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The perspective of the affected: what people confronted with disasters expect from government officials and public leaders.

Jong, W., Dückers, M.L.A. The perspective of the affected: what people confronted with disasters expect from government officials and public leaders. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy: 2018, 8(2), 94-112
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Aim
Despite available knowledge on appropriate psychosocial support for people confronted with death, loss, and severe stress in the context of major crises and disasters, it is crucial to understand what people affected expect from government officials and public leaders in the aftermath of an extreme event.

Method
Eight interviews with affected adult residents were conducted to explore their expectations and experiences in relation to government. This was done against the background of Park’s (2016) model on meaning making.

Results
Findings revealed that interviewees expected the government to help them in a fair, compassionate, equal, and reliable manner. They also expected support in fulfilling event-related practical needs, and assumed that the government would use its capacity to align network partners and break down bureaucratic barriers. The affected individuals’ global beliefs and situational meaning may differ from the perceptions of the public leader who provides support. (aut. ref.)