The political dynamics of disaster management research in Cameroon: Evidence from the ELIED-project
Conference: 13th Dealing with Disasters Conference
Dates: 9-10 June 2022Abstract:
The robustness of disaster management research in Africa is increasingly being scrutinised especially when political actors are key informants. Since governments have the primary responsibility for civil protection, ideas from political stakeholders on the governance of disaster risks have prominence in participatory research involving multiple stakeholders. Nevertheless, the presence of hybrid political ideas and visions could create tensions that may undermine disaster management research, especially those with political undertones Using a completed GCRF funded project entitled “Enhancing Livelihood Resilience of Protracted Internally Displaced Persons” (ELIED), this paper analyses how political dynamics can influence disaster management research. The ELIED methodology required data acquisition from multiple sources, particularly from government stakeholders since the key aim was to enhance livelihood challenges faced by internally displaced persons from Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis. Experience from executing the project revealed that political dynamics/attributes influence disaster manager’s participation in the research due to the clash of governance narratives held by political actors. This tension challenged the robust acquisition of empirical data with implications for shaping the research reliability and validity. We argue for a cautious disaster management research approach involving political informants. This paper contributes to the novel area of disaster management knowledge acquisition and production in Africa.