Comparing Organizational Structures In Disaster-Prone Countries: the Philippines and Nicaragua

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The Philippines and Nicaragua are both in the top 15 most natural disaster prone countries in the world, ranked number 3 and 14 respectively (World Risk Report, 2017). Both nations experience hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and landslides every year that require national disaster agencies to support the mitigation and relief efforts. Nicaragua’s National System for the Prevention, Mitigation and Attention of Disasters (SINAPRED) was formed in 2000 as the governmental department solely dedicated to disaster preparedness and response (Disaster Risk Management in Central America, 2009). In comparison, the Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) was formed in 2010 as a national council consisting of members from 44 different governmental agencies to make decisions influencing disaster preparedness and relief (Philippines Disaster Management Reference Handbook, 2018). Both nations are at extremely elevated risk of being affected by natural disasters, however, the vastly differing structures of their management systems have had noticeably different effects on the timing and quality of relief received by the affected populations.

SINAPRED is an independent government agency in Nicaragua who is solely dedicated to the management of natural disasters. While Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and relies heavily on international aid during disasters, they have established themselves as the primary coordinator during natural disaster recovery efforts (Disaster Risk Management in Central America, 2009). Due to SINAPRED’s established leadership role and concentration only on disasters, Nicaragua has a concrete evacuation system in place for most regions of the country and can give out