This paper sets out in the context of three strands of knowledge; disaster management, strategic management and project
management and builds upon the authors’ (2009) theory for the delivery of post-disaster reconstruction (PDR) projects.
With the expected increase in the magnitude and frequency of natural disasters in coming years, more people
than ever will be faced with PDR scenarios. In many cases, non-government organisations (NGOs) are in a position to
make interventions to improve conditions for people facing the impacts of disasters and it is essential that responding
agencies deploy appropriate configurations of competencies to mitigate project barriers. Using a mixed-methods
approach, a study incorporated four case studies in post-tsunami Sri Lanka and four case studies in post-cyclone Sidr
Bangladesh. Exploratory interviews with expert NGO participants were combined with direct observations and the collection
of quantitative survey data. The mechanisms and phenomena observed within the case studies contributed to
the development of a conceptual theoretical framework. The study reveals that NGOs face barriers in seven key areas
and that they must deploy certain configurations of organisational and operational competencies in order to effectively
develop and implement strategies to address these barriers. The theoretical framework demonstrates how the utilisation
of these competencies, deployed in targeted clusters, has the potential to create positive outcomes for beneficiaries
as measured by PDR Project Success Indicators (PDRPSIs). If dynamic tools can be developed that effectively
model competency and predict success, all organisations involved in disaster response and recovery could benefit. In
addition, the knowledge is highly transferable to other sectors and environments.
Keywords: Barriers, Competency, NGOs, Post-Disaster Reconstruction (PDR), Project Success.
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