Role and Performance of Government and Ngos in Relie F

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This study investigates the role and performance of Pakistan government and humanitarian agencies during relief and emergency aid assistance to 2005 earthquake victims. This comparative study is based on empirical data collected from 30 most affected villages of NWFP (Pakistan) and AJK through a sample survey on 1st anniversary of 2005 earthquake. About 500 randomly selected heads of the families were interviewed in the sampled area.

Mann-Whitney Wilcoxon test is used to compare the relief assistance provision and satisfaction shown by sufferers toward government agencies and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) during relief program. While Chi-Squire test is used only to investigate the relationship between affected areas and respondents’ demographic characteristics. Evidently, results show that the NGOs provided more relief items in a better way to victims of 2005 earthquake than did the Government of Pakistan. This study will be helpful in disaster management planning at government and non-governmental levels.

Keywords: Performance; Earthquake; NGOs; Government; Relief Efforts

Background And Introduction

Pakistan experienced a destructive earthquake on October 8, 2005, at 8:50 PST, intensity of 7. 6 measuring on Richter scale. Arguably, this was the most devastating disaster in Pakistan’s history. The earthquake epicenter was located 100 kilometers north-northeast of Islamabad. Intensity of losses increased by a series of aftershocks, more than 1000 aftershocks ‘ranging from magnitude 5. 0 to 6. 0’ were recorded as of October 27th in IndiaPakistan Kashmir region. 61 Authors are very thankful to PATTAN Development Organization (National NGO) and Dr.

S. M. Naseem for financial help and motivation in study conduction  At least 73,000 people had died, another 70,000 had been severely injured or disabled and over 2. 8 million persons have been left without shelter. In addition, 600,000 houses, 6,298 schools and 796 health facilities were demolished. About 6,440 kilo meters roads were damaged and 50-70% of the water supply, sanitation, telecommunication and power infrastructure was rendered un-operational. Pakistan 2006) It is nearly impossible to figure out exact economic impact of earthquake 2005. In total, about US$5. 2 billion was estimated cost of earthquake; includes cost of relief provision to victims, restoration of livelihood support and short, medium and long term reconstruction (ADB and World Bank, 2005). The most immediate task was rescue of people trapped in collapsed buildings and to transport them at safer places along with provision of relief to survivors to save the lives and to secure the dignity of affected population (ERRA, Annual Review 2005 to 2006).

The Government of Pakistan immediately realized the enormity of the task and appealed to the international community for emergency assistance. The Government of Pakistan and national & international agencies took immediate measures for rescue, relief and reconstruction for 3. 5 million affected people of NWFP and AJK. Generally, donor agencies and the external sources prefer to channelize emergency assistance to disaster victims through international and/or indigenous NGOs due to all pervasive corruption and misappropriation of relief funds on the part of the Governments.

The government of Pakistan and participating slocal, national, and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with the help of domestic and external sources initiated massive rescue and relief activities in the area. (ERRA, Annual Review 2005 to 2006) Both, government of Pakistan and NGOs played important role in relief distribution and rehabilitation activities. Government of Pakistan established the central coordination office for rescue and relief started to work at Prime Minister (PM) Secretariat immediately after the earthquake.

Federal Relief Commission was established on 10th October 2005 to mobilize all resources, to coordinate activities and to facilitate flow of relief goods (ERRA, Annual Review 2005 to 2006). The Federal Relief Commission (FRC) of Pakistan Government, Armed Forces, International donors, UN agencies and local NGOs joined hands to undertake the huge operation for delivering emergency relief against challenges such as mountainous terrain, distant and difficult to access communities, changing weather conditions, resource constraint, and overwhelming suffering of the people.

On March 31st 2006, the Government of Pakistan officially ended the ‘Relief’ phase and the Federal Relief Commission (FRC) was subsumed into Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA). Government of Pakistan, NGOs and international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) performed different rescue, relief and rehabilitation activities during the first year of the 2005 disaster. Relief provided by FRC with assistance from foreign governments, INGOs, NGOs, individuals and corporate sponsors.

