Corruption in Cyclone Preparedness and Relief Efforts in Coastal Bangladesh: Lessons for Climate Adaptation?
This article seeks to draw possible lessons for adaptation programmes in Bangladesh by examining whether Cyclone preparedness and relief interventions are subject to corrupt practices. Based on a random sample survey of 278 households, three focus-group discussions and seven key-informant interviews, the article investigates the nature and extent of corruption in pre- and post-disaster interventions in Khulna district before and after Cyclone Aila in May 2009. Ninety nine percent of households reported losses from corruption. Postdisaster interventions (such as food aid and public works schemes) suffered from greater levels, and worse types, of corruption than pre-disaster interventions (such as Cyclone warning systems and disaster-preparedness training). Using an asset-based wealth index created using principal component analysis, the article assesses if corruption affected wealth quartiles differently. Ultra-poor households were affected more by corruption in pre-disaster interventions than wealthier households. In contrast, the wealthiest quartile was affected more by corruption in certain post-disaster interventions, in particular public works and non-governmental interventions.
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