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Editorial: The fate of information in the disaster zone

Keen, David and Ryle, John (1997) Editorial: The fate of information in the disaster zone. Disasters, 20 (3). pp. 169-172. ISSN 0361-3666

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.1996.tb01031.x


In a disaster accurate information, like clean water, is an indisputable good. The kind of information sought by outside agencies is, however, seldom available. The nature of contemporary disasters in Africa, linked as they generally are to civil conflict and political and administrative crises, militates against the rapid collection of, for example, nutritional and demographic data. By the same token, reliable base-line statistics that predate the crisis are seldom available. Parties to conflict may attempt to manipulate information about the populations under their control; and relief agencies, in the rush for funding, may promulgate statistics that owe more to guesswork and imagination than to research. News media tend to repeat and simplify these interpretations. Moreover, in a disaster, published information flows outwards; the last people to have access to it are the victims themselves.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1997 Overseas Development Institute
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2014 09:51
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2024 17:03

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