Empirical studies suggest that nations with greater resources, better awareness and preparedness are more able to restore and move to normality faster than poor and less prepared nations during disasters. According to the Mid-America Earthquake Center, ‘‘the biggest earthquakes in the region (Pakistan & India) are yet-to-come’’ (Boyd 2006, p. 1). “Theoretical studies indicate that the energy stored along the Himalayan arc suggests a high probability of several massive earthquakes of magnitude (greater than) 8. 0 in the future” (Shaheen 2007, p. ) “Theoretical studies indicate that the energy stored along the Himalayan arc suggests a high probability of several massive earthquakes of magnitude (greater than) 8. 0 in the future” (Shaheen 2007, p. 1). Research on disasters could be used as a tool for creating better preparedness to combat with future disasters. Further, it helps formulate a comprehensive strategy for disaster management. This research study based on Pakistan’s experience and response to disaster 2005 would be of greater importance for other countries facing similar disasters.

Objectively, researchers have investigated various aspects of the 2005 earthquake. However, this study sheds light on role, responsibilities and performance of Governmental institutions and Non-governmental organizations during rescue and relief efforts. This study compares performance of the Pakistan government with NGOs with regard to management and distribution of emergency aid to 2005 earthquake victims during and immediately after the disaster.

This comparison is based on data obtained from three most affected areas of NWFP (Pakistan) and AJK through a sample survey conducted on earthquake victims in October 2006, on the 1st anniversary of 2005 earthquake. Literature Review Pakistan is prone to frequent disasters that inflicted severe losses to property and lives. More frequent disasters are floods, droughts and earthquakes. However, the history reveals that earthquakes were the worst disasters regarding losses to lives (ERRA, Annual Review 2005 to 2006).

In 1950, Pakistan witnessed the first severe flood disaster that claimed 2910 lives and affected more than 10,000 villages. Since then, floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes and landslides have been striking with regular intervals but none of the successive governments could ever devise a comprehensive strategy for disaster management (A Review of DMP&S in Pakistan). There was a major earthquake in Quetta, Balochistan, in 1935 when the entire city was destroyed. From 1974 to 1990, approximately 5669 people were killed due to earthquakes in the Northern Areas (NA), NWFP and Balochistan (A Review of DMP&S in Pakistan). A brief history of earthquakes in Pakistan along with intensity and resulting human losses.

As Pakistan is in a seismic belt, therefore, it suffers from frequent earthquakes of small magnitudes. Mountain ranges of Koh-e-Suleman, Hindu Kush and Karakorum are significantly vulnerable.

The devastation can be immense because of the poor quality of buildings and housing (A Review of DMP&S in Pakistan). During the 2005 earthquake a large number of government buildings constructed by the contractors in AJK and Balakot area, collapsed in the first jerk of the quake. This is the overall impression of the people in the earthquake devastated areas that between 30 and 60 per cent of funds for government buildings, including schools, are spoiled by corrupt officials. Contractors habitual of such kickbacks spend less on quality materials resulting in poorly constructed buildings.

Therefore, systemic corruption in government construction projects would be directly responsible for the devastating losses of next generation in northern areas of Pakistan (Shaheen, 2008). In addition, there was no adequate crisis management structure in Pakistan prior to the 2005 earthquake and none have any past experience to deal with such severe natural disasters. Although, the army and several NGO groups took the initiative in launching rescue and relief efforts, however, the onerous responsibility of reconstruction and rebuilding rested on the government (Prakash Ouis, 2001).

Further, high dependence on natural resources makes communities vulnerable particularly to changes in resource condition (Pomeroy et al. , 2006). Mostly, all-pervasive corruption and abuse of relief aid by Government agencies and bureaucratic style of humanitarian organizations distracts them from the needs of the people they are supposed to assist, in favor of other values that their institutional frameworks dictate (Binini, 2006).

This claim was tested by investigating the response to the Pakistan 2005 earthquake and a closer look at data suggests that there was not an optimal match between survivor needs and relief deliveries (Binini, 2006). A certain degree of coordination failure is, of course, inevitable in disasters of this scale. However, Pakistan’s domestic and external political situation made such co-ordination even more problematic and highlighted the need for a bottom up strategy to tap the resources at the local and grass-root levels.

