Intergovernmental relationships after disaster: state and local government learning during flood recovery in Colorado
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. When communities experience disaster, emergency response and recovery are led internally, based on local-level policy decisions and priorities. Decisions about how or whether to rebuild are made by local governments. Higher governmental authorities such as states and provinces may institute their own disaster recovery processes and policies in addition to or in competition with local governments. Greater intergovernmental engagement could increase resources and knowledge, which would yield higher levels of learning and result in superior disaster recovery policy outcomes. The role of higher authorities, then, can have important implications for policy processes and outcomes. The learning literature includes a dearth of studies that analyze the relationships between state and local governments during disaster recovery. We move the learning literature forward by analyzing intergovernmental relationships during disaster recovery. We find that learning within local governments is associated with higher levels of resource flows from state agencies as well as more collaborative intergovernmental relationships. We also find that state governments can improve processes for disaster recovery assistance and bring together disaster-affected local governments to promote learning during the recovery process. While this study focused on relationships constrained by U.S. federal dynamics, the lessons are useful to other multilevel governance systems.
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