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Community-based monitoring as an early warning system: detecting and countering risks in government-driven COVID-19 response

Dhungana, Nimesh and Cornish, Flora ORCID: 0000-0002-3404-9385 (2024) Community-based monitoring as an early warning system: detecting and countering risks in government-driven COVID-19 response. Natural Hazards. ISSN 0921-030X (In Press)

[img] Text (Community-based monitoring as an early warning system Detecting and countering risks in government-driven COVID-19 response) - Accepted Version
Pending embargo until 1 January 2100.

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During the fast-paced climate of the COVID-19 pandemic and as the official responses suffered from major inconsistencies and dysfunctions, volunteers and civil society activists initiated a range of strategies to monitor, gather, and disseminate risk information, going beyond the traditional top-down and expert-led interpretation of and approaches to risk mitigations. The current paper draws on growing scholarly recognition that official or government-led responses to disasters can often cause further risks, harms, and inequalities in communities (the 'second disaster'), sparking community-based action to monitor and tackle such risks and harms. In so doing, it seeks to bridge the conversation between two distinct yet interrelated fields of community-based early warning systems and community-based monitoring of public goods. Drawing on an exploratory scoping review of peer-reviewed and grey literature, the paper examines the functioning of community-based monitoring of official responses to COVID-19 globally. Our analysis distinguishes four distinct functions served by community-based monitoring: (1) tackling misinformation to enable the public to take protective action; (2) improving access to health services through service monitoring; (3) exposing and challenging misuse and abuse of authority and; (4) spearheading inquiries and probes to hold governments to account. Possibilities and limitations of such collective action are discussed, in light of what we know from existing disaster risk reduction (DRR) scholarship. The paper concludes by recasting the focus on risk, taking it beyond the conventional realm of disaster preparedness and mitigation to cover early response and recovery, while drawing the DRR community’s attention to the risk of violation of rights in the name of disaster response. It underscores the role of community-based monitoring in the wake of emergencies as an evidence-driven early warning system, raising the possibility of developing a more democratic and inclusive understanding of risk and protecting and promoting the rights of those who face the disproportionate burden of disasters.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 Springer
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 29 May 2024 12:54
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2024 23:14

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