Literature represents different strategies adopted by the world by learning from experiences, how to combat with future disasters, how one can better prepare to face less socio-economic and human losses. Many countries like Italy adopted insurance policy measures to combat natural catastrophes (Amendola, 2000). This raises the question whether government agencies and NGOs played the required role during relief phase of 2005 earthquake?

Did the government or NGOs performed better during provision of relief aid to victims. Whether the international donations and NGO development programs aimed at reducing vulnerability to earthquakes are an appropriate response to the earthquake hazard or not (Shaheen, 2008). Are earthquake victims satisfied that relief provided by Government and NGOs was according to their need and secured dignity during relief disbursement? So did Pakistan learn any lesson? If yes, what policy planning Pakistan adopted for future Disaster Risk Mitigation?

These all aspects are required to investigate for better preparedness, mitigation and for future disaster response. The purpose of this research is to investigate the role and performance of government of Pakistan and humanitarian agencies during relief and emergency aid assistance of 2005 earthquake victims. Further to evaluate, comparatively who performed better. This study will be helpful in disaster management planning at government and non-government levels. Typically, this study is unique in its nature and will be an imperative contribution to the body of research concerning disaster management in Pakistan.

Methodology and Data collection The primary source of data for this research was field survey conducted in October 2006, immediately after the Pakistan government earthquake emergency relief assistance programs ended. About 500 household heads in the most affected districts (areas) of Pakistan and Kashmir “Mansehra, Bagh and Muzaffarabad” were contacted to investigate the role and performance of Government agencies and NGOs in various rescue, relief and rehabilitation programs. While survey team couldn’t conduct interviews in fourth most affected district “Batagram” due to adverse circumstances (i. . cultural, religious and political reasons, at the particular moment). Individual household was the basic sampling unit. “A household is a group of people in a dwelling unit living together as a family and sharing the same kitchen” (PAUL 2003). In the first stage of the design of the survey, out of nine, three most affected districts were selected. In the second stage, 15 most affected union councils were selected (5 UCs in each district). In the third stage, 30 villages or Mohalahs (for urban) were randomly selected.

As affected area is consisted of diversified topography, so to find impartial and faultless response urban and rural localities were also considered. Similarly, male and female respondents were selected proportionately to find statistically reliable and significant results. A comprehensive questionnaire containing demographic information of respondents followed by data relating to socio-economic impact of disaster along with opinion questions with regard to the distribution of inflict relief by the government and NGOs were asked to household heads. A household head is defined as the person who makes the major economic, social, and household decisions, irrespective of this individual’s age and gender” (PAUL 2003). Key Questions 1. Comparatively, who performed better during rescue and relief phase of 2005 earthquake, the NGOs or Government of Pakistan? a. Who provided more relief to the 2005 earthquake victims in the emergency/relief phase? . To what extent 2005 earthquake victims are satisfied with the Government and NGOs’ performance Performance is measured by ‘both’ provision of relief items to affectees and satisfaction level shown by respondents toward Government agencies and NGOs. Relief includes following items; rescue, transportation, shelters, food, bedding, cooking utensils, information and awareness, education, training, money, health facilities that were essentially required soon after disaster to survivors to live with dignity.

Whereas variable government includes; Army, ERRA, PERRA, DRU, Local Administration, Federal Government, and other governmental institutions that took part in rescue and relief phase. Moreover, Non-governmental Organizations includes; indigenous NGOs, International NGOs, UN Agencies. Analysis Techniques To analyze the amount of external support provided to the afectees by the government and to test whether the amount of received support was in accordance with their socio-economic conditions, chi-square test of association and Mann-Whitney Test (nonparametric tests) are used.

Chi-Squire test is used only to investigate the relationship between affected areas and respondents’ demographic characteristics (occupation, education, sex and locality). Mann-Whitney Test is used to determine if a difference exists between performances of two groups: Government and NGOs. Unlike t-test, Mann-Whitney Test does not require normal distribution of data (MacFarland, 1998). Subsequent analysis is performed by using the SPSS.

