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When the government relief operations machine hums efficiently, we see our government at work and conclude that its disaster relief policies are working.
But how are these public policies on disaster relief formulated? What happens behind the great doors of congress that makes the policy as it is? What happens at the oval office that makes a difference in the public policies of the United States government? However, the most critical is the last question: What happens outside of these government offices that affect the outcome of our public policies? In this paper, I shall attempt to evaluate the different roles performed by different agencies in the formulation of our public policy on disaster relief, including the dynamics between and among these entities.
Public policy is defined simply as “whatever governments choose to do or not to do.”2 In other words, every action by the government’s three branches – the executive, legislative and judicial – is governed by a pre-determined course of action. It necessarily includes the decision not to do anything about a certain issue. Interestingly, this interpretation also works in reverse wherein government action and inaction results in public policy. That is, in the form of lessons learned from its previous mistakes.
There have been identified distinct stages in the policymaking process. These are problem identification, agenda setting, policy formulation, policy legitimation, policy implementation, and policy evaluation.3 For each of the aforementioned stage, a different group of actors is involved and a different dynamics between these concurring and opposing interest occur. Each actor is espousing a specific opinion or direction for the policy being formulated, each trying to promote its interests.
It is the democratic process’ hopeful expectation that when different groups try to put into the policy their
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They vary somewhat in their approach to providing assistance, with the National Association of Community Health Care Centers providing more direct health care. The American National Red Cross is committed to alleviating human suffering across the world through collaboration with its international branches.
(Cochrane HC, 1975,) The impending and critical requirement of clean and abundant energy has called for the use of further nuclear energy without addressing the safety concerns of this energy form or the operational stability of the facility. All these natural and artificial reasons have made humans a potential target for disasters to strike.
Hurricane Katrina was the largest hurricane of its strength to approach the United States (Knabb, Rhome & Brown, 2005). Its size alone caused damage in a region of a hundred miles from the center of the storm. The states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama faced the most destruction (Knabb et al., 2005).
The following discussion has been made in order to define the information in the investigation and to put it into context with the events that have taken place in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 in Japan.
This catastrophe was an outcome of the fateful failure of the South Fork Dam, located at a distance of 14 miles from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA (Foote 92). The outcome of the flood was immensely worsened by a continual and heavy rainfall (Foote 93). Failure of the South Fork Dam led to an inundation of Johnstown by an unsparing torrent powered by twenty million tons of water (Foote 94).
The earthquake is the worst to have occurred in Haiti due to its magnitude and devastating effects (Brattberg & Sundelius, 2011). The causes of the quake are natural and not human, although, human aspects such as weak infrastructure increased the impacts of the earthquake to the country.
This same pattern was seen in other disasters which the US has encountered, and has been repeated in other countries requesting for aid. In the aftermath of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the US military
Through Ushahidi, witnesses sent messages through a designated number or reported occurrences online. The reports were later posted with appropriate titles, description and GPS coordination into a Google map.