, being mobile, having clean water, and being sheltered safely). The findings also highlight that, to actualise their valued capabilities, people with disabilities need access not only to resources but also to the factors that enable them to convert the resources to their valued capabilities. In most cases, the limitations to the achievement of capabilities are related to the external environment. In addition, this study demonstrates that, although social structures play an important role in creating and perpetuating disadvantages and injustices, PWD, as active agents, have the power to transform social structures that, in turn, bring about positive changes to reduce disaster risk for themselves. It was found that, in most cases, PWD need to participate in decision-making processes to achieve valuable capabilities for their safety in times of disaster. This process of participation can be seen as both an end and a means. As an end, it refers to the capability of engaging in decision-making processes. As a means, it is a process in which PWD individually or collectively exert their agency (i.e. raising their voice, influencing decision making and transforming decisions into actions) to actualise their valued capabilities. For participation as a means to be achieved, however, participation as an end must be secured. Despite its focus on PWD, this study also raises the possibility of applying the capability approach for understanding disaster risk faced by other groups of people in society. It further demonstrates the potentiality of using critical realism in disability and disaster explanatory research.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/
dc.title Expanding the Capabilities of People with Disabilities in Disaster Risk Reduction
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Environmental Science
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.date.updated 2021-07-10T09:08:50Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en

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