The nature of the relationship between socio-economic indicators receipt of assistance will be helpful for evaluation of the equitability and performance of the government and NGOs relief assistance efforts during earthquake 2005. In general, there is a positive relationship between the amount of emergency aid received by earthquake victims and their socio-economic conditions. Poor victims, owing to their weak political and economic power, receive much less assistance than rich victims. Results and Discussion Devastation of 2005 earthquake could be portrayed by housing destruction of affected regions.

Data represents that 100% living was affected by disaster. In total, 75% people substantiated complete demolition of houses, while remaining 25% claimed partial damage. The area wise house damage caused by earthquake. Remarkably, data regarding house damage shows approximately similar trends as shown in district profiles prepared by ERRA.

  Nearly, all the respondents reported that they had received the external aid ‘in any form’, either from governmental agencies, NGOs, INGOs, friends/relatives or from individual philanthropists. Collectively, about 85% respondents ranked NGOs and Government agencies topmost helping hands during relief phase.

The remaining 15% reported that they seek assistance either from relatives, friends, neighbors, individual philanthropists and they ranked the same at top. The following analysis of the assistance received by victims is based on the response of 85% of respondents who availed some form of assistance. Selected characteristics of the respondents; mainly they were segregated into four occupational groups: farming, services, business, and others. Mountainous geographic location of the area is the reason that only 6. % of the selected population is engaged in farming and 19. 7% in business profession. Moreover, majority of respondents (68%) were employed in services sector (including both public and private services). The analysis based on Chi-square test reveals that there was a significant difference in the occupational characteristics of respondents in all the three sites covered.

Analysis indicates greater dependency of the affected area population on non-farming income generation sources. While in Mansehra (NWFP) 11% of respondents disclosed that their major source of income was agriculture which was highest engagement in farming throughout study area. The survey data revealed that sample consisted of 45% illiterate respondents. Further gender analysis shows that illiterate women ratio was significantly higher than male illiterate population i. e. 70% and 30% respectively of total 45%. Discriminating behavior of society regarding educational acilities to female population of the area. Chi-Squire test shows highly significant results, that is educational level is drastically different between male and female population of selected area. Interestingly, official data regarding gender wise literacy also have approximately similar trends.

The null hypothesis that there is no difference in provision of relief assistance to 2005 earthquake victims by Government and NGOs was tested by using Mann-Whitney test. Significance can be verified by comparing the computed test statistic (e. g. , U) with its critical value. By interpretation of the p (probability) value, it is observed that p= 0. 005, which is smaller than the 0. 05.

Comparison of test statistics with its table value and the probability method both suggest the rejection of Null hypothesis which states that there is no significant difference between government-provided relief aid and that of NGOs. Further the higher mean rank for NGOs (518 vs. 467) supports the conclusion that the NGOs provided more relief items in better way to victims of 2005 earthquake than Government of Pakistan.

Evidently performance is directly associated with satisfaction. Satisfaction is persons feeling of pleasure as a result of comparing a product perceived outcome in relation to his/her expectations. Consequently, if the performance exceeds the expectation, the beneficiary is very satisfied. If outcome equals the expectation, the receiver is satisfied. But if the performance falls below the expectation, then the recipient is dissatisfied.

In this study Mann-Whitney Wilcoxon test is used to compare satisfaction shown by sufferers toward government and NGOs role during relief program. Test shows extremely significant results. Similar to 1st null hypothesis, 2nd null hypothesis is also significantly rejected, that is, there is no difference in satisfaction shown by victims towards NGOs and Government of Pakistan for relief provision. Further, it explains that NGOs (including both the indigenous and the international) prevailing in Pakistan have played an effective and impartial role in the distribution of relief assistance than did the government organizations.

So results show that credibility of NGOs bottom-up approach is higher than that of the government based on topdown directives. In so for as performance is concerned, people are more satisfied with the role played by NGOs/INGOs as compared to Government Agencies during the relief phase.


