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Policy responses to disaster management: a comparative case study of the BRICS countries to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Disaster management is a component that is responsible for ensuring the protection and safety of countries and their communities. The role of disaster management incudes, to organise the appropriate control mechanisms, allocate the necessary resources and follow the required practice policies. This is all done to prevent, prepare for, respond to as well as recover from a range of emergencies. Disaster management is utilised to respond to a range of disastrous events ranging from natural disasters, man-made disasters, biological disasters and technological disasters The COVID-19 pandemic presented a new set of challenges for countries to combat, which ultimately led to many revisiting their disaster management policy responses. Previous work has failed to address the disaster management policy responses that governments sought to implement particularly when dealing with pandemics. The main aim for governments was to implement effective disaster management policy responses which would result in reducing the spread and impact of the virus. For this, governments relied on restructuring existing disaster management policies to evoke greater powers to make decisions faster. This study sought to investigate the disaster management policy responses in BRICS countries through comparative case approach and SWOT analysis towards the COVID-19 pandemic. The study implemented a qualitative approach, secondary sources of information were used. Secondary sources of information such as articles, journals, books and government publications. These sources were fundamental towards this study because it provided the overall research that was examined in this study. Content thematic analysis was used to comprehend the information collected from texts to present arguments and grasp a coherent conclusion. Comparative case study approach was used for effective comparison among the chosen case studies. The formulation of themes was guided by the Disaster Management Model being mitigation, preparedness, prevention, recovery and response. The results of this study showed that the case studies possessed individual strengths and weaknesses. Due to the impact of the pandemic the policy responses varied based on population size, resources, leadership, accountability and preparedness. This concluded in varied disaster management policy responses that were effective during different stages of the pandemic.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.