In 2005, Pakistan experienced the most disturbing earthquake in its history. Pakistan government and humanitarian agencies initiated wide range of relief efforts for the survival of victims. This study is an effort to compare the relief disbursement efforts carried out by the NGOs and the government. Further, it looks at the possible association between socioeconomic characteristics of the disaster victims and the amount of assistance they received from the government and/or from the NGOs.

To probe these objectives, this study used a primary data in which 500 household heads of 30 villages of 15 union councils of three districts have been interviewed. The analysis of data indicates that though both, government of Pakistan and NGOs’ played significant role during rescue and relief assistance, the majority of respondents reported that they were more satisfied by the NGOs work compared to government efforts. Further majority of the respondents believed that NGOs performed much better in relief provision than the government of Pakistan.

Recognition to NGOs efforts could be due to non-bureaucratic working style, proper need assessment, ensuring victim participation in decision making, acting as per sphere standards while helping the communities. Moreover, wide range of experience in working with effected communities and use of more participatory approach made them more efficient and successful. Respondents’ opinions regarding less efficient role of government could be due to unmet very high and irrational victims’ expectations. Further NGOs are supposed to work in specified area with having fewer responsibilities and more skills.

Whereas governments’ working area and responsibilities are spread to all affected population regardless of degree of severity. Moreover, important policy implication of this study is that if government agencies would not handle relief efforts effectively and efficiently than donor agencies may rethink their procedure and channelize future emergency aid and development funding through NGOs or sub-offices. This mistrust has been experienced by government of Pakistan in current flood disaster on both, public and donors’ ends.

But optimistically this might lead to expansion of NGOs in Pakistan. So government need not only develop institutional and technical skills to cope with future disasters but also consider expansion to NGOs as alternative to mitigate the hazards and strive to strengthen them.


JUNE 2011 VOL 3, NO 2 Action Aid International (2006), The Evolving UN Cluster Approach in the Aftermath of the Pakistan Earthquake: An NGO Perspective. Action Aid International, London. ADB-WB (2005), Preliminary damages and need assessment—Pakistan 2005 earthquake, prepared by Asian Development Bank and World Bank, Islamabad, Pakistan, November 12, 2005. Amendola, Aniello, 2000, ‘Earthquake Risk Management: A case study for an Italian Region”, International Institute for Applied Systems, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria. Benini, A. A. et al. , 2006, ‘Survivor Needs or Logistical Convenience?

Factors Shaping Decisions to Delive’ Blackwell, doi:10. 1111/j. 0361-3666. 2008. 01065. x Boyd, J. (2006), Preliminary report: Future quakes in Pakistan inevitable, http://www. media. rice. edu/media/NewsBot. asp? MODE=VIEW=8166, Accessed on 23-04-2011 at 17:00. MacFarland, T. W. (1998), ‘Mann-Whitney U-Test’ viewed August 2010. http://www. nyx. net/~tmacfarl/STAT_TUT/mann_whi. ssi Pakistan, Government of (2005), ‘A review of Disaster Management Policies and Systems in Pakistan’ Islamabad. Pakistan, Government of (2006), Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA), Annual Review 2005-06.

Paul, B. K. 2002, ‘Relief assistance to 1998 flood victims: a comparison of the performance of the government and NGOs’ The Geographical journal, Vol. 169, No. 1, March 2003, pp. 75-89. Pomeroy, R. S, Blake D. Ratner & Stephen J. Hall 2006, ‘Coping with disaster: Rehabilitating coastal livelihoods and communities’ Elsevier, Marine Policy 30, PP 786–793. Shaheen, M. A. (2007), Academic Institutions and Libraries of Pakistani Administered Kashmir: A Pre and Post Earthquake Analysis, A Paper read on 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council held on 19-23 August 2007 at Durban, South Africa. Shaheen, M.

A. (2008), ‘Earthquake effects on educational institutions and libraries of Azad Kashmir An appraisal’, Emerald, Vol. 57, No. 6, 2008, pp. 449-456.

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